We’ve connected with one of Indianapolis’s dopest artists, Marsiell, for an exclusive interview to discuss his newly released EP “STRIDES episode 1” and much more.
We featured one of the standout tracks on the EP, “THC & Halle Berry”, earlier and will be posting our review of the EP very soon. In the meantime, after reading our Q&A with Marsiell, stream the EP on Spotify or Soundcloud and follow him on IG or Twitter. Hit Marsiell in the DM and tell him how DOPE he is!
Congratulations for putting together such a dope and concise EP; there wasn't a weak link on it. Describe your creative process for developing the songs and who contributed the beats?
Thank you, man.....I began writing this tape in 2017... On a flight to the west coast, the first song I wrote was "Divide". “Divide” was kind of a spur of the moment and at the same time, well thought out record. I analyzed the Trump situation and spilled it out. Now “STRIDES” wasn't thought into existence just yet but I knew that I had an idea in mind with what I wanted to do to become more sonically pleasing in 2018 as well as what I could do grow and show growth as an artist. I wanted to do something different, something that the moment you heard it you recognized it, which could lead you to the remaining records.
The plan with “STRIDES” was this...I wanted to release an EP with six songs (one less than the GOOD Music albums this summer). That's six songs, 20 minutes, check. This tape I approached differently, I wanted to collect all of the beats first before I began writing the next songs. I didn't buy bulk, I knew what I wanted when I heard and knew where I wanted the songs to be placed. I bought six records from producers that have grown a liking to my audio art. Me and my engineer locked in from May 2018 - August 2018 and recorded multiple demos to each of the six tracks and listened to them to every setting to ensure quality and to ensure replay value. For example, I spent 50% of August listening to the records in the car, in airpods, Bluetooth speakers, while working out, running, playing basketball, phone speakers, in front of crowds, in front of friends, and even at different times of the day; “THC & Halle Berry” sounds way better once consumed with THC (given) at 3 am on a Saturday night (really I'm not joking, people have told me this).
In conclusion, each letter in the word "STRIDES" is represented in this tape as it is a statement that I am making to show the strides that I have made. S-Summa Cum Laude (heads up) (head of your class), T-THC and Halle Berry (compared the beauty and benefits of cannabis (blunt) to the beauty and benefits/career of a woman I have always loved .......Halle Berry. R-Riders Galore (I wrote this with the mindset of me driving a car trying to explain the game and the life to a younger man who sees the world as a threat and not a blessing. I didn't want to preach, just speak. (hence of the just the two of us) sample...It's just me and him. There's no outside influence, its just Marsiell telling you... I- Indiana 09 interlude...This is Marsiell speaking about the 16-year-old him (when he first started rapping) This is essentially the beginning of STRIDES”, which is why it is an interlude. D-Divide...and finally E-Enticing.
Why not just be you? Yes, that life that is flashed on your timeline by popular Atlanta rappers is of course enticing...Of course, drug dealing and becoming rich, gangbanging, etc....its enticing because of how Hollywood has portrayed it to be enticing.
Were there songs you recorded during those months that did not make the final cut of the EP? If so, can we expect to ever hear them?
Yes of course; but they weren't recorded with the mindset of putting them on this EP. Those songs will be released when the time is right.
Do you have a video on the way for one or several of the songs on the EP?
The “Enticing” video should be released in January at the top of the year. “Riders Galore” will begin shooting on New Year's Eve and I will have roll out for both of these videos as I will be more than happy to send them to you.
Tell us about the music scene in Indianapolis for Hip-Hop and RnB/Soul artists such as yourself. Would you say that the locals there are supportive of the talent in the city?
The biggest name out of Indianapolis on the national scene is "Mark Battles". Very talented artist but he hasn't brought that national attention back to the city as we are still an unwoken beast just sitting south of Chicago. Some of the names on the Indianapolis hip-hop scene that have gained slightly less than Mark Battles are Drayco McCoy, Omar Apollo, Sirius Blvck, Mula KKhan, EJAZZ, FLACO, Poindexter, Skypp and Mathiaus Young. Some of those artists are in LA now or still trying to hustle and bustle like the rest of us. The city has a vast and vivid rap scene. The city also has a hip-hop festival titled "CHREECE" every August.
What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment musically in 2018?
My biggest accomplishment music wise in 2018 will hands down have to be the complete and final product that you all have heard as “STRIDES”. Can't tell how many countless nights I've had writing, planning, and creating this tape and to see it not only out, but doing well is nothing short of a serious calling from God telling me that I can now be taken seriously and Indianapolis should be taken seriously.
None of us are perfect so what one thing would you say that you need to improve about yourself as an artist?
Lol, I can definitely work on actually get back to calling my friends and family regular again, especially my mother. "Somebody else's opinion doesn't have to become your reality", I definitely blocked out all noise creating this tape.
In 2019 I would like to improve on this as well as improve on writing. No matter who you are, you can be better, because if you're not going to get better, you're going to remain stagnant and/or lose your place in line, and I refuse to let that happen. I want to bring people together for a great cause. Humans are awesome man.