Written by Shumare Thomas
During its peak, funk music was synonymous with a handful of artists: James Brown, Prince, Sly and the Family Stone, and the heavily sampled George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic who were the cornerstones of the genre in the 60s to 70s. During a time when black people were celebrating their melanin and individuality, funk music gave voice to a changing political climate, and the notion that we could be loud and proud without conforming.
This generation, artists like Janelle Monae, Lizzo, and Bruno Mars have reintroduced Funk to a brand new set of music fans ready for something different. Atlanta GA’s Brett Eclectic and his record label, Sneer Records, hope to add their own voice to the resurgence of the funk.
Brett was exposed to music early on, his family all exposing him to something different but it was funk that spoke to him. but it was funk music that spoke to him. “The thing I love about funk is it pretty much encompasses every style of music I dig. It has the R&B, it has the soul, it has the blues, it has the rock that we started. So many different styles of music can be used in it and still be funky.”
Music surrounded him even into adulthood through various means and gigs like hip hop dancer, DJ, and even a Buyer for Tower Records. Eventually Brett decided to make a concerted effort as a self-taught musician after frequently being asked to sing on songs he was producing. “I didn’t discover my voice so to speak or my ability to play certain instruments until I was almost 30.” That encouragement by others led him to explore being an artist, funk of course being his genre of choice. Being his authentic self is something Brett champions as an artist but more importantly as a label head.
“There’s no point in giving everybody what they already get,” he says. He is true to his beliefs. Sneer Records hosts a mixed bag of artists that are not only from all walks of life but all over the world. None of his artists are local to Atlanta, they all live in another state or country but thanks to the internet, Brett was able to assemble talent that all felt the same as he did. “I’ve rarely had to edit a release that we’ve put out because these people come to me with their purest and what they feel is real, and it usually comes through strongly to the point where I’m like, let’s run with it.”
California’s DADPNTS is a hip hop producer and is half of the duo Modern Modern with Jineanne Coderre, another act on the label. This is just a small sample of musical styles Brett has gathered under one roof. The label motto is “We do what we want.” It’s fitting because Brett gives his artists the same free reign he applies to his own artistry in hopes that their music touches their audience properly. “Once they (his artists) see that people are digging them for who they really are, they feel so much more open with letting that (talent) out.”
For Brett that openness is important for where he’d like to see his Sneer Records in the future. With hopes to eventually release projects on vinyl and create compilation that pay tribute to all versions of funk, in the end Brett just wants Sneer Records to always give the people something different. “Music is timeless, man. Art is timeless. It’s always gonna be new to someone.” If you’re ready for something new, check out Brett Eclectic and his full roster of artists on their bandcamp page here.