New York Vs. The World!
“This is a high-quality film, right?” If you’re familiar with that quote, then there’s a high chance you’re in tune with the synthesizing producer of MarcusBasquiat. After building up his craft to be one of the many stapled sounds from some of your favorite stars – Marcus has set in stone a journey worth more than diamonds & gold for himself. The dungeon-barring sounds he creates are one to easily get lost into with the dark-toned melodies to compliment his production for artists to create irresistible tracks leading to superstardom for Marcus. It goes without question that this producer is here for the long run as he’s already made a major impact on the underground scene. Only time will tell if MarcusBasquiat becomes a household name working with way more elite artists industry-wide. I recently had the opportunity to dig deep into the creation of such a talented producer such as himself, where he got his name from, what made him want to become a producer, his least favorite thing about producing, the connections he’s made with Lucki and Levi Carter, how he founds his sound & more. Check out the conversation below!
Jay Danza: Give us inside look into the history of you producing. Why did you start & how did you start?
MarcusBasquiat: When I first started making music, I didn’t have shit else to do. I was in school and had some good friends, but they kind of went a different path, so I ended up by myself. I’m the type of person that when I’m interested in something, I dive deep into it. When Toronto music started popping off around that time, I was just researching and listening to their music. I was learning everything about producers like Wondagurl, Daxz, Frank Dukes, and hella others that were making it happen over there. It just inspired me to pick it up myself. The scene was just impressive to me.
Jay Danza: Where did the name MarcusBasquiat come from?
MarcusBasquiat: Basquiat was one of the first artists I really appreciated. I know a lot of people can relate to that. Before I learned about Ralph Steadman or Francis Bacon, there was Basquiat. I fw artists because they really live & breathe this shit. You can tell they don’t function on anyone else’s expectations but their own. It’s genuine, and I can’t imagine living any other way.
Jay Danza: When did you realize you could really start taking producing seriously?
MarcusBasquiat: I feel like I always took producing seriously as I always put as much energy as I could into it. Mentally, I’m really bad at multitasking, and I try to live in a small world, so when I decide to do anything, it’s probably going to get 99% of my time. I’ve been that way since a kid. I was skipping classes just making beats all day, studying melodies and patterns, just brainstorming ideas. If I can’t devote myself to something, I’d rather just not do it.
Jay Danza: Where did you get your infamous beat tag “this is a high quality film, right?” from?
MarcusBasquiat: Everyone has to go watch The Radiant Child documentary about Basquiat. There’s an interview in it from one of his friends where he says that line in the very beginning, and it just stuck out to me. The audio kind of pauses for a second before he says it, so it feels important. I needed a tag that didn’t have my name in it but still represented me. Quality over quantity.
Jay Danza: Your production is truly one of a kind, how were you able to find your sound so quickly?
MarcusBasquiat: I didn’t start releasing songs or sending out beats for like my first 2 years because I knew I had to put the hours in. I was sending remixes of popular songs to all the OG Soundcloud pages like GOLD and Finesse World for them to post, and I wouldn’t even promote it cause I just wanted to see the feedback and criticism. I’d just be quiet about it and see what people had to say. Once I got to a position I was comfortable in, I already had the tools & knowledge, so it was just about taking the right opportunity and capitalizing on it.
Jay Danza: What’s your least favorite thing about being a producer?
MarcusBasquiat: Naturally, as a producer, you kind of take the backseat role to an artist. It’s a blessing and a curse cause it fits my personality, but a lot of people are going to try to take advantage of that dynamic. If you’re easy to step on, people are going to step on you. That’s part of the reason why I haven’t worked with too many artists. I just didn’t see myself being in that backseat for 1 or 2 songs, and then it’s onto the next. I really care about this shit, so I’m only really interested in doing meaningful things. The music scene’s like fast fashion, so it’s tough, but I got faith.
Jay Danza: You’ve worked with a few top tier artists such as Lucki & Levi Carter, how did those collaborations come about & could we expect more in the future?
MarcusBasquiat: It’s crazy how perfect everything’s worked for me. At the time, I had one placement with Terrance Escobar and hadn’t sent beats to that many people. I was watching a Lucki interview with Pigeons & Planes, where he announced his next project would be titled Better Days. I remember turning to my girl at the time and telling her, “I was going to get on that project.” From that day, I just started working every day trying to find a medium between our sounds. I found his email and sent him some beats. “4everybody” was in that first pack of beats. I had this tracker app on my Gmail that would tell me when people open your emails, and he was just opening and reopening them every couple of days for weeks. I remember being so frustrated talking to my homie Eat about it, and I told him I feel like one day I’m going to wake up, and he’s just going to dm me “yo”. The next morning I woke up to that dm.
It’s funny. I first met Levi when I had just started making beats. My mans and I drove down to Virginia Beach to check out this new streetwear shop. When we walked in, they were playing one of his songs. I remember walking in like “aww shit y’all got that Levi playing.” One of the owners tells me that they’re homies and asked if I wanted to talk to him. He Facetimes Levi and the dude tells him I make beats. Levi tells me to send the dude my beats, and he’ll filter them to Levi. I never sent any beats, but we ended up linking like 2 years later. I flew to LA, and we just kicked it. I was only supposed to stay for 4 days, but he booked me a flight the day before I was supposed to leave for like a week later so we could cook up more. Since then we’ve really been on some brother shit. 100% genuine guy, and I’m thankful to be locked in with someone like him. We’re 1 of a kind.
Jay Danza: What/Who do you gain inspiration from?
MarcusBasquiat: I never really go into music knowing where the inspiration’s coming from, but when I look back couple months later, I definitely see it. It just ends up being a representation of that stage in my life. I don’t try to make melancholy beats on purpose or try to make a hopeful melody or scattered drums, I just gotta go through it, and it comes out.
Jay Danza: Any artist you’d like to work with?
MarcusBasquiat: Legends and potential legends
Jay Danza: What’s the last song you listened to?
MarcusBasquiat: I put this Prodigy verse over a beat I’ve been listening to heavily.
Jay Danza: What’s something you want your fans to know about you that they can’t get from your music?
MarcusBasquiat: If you listen to the music and follow how I move you’ll pick up everything you need to know. I don’t put it anywhere else. I leave it all there.
Check out MarcusBasquiat’ music below!