“Be inspired by others, but be your own artist and make your own authentic art.”
Check out the interview with T- Mark exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
T- Mark: I grew up in a Christian household listening to Kirk Franklin, Cece and Bebe Winians, Fred Hammond, etc. I start rapping in church in the 90’s and it took me places, great places. I wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music like Biggie and Pac growing up, but I did anyway. I heard Ludacris’ Back for the First Time album and some screw tapes from the Houston rap scene and fell in love with hip hop.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
My biggest advice is stay true to who you really are as a person. Everyone is trying to be what they see others are and not being authentic to who they really are. Following the trends of the game and rapping like the next rapper is not the way. Be inspired by others, but be your own artist and make your own authentic art.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Not getting too anxious for success and being humble to God; to stay in my place as a beacon of hope for my city. There’s a lot people hurting and needing answers, and I’ve found my purpose in life. It is not to be just in the limelight but go back to the same place I grew up in and be an inspiration to my generation.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Exposure is always good. I use a number of sites where I can personally connect with my audience and others where you can get emails and keep your core fans that support you up on your new music, videos, interviews, and more. I also suggest artists find their niche and build on that. If don’t have a vision or direction, you will not go as far as you could go.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I live in the South where there’s narrow mind frame. Artists use each other to get where they wanna be, collabs are just fake love to get the next man’s likes, fans, and fame. There’s no real unity unless woman, money, food, and fame is involved. What I would say is we have the most talented artists out in the 985.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I see myself where the universe and God has me going. I’ve learned not to plan my life. I love music and I love people. I just hope that my life would have one of the two in it.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
Without my lord I wouldn’t be here at all. I was supposed to be dead before my teens, so I thank God for my life. Second my family, my momma, and pops. They have been through hell with me I and they taught me about God. Lastly, any artist who has impacted my life with real music from gospel to the blues to reggae are inspirations to me.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
It’s mixed feelings, a love and hate relationship. I try not to judge hip hop as a whole for where it’s going. I just search for authentic artists and I pull from the energy in music. I still can’t get into mumble rap, whisper rap for sure though.
Where can we contact you and find you online?