Staying True to Their Craft: An Interview with The FunkLabb

Photo courtesy of Paulo Cesar Salazar

Since 1994, Ed Lawson and Wes Davis have been inseparable as friends and as business partners. It began in Lawson’s basement, where he turned the space into a recording studio. Every day, Davis found his way over there to write, record or produce music with his new friend. Nearly two decades later, they’re still inseparable.

“We have many good memories from creating music in Ed’s basement,” Davis said. “Fun was always the key to a good and creative session [with] a lot of laughing and practical jokes. It took our minds off the track for a minute and when we returned our focus it sounded new again.”

They famously cut demos for artists such as The Notorious B.I.G. and Will Smith and have worked alongside Sharissa, Daddy-O of Stetsasonic, Shelene Thomas and Mariah Carey’s girl group, Allure.

Many of the artists they worked with were already signed to various record labels, which usually gave them no creative control over the final product. In today’s industry, the artist has much more of a voice when it comes to their music and has the ability to access any other artist in the world. Lawson and Davis, collectively known as The FunkLabb, took that as a sign to finally release their own music.

Their first single, “Mama Said No”, was a track that had been in development for a while when they stumbled upon songwriter and vocalist Myah Marie. Her background vocals can be heard on tracks from Britney Spears to Lil Wayne and is the lead vocalist of My Crazy Girlfriend. The FunkLabb updated the song to suit her range, and knew they had to work with her again.

Pretty Please” was developed specifically for her, and with the help of Death-Cats’ Danin Jacquay, a music video for the track was also released. Their latest single, “Late To The Party”, was technically the trio’s first collaboration. This time around, however, they stuck to more of a ballad style while incorporating their iconic funk sounds.

“We want our listeners to get that we are true to our craft and truly want them to feel something when they listen to our music,” they said. “Our 1994 versions of ourselves would be surprised how hungry and motivated we still are [in 2021].”

The FunkLabb is more than just music to Lawson and Davis. It’s a decades-long friendship that has inspired them to stay creative and focused. Now that they are releasing their own music, their creativity is endless.