Photo Credit: Paulo Cesar Salazar
Brooklyn-based duo of producers and songwriters The FunkLabb, consisting of Wes Davis and Ed Lawson, released their debut single and music video for “Mama Said No” ft. Myah Marie back in February. It brings together rap, funk, and Latin sounds to create a song about wanting someone despite what your mom says. The video takes it one step further and ties in a different kind of love.
Watch the music video below.
The FunkLabb took the time to share with Beyond the Stage (BTS) their journey and the inspiration and creation of the debut single and video.
BTS: Why and when did you start making music?
First, we would like to thank Beyond the Stage Magazine for the opportunity to share our story. We started making music together on 1/2/94 to be exact. We were introduced through my wife Roneve and we instantly started to create music together within minutes of saying hello. I, Wes, started producing R&B music in the late 80’s early 90’s, and Ed was producing Fire Hip Hop joints around that same time.
BTS: How did The FunkLabb come to be?
We worked on tracks together nonstop since our introduction, and in just a few short months after meeting we landed our first placement on MCA Records; a couple of weeks after that we did a remix for MCA/Universal. We had to come up with a production name because we were going by WesEd productions which was not catchy and definitely not hot; it took months for us to agree on a name. We always made tracks in Ed’s basement which we called the Labb, and we were working on a track and discussing how funky it was and hence, the FunkLabb name was born.
BTS: Who are some of your musical influences?
Our musical influences vary from older producers and artists to some newer ones from “Q” Quincy Jones, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis, who we had the chance to meet and talk to at a video shoot for one our artist that was signed to their record label “Perspective Records”. Teddy Riley, Dr. Dre, and Timberland were also great influences.
BTS: What does your creative process look like? Is creating music spontaneous?
When we’re creating together it’s always a spontaneous session. One of us will start a beat, groove, or chord progression, and a track’s birth is started on the spot. Since we may hear things differently, one of us will start a track or an idea and forward it to the other for their perspective. We go with the flow, we try to never force anything.
BTS: How would you describe yourselves and your music?
We are laid-back brothers that have fun making music and love when a song takes on its own identity. There is definitely that funky, gritty element to our sound, and since we love all genres of music and are always trying to pin down a particular sound, we’ll let the listeners decide that.
BTS: Back in February you released your debut single “Mama Said No” feat. Myah Marie. What was the inspiration behind It?
We had the track for “Mama Said No” for about two years before sending it to Myah. We had a few other artists record on the track; they sounded great, but it wasn’t the direction we wanted for this track. We felt Myah’s voice, lyrical content, and melody were perfect, and the hook was crazy catchy, it stays in your head all day.
BTS: How did you all work together on the song? In-person or remotely?
Remotely! Thank God for technology! We connected with Myah through an online platform during the peak of COVID-19. It was impossible to record in the studio with different artists, so connecting with Myah through the internet was perfect! Myah is in Los Angeles and we’re in New York making music, crazy!
Photo Credit: Zac Poor
BTS: You also created a music video for the release. Who came up with the alien plot?
Lol, the Alien theme idea came from the director of the video Danin Jacquay @DeathCats. Danin’s incredible talent and out of box way of visualizing the song was exactly what. “Mama Said No” needed to break away from the typical video expected for a song like this.
BTS: How and where was the video filmed?
The video was shot in Los Angeles, California in a warehouse where Danin and her team created each set. It was amazing to watch.
BTS: Are you currently working on new songs or an album/EP?
Yes! We have the next single “Pretty Please” ready to go! Dropping early May with another video directed by Danin. We actually have a few songs ready and we can’t wait for you to hear!
BTS: Do you have any teasers for what’s coming?
Yes! The next single “Pretty Please” has some additional featured artists with Myah! Stay tuned.
BTS: Do you plan on doing live shows in the near future?
We are hoping as the COVID-19 situation gets better things start opening up soon. We miss live shows and concerts!
BTS: What is the best way for your fans to keep up with you?
Make sure to be on the lookout for “Pretty Please” coming this May. We can’t wait to see what else The FunkLabb has in store!
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