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Marc E. Bassy lends his ecstasy-laced vocals to nine new tracks in his hot EP, “East Hollywood 2”.


If the opening track, “Good Morning”, is anything to go by, Marc E. Bassy’s new EP “East Hollywood 2” is a total encapsulation of the LA-based singer-songwriter's growth and ascendency. Setting him on a pedestal of gritty guitar strings and chest-pounding production, each track in “East Hollywood 2” is a seasoned effort in its own right: demonstrating Bassy’s kaleidoscopic range whilst delivering a paradox between symphonic and biting bars from his ecstasy-laced vocals. 

As the nine-track long playlist rolls through, Bassy offers up more and more of himself: from his family values in “Good Morning” to his own mental health tendencies in “Thinking Too Much”. Possibly one of his most authentic bodies of work to date, the EP lays Bassy’s deepest contemplations out in front of his fans — allowing us to soak in their poignant messages with an R&B-concentrated chaser. 

Cutting back from his signature teeth-gnashing instrumentals in “How Dare I” and “Lost In Translation”, the artist incorporates an almost ethereal approach that instantly sets the mind afloat, while a chorus of violin strings in “Miss Thang” swells with an all-encompassing feeling that moves the soul and ignites the spirit — a feeling evoked from all of Bassy’s tenderly-harnessed beats. 

To celebrate the release, Rollacoaster spoke with the LA-based singer-songwriter and label head to find out about the inspiration behind the EP, the man behind the music and what is next for him…

Hey Marc! How are you doing? Where am I speaking to you from? 

Hello, I'm currently on the Queen Mary two passenger ship, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from NY to UK.

Let's start right at the very beginning… What is your earliest memory of music? 

My earliest memory of music is being with my mom at a B52ms concert I must have been three years old. All I remember is her and her BF dancing on bleacher seat, and so many people clapping together. 

And when did you start to discover your own sound? What did that process look like? 

My own sound is constantly being discovered. I guess as a listener you can decide what it is but for me, I'm really just constantly trying to follow my intuition and block out the categorisation as much as I can. 

Who are your biggest inspirations? Both in life and within your craft?

Henry Miller, Tupac Shakur, people I work with, my mom, etc. Real heroes I see every day working the hardest they can to make everyday life go. I'm just a working man like everybody else, I have a job and a craft and I do my best to emulate anyone who keeps their circle right and money on their mind. 

Congratulations on the release of your new EP, “East Hollywood 2”! Can you talk me through the title? 

“EH2” was me re-planting my roots — just going back to an RnB-leaning style I first started with. East Hollywood is where I lived when I turned into me. 

And you’ve just unveiled the music video for “Thinking Too Much”, what inspired the intimate perspective seen within the visual? Was the finished product what you initially visualised? 

I love this video because it's a visual representation of my real love I'd say, to date at least. Me and someone lovely but somehow it can't work out, the longing is always there but it doesn't materialise. Almost as if I wanted it that way. 

It has been stated that this is almost a closing chapter for your musical evolution, would you mind expanding on that? 

Did I state that? Lol, I don't know. I guess in a way it is — I’m on to something new now. It was motivation to get me up in a different kind of way. 

Looking at the EP as a whole, it feels incredibly vulnerable, especially with tracks like “Good Morning”, it really gives us a glimpse into your personal values as a family person. Do you feel more or less comfortable when you are the subject of your narratives? 

I feel comfortable, maybe too comfortable at times. It's funny though when you're the artist, you control the narrative as you tell it. So perhaps I'm not as vulnerable as I seem. 

In some of the tracks you dance between chest-pounding rap and almost euphoric sung verses — why did you opt for this style? Was there a specific reason? 

That's just what I do, I can't help it. 

Naturally, it feels like “East Hollywood 2” is an ode to Los Angeles. What is it about Los Angeles that draws you in? How does it compare to where you were born in Bay Area? 

I'm from the bay but LA has been my home for a decade. The differences are endless but in terms of my life and my industry LA is the beating heart, the belly of the beast. I don't think I'm ready to write my ode to SF quite yet.

What do you hope people can take away from your latest effort? Was there anything, in particular, you were hoping to convey/impart? 

I just hope they listen. I think I outdo myself on every project — I think I'm one of the best out there. I'm just waiting for everyone to catch up with me. I don't really care to be modest anymore, I used to downplay myself. I'm over that now — it didn't do anything but make other people downplay me. I'm not an ego-maniac, I'm never going to not give credit where it's due. Eventually, though you have to claim your spot, it took me forever but I think I'm just learning that now. 

If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing? 

I'd be a lawyer. 

And finally, what’s next for you? What do the next few years look like for you in your mind? 

I'm starting a new project, and headed to Paris to finish it. 

Words by Ella West

Photography by Sariel Elkaim

Spring/Summer 2020

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