Tunes of the Town: M.Craft
Mary Hamula | 11/13/13 8:38pm
(Photo Credits: Mea Stanford/The American Word)
Marlon Cirker is a a junior at American University living a double life. By day, he is an average college student. At night, he lives out his dream to become a hip hop artist through his alias, M.Craft. Cirker talks about his music, how he got started and where he sees himself and his music in the future.
Why did you pick your name? How did you start getting into music?
I kind of got the nickname Crafty in high school when I played basketball because I wasn’t super fast or athletic, but I was crafty. People just started calling me that a lot, so I took from that when I needed an artist name. I was always sort of immersed in music from a young age because my dad was a jazz musician, but I was always into rap music because that’s what the cool kids around me were listening to so I wanted to be like them. But then I found my own love for it, but I never took it seriously until freshman year of college.
What genre of music would you describe your style to be?
Hip hop; for me, it’s lyrics-based or emphasized. Some people would call it underground hip hop, I don’t know about that though. Hip hop that’s more in the vain of classical, lyrical ‘90s-type hip hop but with the twist of now and trying to find my own sound. It’s always about lyricism; I don’t aspire to be like most of the mainstream artists that you hear.
Do you write your own music?
Yeah, I write all of my own lyrics. I don’t produce my own beats, but all the writing is me.
Who or what would you say has the greatest influence on your musical style?
I could like throw out a lot of names, you know. But I think it would be my life, anything that I go through or see or hear. In terms of who, I could throw out a ton of names: J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem obviously for more reasons than one, Kid Cudi is a huge influence. Just kind of like a huge cumulation of all the people I’ve looked up to and all the things that I’ve experienced.
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What’s your favorite part about being a musician?
Just having a platform, however small, to express my thoughts and an outlet to vent and formulate everything that’s in my head and express it in a cohesive way. It’s really therapeutic for me.
What’s your least favorite part about being a musician?
Having to try to market myself. It’s really difficult; no one wants to be that guy that’s constantly on Facebook promoting themselves. I wish I could just put stuff out and everyone would hear it.
What is a typical practice like?
For me, when I am writing something I just do it over and over again. I’ll write a little bit and recite it a little bit and recite it over again until it comes. It’s almost like a muscle memory type of thing so that when I go to record things, it just comes.
Where is your favorite place to play in D.C.?
Well, I haven’t done any real shows here yet. I’ve performed at open mics here and around D.C. and Busboys and Poets is cool. I’m working on booking some shows around D.C. this semester.
What is the strangest venue or gig you have ever played?
Definitely in New York. I went to a famous poetry cafe in New York and we were going there to shoot part of my music video. And we ended up being there until two in the morning and some theme of the night was like “Black Women” so all these black women were going before me, and we were there forever. In the end it was good, but we were just there forever.
If you could play a show with any band or musician, who would it be?
I have a lot of names I’m tempted to say of artists I’m inspired to work with, but I think the coolest thing would be if I was doing a show with instrumentation and I could have my dad on the drums. It would be like coming full circle.
Where can people find you and your music on the internet?
My debut mixtape is at mcraft.bandcamp.com, and the rest of my music is at soundcloud.com/mcraftmusic. My Facebook and Twitter are good ways to keep up to date as well.
Is there anything else you would like to share (i.e. merchandise, tours, new releases)?
I’m really excited about some of the growth that’s starting to happen. I’m starting to record with some of the Audio Tech kids on campus. I’m starting to work on my second project and hopefully recording my second video in the next month or so.
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