King Bee was created in late 2011 by Dave Wilde and Chris Jelly. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, we were originally influenced by the likes of Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd and Herbie Hancock, but we think you’ll agree we have crafted our own unique sound. Call it what you like, there’s no mistaking the groove heavy, funk-laden, sound of King Bee.
Our debut album, imaginatively entitled King Bee, was recorded at Loft Studios in Newcastle and mastered by Dave Cooley of Elysian Masters in Los Angeles. Dave was responsible for re-mastering the likes of J-Dilla, Quantic and David Axelrod. This scored 9/10 from the legendary Blues and Soul Magazine prior to release.
Tracks such as ‘Return of the Dave’ ‘Hot Wax’ and ‘Jellyman Funk’ garnered airplay from Mike Chadwick at Jazz FM, Ginger Tony at Solar Radio, Craig Charles at BBC Radio 6 Music, Robert Elms at BBC London and Nick Roberts at BBC Introducing amongst many, many others worldwide.
Since then we have released a 7″ and a 12″. The former “Money Gone” , released in 2016 received an 8/10 from Blues and Soul Magazine and featured a remix from breakbeat master DJ Smoove reaching Number One in the January and February Juno Bestselling Vinyl Funk Chart for the same year, and in the ‘Best of ‘ on the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show.
“Bee to the Flower” 12″ was released in May 2017. Described by Craig Charles at the Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival in Birmingham as “one of the sounds of the summer”, the track features a ‘revision’ by critically-acclaimed French DJ and producer, The Reflex. He doesn’t do that for just anyone!
You’ll find the supporting video elsewhere on our home page. This was filmed by Oliver Fowler at Gosforth Civic Theatre here in Newcastle and featured the incredible street art of Manchester’s ‘Mural Life.’ You’ll find his stunning artwork work all over the City of Manchester.
Over the years, we’ve been honoured to support the likes of Fast and Frank (The Fun Lovin’ Criminals), Eddie Pillar, the jazz-funk legend Lonnie Liston Smith, and our vibes player Chris Jelly’s all time hero Mr Roy Ayers. Chris also got to play on stage with the great man at our hometown venue Hoochie Coochie. Chris is still smiling.
A rework of ‘Bee to the Flower’ was given to our good friend DJ Kurtis Powers at The Face Radio in Brooklyn New York City. ‘Kurtis’s Theme’ (as it’s now informally known) has been played every Sunday on his show since. Our thanks go to Kurtis for his unrelenting support.
We’re currently working on the second album which will feature some guest artists, and it’s sounding mint!