“I have been doing a lot of internet promo and you have to get creative in order to get people to pay attention … I used my baby picture as my album cover (America’s Next Top Chef) and people are still talking about the image since my baby picture was edited in such a way that I had tattoos …”
Check out the interview with Merkavelli exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Merkavelli: I have been reciting music all of my life. My uncle penned my first rap when I was about 9 and I started writing soon after. When I was 13, my childhood friends and I were in the process of signing to New Orleans based record label Smoked Outt Records which was founded by Derrick “Lil Derrick” Williams who is Brian “Baby” William’s nephew.
We recorded “Grenades and Glocks” which was featured on the album Done Did It which had features from Lil Wayne, Bird Man, Turk, Young Buck, and others. The label eventually folded after the untimely death and pending legal troubles of other executives of the label. In essence I have writing and recording music most of my life.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I have been doing a lot of internet promo and you have to get creative in order to get people to pay attention. I recently ordered some stickers that are garnering a lot of attention. I used my baby picture as my album cover (America’s Next Top Chef) and people are still talking about the image since my baby picture was edited in such a way that I had tattoos and I was advertising my clothing line on the apron that I was wearing.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge in the music industry today is that the market is so over saturated that some people refuse to even give your music a chance. The best way I know to overcome this is consistently dropping quality music. I released 4 projects this past year.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The Nashville music scene is budding right now. What I like is that there are more artists working together which is great in my eyes. The only thing that I dislike is the shortage of places for locals to perform. I would like to see more opportunities for independent artists to actually showcase their talents.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
The future of music is in streaming. With services like Tidal, Spotify, and Pandora why buy an album when you can stream it through your favorite service? The only way for artists to stay relevant in this forever changing environment is to stay current.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Keep chasing your dreams. Keep striving for excellence.
What inspires you to write your next song?
It depends. Sometimes it is a situation that may be weighing heavy on my heart, other times the beat is solely responsible.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
I usually write before I go to the studio but lately I have been making more of my music in a spontaneous manner and I have been liking the results.
What do you think makes a great song?
A great beat, a chorus that can drive that beat, and some relevant lyrics that make sense are my ingredients but ultimately the ear is the final judge.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official website is www.MerkavelliMusic.com