“Nobody wants to give you a helping hand, people want to talk down on you and try to destroy your success. A lot of people in Passaic can get jealous real quick, but I don’t really pay that no mind.”
Check out the interview with Marsalis Davis exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Marsalis Davis: To be real, I never really saw myself as being a music artist in my life. My mind was always fixated on being a psychologist, NBA player, and other academic things but balling wasn’t life for me anymore. I’ve always been a music junkie until I met my bro Kev back in high school.
We’d bang on the desk being two random ass dudes playing around free styling about numbers, how we hate math, and this pretty girl we used to see every time she came to tutoring. I guess you can say her “ass” played a part in our inspiration to make music too.
On a serious level, ever since then, Kev has been my lighting torch for starting my music career. Now I’m better than I was before and I’m rocking out shows with my team. I’ve been recruiting more reviews and building my fan base. I’ve been thankful and still blessed to have a friend like Kev and to push me and believe in me till this day.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
Lately I’ve transformed my logo into a sticker with my music links on them. I just go around posting them bad boys everywhere. I go out to networking conventions and showcases. The world is going to know who Marsalis Davis is.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The greatest challenge I would say for me is the trash rappers fucking it up for us great and talented artists that actually make music and actually have distinguished unique sounds. Everybody wants to make music. I actually get irritated because the lamest ones get found or picked up by labels. Then you never hear from them again.
How I overcome this obstacle is simple. I just keep doing what I’m best at, making great music. I make sure each track I put out is original, portrays who I am, and expresses my diversity. I keep turning up at shows and getting my name out there. My time is coming most definitely.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
Now that I live in North Carolina, being born and raised in Passaic, New Jersey, I can say the music scene is there but nobody isn’t trying to help nobody else. What I really like about my hometown’s music scene is that it shows that individuals are actually trying to make a name for the city because it’s still building up, Passaic is really slept on.
What I do hate with a passion is when you see others hate. Nobody wants to give you a helping hand, people want to talk down on you and try to destroy your success. A lot of people in Passaic can get jealous real quick, but I don’t really pay that no mind.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
By far one of the hardest questions to answer because at this point in time everything is Russian roulette. Music is universal and it is always changing. I do not know where it’s going to go. Will hip hop be different? Absolutely. Will rock be different? Absolutely. For all I know, someone is going to come out with a genre that consists of rap and a banjo; some off the wall shit.
Artists can be more a part of it by adapting to whatever new comes about. It doesn’t mean you have to necessarily switch your style, but just be aware of what’s going to come about in the future of music.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
My advice to other artists, musicians, painters, students, aliens, whatever you are, is keep doing what you are best at. Perfect your craft. Use negativity and criticism towards your work. Transform it into positive energy. Learn how to be straight forward and confident in yourself. Lastly, be comfortable being who you are as a person in this world. Always keep your ears, eyes, and mind open to everything. Never settle to do just one thing.
What inspires you to write your next song?
Who I am as individual and who I’m going to morph into in the future. The people around me, those I see who are dealing with internal and external complications within themselves. Women, my mother, drugs, suicide, depression, rain showers on a spring afternoon; stuff like that.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
I don’t really have steps. When I’m creating a new song I have this canvas in my head and I just start painting. If it’s a love song I add more pinks, reds, and yellows. When I’m feeling chill, it’s more royal blue strokes and sometimes purple.
What do you think makes a great song?
A typical great song is something that’s catchy and blasé, but to me a great song is something that expresses who you are. Making the listener feel like they’ve experienced your story first hand when they really haven’t.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official Website: www.marsalisdavis.bandcamp.com