INTERVIEW: Hip Hop Artist and Social Activist Marco Pave

VENTS: Hi Marco, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Marco Pavé: Thanks so much for having me! I have been amazing, dream chasing. I am enjoying every moment of this incredible journey.

VENTS: Can you tell us more about the story behind your track ¨Make It Out¨?

Marco Pavé: Absolutely. Well, first off I was born in Memphis, North Memphis to be exact. I grew up in a neighborhood stricken with poverty and inequality, a lot of my friends suffered from those daily realities. Music was my saving grace; it kept me out of trouble and also allowed me to grow up and have a purpose. Before I made it to high school I had 3 or 4 friends to either be killed or incarcerated. Those were friends that I was very close with. So this song is about my life growing up in North Memphis. I have survivors guilt about being one of the few kids from my neighborhood to be out pursuing my dreams and not being dead or working some dead end job that will never give you financial freedom. This song is about me recognizing the problems with our society but also recognizing that once you follow your dreams you can NEVER give up.

VENTS: Did any event in particular inspire the song?

Marco Pavé: Yes, there were many events that inspired this song. There was one event in particular that led me to chase after my dream relentlessly. I was in 10th grade: playing with a gun, seven spent bullets on the ground, one left in the chamber. It was my friend’s turn to pull, gun aimed at my face. Click. It jammed. In that moment I realized that I was here for a purpose way bigger that myself.

VENTS: The single comes off your new EP Perception – why name the EP after this track in particular?

Marco Pavé: The world is filled with perceptions. Perceptions of what a man is supposed to be. Of what a woman is suppose to do for her man. The list goes on. It is no different for me. Why I told people that I want to rap, people’s perception of me that I was lazy and didn’t want to get a “real” job. At the time I was creating this project I was a 22-year old black guy from North Memphis, Tennessee. When people here that, they don’t automatically think, educator, artists, activist, father, husband, etc. They go right to the negative perceptions, but, this project is to battle against those perceptions, and that’s how I got the name J

VENTS: How was the recording and writing process?

Marco Pavé: The writing process always comes first for me. Well, at least for the most part. I remember that I wrote my favorite song “Road Less Traveled” in the mountains of Arkansas when I was on a get-away with my wife. When I am writing any song, I always want to feel the emotions of what it is that I am writing about. I want to relive situations that hurt me, made me happy or what emotion that I am trying to express. I wrote a few of the songs on the EP in Los Angeles, “Make it Out” in particular. I work it in the studio while I was working with Ezi Cut from Denmark. I just sat and thought about how far I was from home and how blessed I was to be out in LA chasing my dream and creating a project. I also thought about all the people that didn’t make it from where I am from. And BOOM.

The recording process for this project was really fun and taxing. I had the opportunity to work with some Grammy nominated and Grammy Winning producers and sound engineers, so that made it all the better. When I go into the studio I am not trying to waste anyone’s time, or more importantly any money, so I make sure I know the songs well enough to go thorough them fully. It’s always great recording with someone who understands your delivery. When I miss up or say something weak, my engineers are like, Nope, do that over man.

VENT: As a social activist as well, how do you try to blend both your point of views and music?

Marco Pavé: It all ties together. I learned about inequality and racism in America before I was a legit rapper. I grew up in a neighborhood with many friends who grew up with friends who didn’t have food at night. All of these issues were all around me before I made my first record. As an Hip Hop artist, I have a responsibility to speak about these issues through my music. And that’s what I do.

VENT: On what particular topics did you focus on this record?

Marco Pavé: On this record, my particular focus is dream chasing no matter what people have to say about your dreams. Its about the perceptions that people are going top have of you when you decide to drop your regular life and pursue your goals. I tackle some issues of sexism on the track “Perception.” I tackle issues of racism and parental oppression on “Black Tux.” It’s really a medley of thoughts centralized around dreaming and the cost of it.

VENT: Any plans to hit the road?

Marco Pavé: YES, I most definitely have plans to hit the road! My EP is currently the #17 record in the country on the CMJ charts. With all these college stations playing my record I absolutely want to plan a college tour and visit these places and reach them. Beyond that I am going to be hitting the festival hotspots like SXSW, CMJ, A3C, etc.

VENT: What else is happening next in Marco Pavé´s world?

Marco Pavé: I have a lot coming up and going on in my world! There will be more college lectures in spring of 2016. I will be dropping more music videos and new music. There are plans for a reality show with a new cable channel, I will be starting the writing and recording process for my album in 2016 as well. I have a lot on my plate and I am ready to enjoy it all. I want to thank yall for having me!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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