Marco Pavé is a native Memphian, gifted storyteller, and standout musician. Since 2012 when he released his first series of freestyle rap videos, he’s been performing and creating within the local hip hop scene and sharing his passion for Memphis, Black folks, and all things music. Get a peek at Pavé in the Q&A below.
1. Have you always loved music? How did you get started on your music career?
I have always loved music since I was a young child. Music was always a huge presence in my house growing up. My dad had this huge stereo setup in the house, the speakers were as tall as I was. My sisters and I used to have talent shows in the living room and improvise all types of songs. Music was also a way for me to communicate feelings that I could not verbalize. I started rapping with my peers at school around 3rd grade and that solidified my love for hip-hop.
I got started in my music career in 2010-2011. I was working at Kroger as a bagger and I took my checks from Kroger to pay for studio time. I recorded songs and started uploading them on YouTube and SoundCloud. I also would consider my early days performing as the start of my music career. The first time I performed for the whole school was in 6th grade, I rapped in front of my entire middle school student body. The rush that I got from that, led me to where I am today. However, things weren’t always easy in my pursuit. I had to battle so many naysayers and doubters, my own family at times. I come from a very rough environment and money wasn’t on my side. I was expected to get a job and not have my head in the clouds worrying with rapping. I had to battle the expectations of what I was supposed to be doing along with the expectations of what’s possible for a young black boy from North Memphis. I said all that to say that I got my true start when I stopped caring what others thought and took a risk and bet on myself. In 2013 with a 2-month-old son, I quit my job and said I would make my career work. I have not worked another job since.
2. Tell us about your latest release. What do you love about it?
My latest release is very exciting for me. The one thing that I want to say to any indie artists reading this is, love your catalog and cherish it. That mindset goes a long way. With that said, my latest release were two singles, “One Hunnid” and “Sell” both released on March 27th. The amazing thing about this release is that both songs were featured in the Netflix film, Uncorked. It was the perfect promotional tool for my music to be heard by a massive audience. The other great thing about this release is that it was my first release with my new distribution company, Empire, which is a top distribution company for indie artists and labels.
3. What musicians have inspired and informed your own music?
There are so many musicians that have inspired my music. I don’t have a list or a top five but the ones that immediately come to mind are artists like Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti, and many more. Artists like Jay-Z and Rick Ross have informed not only my music but my business acumen. Artists like that have shown me that it is very important to see yourself as a business.
4. Any upcoming goals or special projects we can look forward to?
I live my life and career based on goals. I try not to expand on the specifics to my goals publicly as a rule. But I can say that I am very excited about my distribution deal with Empire. That helps me establish my label, Radio Rahim Music more so one of my goals for the next year or two is to find other talent that I can sign and release on my label. As far as special projects, keep your attention on the programming that I am curating at Georgetown University. If you don’t know, I am the first ever hip-hop in residence at Georgetown. Another special project you should be looking forward to is my next music project which is coming in fall of 2020. My goal is to consistently release music for the first time in my career.
5. How do you feel about Memphis’ music legacy?
Memphis’ music legacy is unrivaled by any other city. Memphis is the birthplace of all popular music from blues to rock & roll to soul and r & b even to trap rap. The legacy of Memphis is so powerful, and I am blessed to be from Memphis to be able to add to that legacy in my own way. Without Memphis you don’t have a major group in hip-hop, like Wu-Tang. They sampled a bulk of their catalog from Stax Records. I could go on and on with more examples like that, but I think that gets at the jest of it.