We at DCWS get a lot of requests by artists from all over the world to listen to their new projects and to review them. We hear average releases, as well as good ones, but when we come across great ones, we have to dig a little deeper and pick the brain of the respective artist. In this case, we connected with Velly Marsh, a talented Sacramento based rapper whose new release “Dark Matter”, is one of the dopest and complete Hip-Hop albums we’ve had the honor to listen to since we started DCWS.
In this exclusive interview with Velly Marsh, we discuss the “Dark Matter” album, find out what he looks for in the beats that he writes to, and learn more about why his hometown is sometimes left out of the conversation when people discuss California Hip-Hop.
After reading our Q&A with Velly Marsh, be sure to stream the “Dark Matter” album and connect with him on his social media so you’ll know when he’ll be dropping some more DOPE music!
We're huge fans of your new release "Dark Matter"; it's a great album. What motivated you to create it and what does the title "Dark Matter" signify?
I believe the motivation behind this project was misery honestly, using it as fuel to propel myself forward. When I started creating this album I was in the sunken place, but nobody ever knew because I didn't want to bring the negativity from my life into anyone else's, I didn't want to really express myself fully to my friends and family. To me, the title signifies the dark matter within myself and also the time period of my life where I was at rock bottom. It's everything I wish I could've expressed to people.
By listening to each song on the album, it's clear that you have a great ear for production. What do you look for in the instrumentals to you decide to write to?
Thank you, I think beat selection is an art itself so I appreciate that. When I'm looking for a beat, I'm just looking for something that will spring my thoughts forward. It's like my mind and the beat have to be in sync with each other. Sometimes I hear beats I really like but have no words to put on it no matter how much I try. I guess the instrumental has to inspire me in other words.
Tell us about your song "The Sith", which was handpicked by us from the album to feature on DCWS. Who produced it and what inspired you to write it? Are you a Star Wars fan?
I'm so intrigued that y'all chose "The Sith" because I almost left it off the album from doubting that people would like it, funny how the world works. The idea of this song stemmed from my general love of space and trying to pair that with the feel of the album, after brainstorming a bit the title was born! I'm a huge Star Wars fan so it didn't take long for my brain to find an appropriate title. The first beat on the song is produced by Dran Fresh, and the second half is by Taylor King. I actually had written full songs to each beat but found the subject matter was similar in nature, so I combined them and left off the weaker verses from both songs.
When most non-Californian music fans think of Cali Hip-Hop, they mention Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Why do you think that Sacramento is left out of the conversation about where some of the dopest music in California comes from?
That's a great question, in my opinion it's Sacramento's own fault. I think the listeners in Sacramento miss out on a ton of great shows from their local artist but attend all the major shows at our new Golden 1 Center (home of the Sacramento Kings). It's a very quiet city and people don't necessarily seek out the local scene. The radio stations here don't really showcase anyone unless they're getting recognition outside the city, so they're not seeking us out either. And lastly, the creators just have to do a better job bringing people to shows and investing in themselves to be seen by more people.
How has your degree in Audio Engineering in American River Community College helped you as an artist?
When I first started college, I literally had no idea what the process was to create music, like zero knowledge of what happens inside a music studio or the business of music. I had always written rhymes since I was a kid really, so the idea to rap was a clear cut choice for me but I didn't know what to do. American River College has a really good music program for engineering and they teach you all sorts of things outside of that as well: The business of music, live sound, how to play instruments, Foley, music theory, etc. I think it helped me to understand the jobs of the artist and engineer and what it's like for them to work together. It gave me the knowledge I need to build a home studio when I get the chance to. It's also helped me not go in a studio and look stupid lol. I didn't really attend the course to become an engineer, I just knew it was the first step in getting the information I needed, but later down the lines I would definitely consider engineering.