Making MovesWednesday November 8, 2017 03:33 pm EST
The future is pretty bright for hip-hop artist, Mari. The Chicago native has been making a name for himself since 2014 with his debut EP Higher Edukation. His unique sound - meshing soulful synthetic beats and introspective rhymes has made him a breakout artist in the Midwest and across the East Coast. Mari released his follow up EP Living Colored in 2015 and was featured recently at Atlanta’s A3C music festival in October.
Mari’s personal style is just as inspiring as his music. From videos like “Birth of a City,” to his energetic stage performances - it is easy to see his modern take on soul, hip-hop, and black culture. To promote his brand, Mari and his manager needed a creative digital presence to engage and grow his audience. Using Squarespace and its easy-to-use Website Builder, the two created “Mari’ World” a stylized exploration into his music, videos and social interactions.
CL recently connected with Mari during the A3C festival to discuss his music, his style, and how using Squarespace helps him to promote his music and connect with his fans. You can find out more about Mari by visiting his website at www.mari.world. CL readers can save 10% off first Squarespace purchase by using code CREATIVELOAFING at www.squarespace.com.
What inspired you to get into hip-hop and start your career?
When I was a junior in high school I played sports, but failed to be the star I wanted to be, I struggled romantically, and was broke as hell. I felt really trapped and stuck and struggled to be comfortable with myself. Hip-Hop became my space for self-expression. I created all genres of music throughout my college years, the main one being hip-hop. It took one song for me to notice that I was being heard and that my music was getting reactions out of people. If you can get the people talking about your art, you can make a career out of it.
How would you describe your personal style? I call myself an old soul with brand new vibes. My signature pieces include a cut-off sleeveless button down or tank top, coupled with some slacks and sneakers, typically Converse All-Stars. I look up to Pharrell and how he blended fashion, music, and skateboarding into pop culture. I personally don’t skateboard, but I have to respect the cultural aspect of it and how it has influenced the youth.
What has been the biggest milestone / success for you in your career so far?
I consider my biggest milestone for my career is my A3C Send-Off Event, which was a thank-you event to my fans who helped me get to A3C. We were almost over capacity at one of the most popular venues in NYC, and I experienced the real meaning of teamwork and collaboration. The type of support I received for this event was very eye-opening and made me even more grateful to have people who support me.
Do you think it is important to have a digital presence as a hip-hop artist?
Having a digital presence plays a tremendous role in an artist’s career. The best way to reach people worldwide is the internet. The more people you can make aware of your musical brand, the more loyal fans you can build, the higher your chances of success.
You chose Squarespace to create your website, why?
I love the simplicity and ease of use for Squarespace. I love that I can simply market and monetize my art through their tools. The Apple of website design.
Has having a website had a positive impact on your career as a musician? If so, how?
Having a website has bolstered my career in the best ways possible. It’s an all-in-one stop for my brand. You can get to my Spotify, my merchandise, my music videos with the quickness.
What advice would you give to young artists like yourself who want to make their start and build their personal brand and online community?
I would tell young artists to make sure their online presence matches who they are in real life. Be genuine. It’s okay to keep things simple if you’re ever stumped on how to make a striking presence.
And finally, what do you want your fans to take away from your music?
I want the fans to take away a spectrum of emotions from my music. For them to have a holistic experience with my music.