Solo artist Winfree brought the funk to this year’s Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit CD with his original track, “Funky Santa Robot.”
Winfree is not new to the “Holiday Wishes” project; he recorded a song for last year’s CD as part of a group called MixxtBreed. Winfree said that song was slow-paced, so this year he wanted to do something more up-tempo and fun.
“I was at a friend’s house where they got their baby a Santa Claus [toy] that would jump,” he explained. “I thought, ‘That would be so cool to see a Santa Claus doing the robot or some hip-hop dance.’ … I just kind of created my own toy there, made this imaginary Santa Claus that would come to life for whoever purchased it.”
Winfree has worked with international artists in France, Japan, Chile and elsewhere since the early 2000s. He has worked locally on production with hip-hop artists and his first solo CD, “My Diary,” was released in 2006. Working on “Funky Santa Robot” locally with co-writer Thomas Kurek was something he said he really enjoyed.
“The energy you get when recording sometimes is just something that you can’t repeat,” he said. “With this particular song, it actually went very well. … The energy was there, so I had fun with that.”
Winfree said he is happy to be a part of the Make-A-Wish benefit project, to contribute to raising money for a good cause.
“It’s not so much about the song,” he said. “I think it’s just the whole idea of it, the reason why people would give of themselves — give their time, their gift — and use that to help somebody is the one thing I think is the important message for people to take from this: Give of yourself, because you never know when in life you may need something.”
The charity has a personal resonance for Winfree. He said his mother was seriously ill before her death, but his family received support from others.
“There were charities that helped us to take care of her and I’ll never forget that,” he said. “Through music I can obviously give back something, and it makes me feel good to be able to do that. I got this opportunity and it meant a lot to me to be able to do that.”
Winfree is working on a new album, “No Negativity,” set for release early next year.