Marc Griffin is Marc E. Bassy, a singer, songwriter, whose sound captures the evolution of an artist, owning his own style and making his own decisions in an industry that easily limits one’s creativity and direction.
Story By: Jasmine Sabagquit
Media Via: Marc E. Bassy, Audible Treats
Although Marc E. Bassy may appear to be under the radar, he’s made musical waves with many collaborations on his plate, alongside Pia Mia, TY Dolla $ign and fellow Bay artists, G-Eazy, Kehlani, Iamsu! and music producer, Nic Nac. He tells me, “Everyone from the Bay absorbs everyone’s style and the culture is a collective. Green Day, Tupac, Mac Dre. It’s more of a ‘friends culture.’ It’s really a family environment, and a celebration every time we all link up.”
Truth is, you might not hear Marc E. Bassy on the radio at the moment, but he possesses everything it takes to be a long-lasting, mainstream sound. Nothing fabricated, just truth in his authentic style, from his songwriting to his entrancing, soulful vocals, that talk about life, family, love, lust and everything in between.
His humble beginnings are rooted in the Bay Area, San Francisco and Mill Valley, to be exact. He tells me he has always been a writer, and wrote a lot of slam poetry as a teen. He had interest in Hip Hop music, but didn’t quite know just how to engage in it, saying there weren’t any white rappers and was somewhat self-conscious about cultural appropriation. He describes himself as “Soulful. Adventurous. Uncaterogizable.” And that is exactly what I get from him during our 30-minute conversation.
“Soulful. Adventurous. Uncaterogizable.”
He moved out to Los Angeles at 18, knowing that that was the place he needed to be to make his dreams a reality, and he pays tribute to that movement with his melodic, lyrical masterpieces “Only the Poets,” and “East Hollywood EP.” He tells me, “That’s (East Hollywood) where my music career started. I had just been through a lot of life changes and broke up with my band. I was by myself a lot and I had been reading a lot of poetry and really kinda spending time reading and writing.”
What was he reading? Writings from Charles Bukowski to be exact. A German-born, American poet who also just happened to reside in East Hollywood. Growing up listening to classic artists like Sly & the Family Stone, Donnie Hathaway, Sam Cooke, Four Tops, Delfonics, Motown and Philly Soul, it makes sense why his identity as an artist is banded to such a quality sound. Marc also tells me about the role 90s R&B plays in his music. “I grew up listening to that shit. It’s like second nature to me. I think a lot of younger artists, the ‘newest, newest.’ They like 90s R&B but they have to seek it out, like I had to seek out 70s soul. 90s R&B to me was when I was in middle school. I was there. I really listened to that music. It was the music you listened to at school dances. I always loved R&B. It was a subconscious influence.”
“I always loved R&B. It was a subconscious influence.”
Aside from the music, Marc tells me about his fashion sense. First impressions and appearance are always something to think about, especially when you’re in the public eye and on stage performing in front of thousands. His go-to is a a pair of nice, good jeans and a nice coat. Naked and Famous jeans to be exact, and a pair of boots, with a complementary timepiece to bring the outfit together. St. Laurent is his high fashion designer choice, telling me, “In the Bay and New York City, you get to really layer up with a peacoat and a leather jacket.” We couldn’t agree more.
We end our conversation on this, “It’s hard work to know what you like. A lot of people have these half-fake opinions but they don’t stand behind you. They listen to one song and have an opinion. You really have to read up on things to understand, so your opinion and voice can carry the weight. Your time is coming more and more.”
“In the Bay and New York City, you get to really layer up with a peacoat and a leather jacket.”
At the top of the new year he will hit the stage for G-Eazy’s “When It’s Dark Out” Tour. And from the looks and sounds of things, it looks as if Marc E. Bassy’s time is indeed coming.
Listen to the re-release of Marc E. Bassy’s, “East Hollywood EP,” out now.