Check out our exclusive interview with Gark Mavigan.
I2G is here with Gark Mavigan, how’s it going?
Doing pretty swell. Actually just stepped out of the booth, so my voice is shot, but I’m feeling productive!
Tell me a little bit about how you got your start in music and who are some of your musical influences.
I began immersing myself in hip hop back in middle school. I wrote raps in my Language Arts notebook — mainly about food ’cause there was nothing to eat at my house — and then would go home after school and download hip hop tracks on my AOL free-trial dial-up.
I started with the classics: Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Ice T, LL Cool J, NWA, etc. and then slowly worked my way up to contemporary joints.
As far as infuences go, I’m all over the spectrum. In addition to the folks I just mentioned, 90s/2000s hip hop from both coasts, 90s alternative, 80s pop, old-school soul (love The 5th Dimension) and…shoot…I’ll even throw Enya in the mix.
You just recently dropped the visuals to Bad Combination, dope video. Tell me a little bit about the video.
Pretty much just mobbed out to Chinatown in SF ’cause I thought the aesthetic fit the vibe of the video (red lanterns, alleyways, etc.). Top Ramen and I go way back, so I definitely wanted to rep it hard in the video. I also got to curb-stomp a package of Top Ramen while wearing moccasins — that was pretty dope.
Do you have any upcoming albums getting ready to release?
I’m dropping an LP in the next couple of months (most likely September) called GOOD CHOICES. The project will be free to download, but if peeps choose to buy the album, I’ll donate 100% of the proceeds to a local non-profit in the Bay Area.
Wow that’s dope. Do you have any more upcoming videos?
Definitely going to release at least one video before or after GOOD CHOICES drops, but timing is TBD for now.
What are your current thoughts on the state of hip hop?
How much time we got? I mean, underground is where it’s at. There’s only a few cats I respect on the charts. I think hip hop is basically just background music right now; something suburban white kids throw on at a kickback that doesn’t require much thinking because the “emcee” is mumbling most of his/her words. If anything, the producers should be getting more love than ever since the average listener right now probably only hears the beat anyways.
What is currently playing on your playlist musically?
Currently have Tyler The Creator’s new project on rotation. Also been slapping Linkin Park for obvious reasons.
Do you have any shows or tour dates?
I’m gearing up for the National Poetry Slam in August that’ll be held in Denver (I do spoken word as well). Will probably do a few SoFar Sounds shows out there, too.
After returning from that trip, I’ll start to piece together some gigs to help promote my GOOD CHOICES project.
What is your website information?
You can connect with me (and sign up for my #GARKSQUAD email list!) at GarkMavigan.com
Appreciate the interview, any last words or shout outs?
Thanks for the time! Be on the lookout for GOOD CHOICES. I know artists are always saying their record is going to change the game or whatever — I don’t know about that, but I do know this project is going to make people put on the ol’ thinking cap.
Also, wanna give a shoutout to everyone supporting independent artists at a time when we’re needed more than ever.
And shouts to Roasted Garlic-flavored Triscuits for always coming through in the clutch.