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A Dirty Dozen with ED LAWSON from THE FUNKLABB – March 2021

| 23 March 2021 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “The Funklabb – comprised of Ed Lawson and Wes Davis – met nearly three decades ago crafting music behind the scenes for everyone from legends such as The Notorious B.I.G. and Will Smith to R&B favorites Sharissa and Allure, and now step into the spotlight for the first time. For their debut release, the duo partnered with Myah Marie who gave a voice to their vision. Best known for her background vocals on over a dozen Britney Spears songs including “Circus,” “Work Bitch,” “Hold It Against Me,” and “Till The World Ends,” as well as tracks from Lil Wayne, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez, Myah Marie turns up the heat on “Mama Said No” which will be stuck in your head for days.” We get Ed duo to discuss new music, influences, and more…

Photo Credit: Paulo Cesar Salazar

1. Tell us a little about “Mama Said No.”  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets or samples you put in the track?

The song and track is sexy and kind of dark. Listening to it the first time you are not expecting a reggaeton beat to drop during the hook. No hidden samples in the track. Everything was played. By the time you listen a second time you will notice that the Spanish guitar and violins are actually live. This is what gives the track it’s richness.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a producer?

Wes and I both grew up in households were music was a big part always on the radio or records were being played so music was a part of us from the start. Wes started playing keyboards in school and in church. I started sampling records and putting beats together. When we finally met we combined our skills and created The FunkLabb. The rest is history. We started producing songs together.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Everyone from RUN-DMC, Prince, McFadden and Whitehead and The Jacksons. We were also inspired by producers such as Quincy Jones, Gamble & Huff, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis along with Hank and Keith Shocklee and Teddy Reily.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Prince, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards and Teddy Riley. They have paved the way for producers and song writers like The FunkLabb.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

We would love to do a song with Alicia Keys. Her musical talent along with her amazing voice still rocks the airways today. She is just one of many.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to The Funklabb before?

We call it “The FunkLabb Stew” the whole kitchen sink thrown in from Pop, hip-hop, R&B . We try to incorporate musical overtones with a beat that grabs you and keeps you moving!

7. When The Funklabb is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the jams for a singalong?

I’m always starting the party by playing the new and old school from my phone. Wes and I will literally sit there and pick the songs apart. While folks in the studio are jamming out. Wes gets on the keys and we formulate new ideas and we bang out new tracks from there! Food and Drinks always are discussed prior to our sessions. Its sets the mood all the time.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

We don’t usually get star struck, we admire all musicians and what they bring,  but if we had to pick a star struck moment, that would be when we meet Magic Johnson at a friend’s house in the early 2000’s, lol.

9. What is the best part of being a producer? If you could no longer be a producer or involved in the music industry for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Both Wes and I agree that the best part of producing is being able to have an idea and hear it to its completion. Ideas come to us all the time and since we work so well together it’s the best feeling to actually hear it completed exactly as we pictured. Wes and I would definitely be in the entertainment business in some form or fashion. Its in our blood.

10. Why did you decide to make your debut with “Mama Said No?” How do you think Myah Marie helped shape the track into what it is?

Myah is an amazing singer / songwriter. No one else would have given us such an amazing song on this track. We recorded with two other writers/singers and it didn’t have that “Mama Said No” flavor that Myah put down on it. We Decided “Mama Said No” is a great icebreaker song for the Funklabb debut. It’s a little different, and Hot! and has an extremely catchy hook! A good one to establish ore sound.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

We definitely had a few missteps in terms of our recording processes. Time Wasted! Back in the days we would waste so many hours bullshitting and not get songs completed and making poor business decisions. Today we complete songs within hours and definitely making better business decisions.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Michael Jackson, Quincey Jones Thriller session – can you image what we would have learned from those two geniuses! Lol

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

We miss concerts. Live mixing and music performances. Now that things are starting to open its exciting to be back and mixing live again. Remote is great but that human connection in music is the real Magic!



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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