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"This is My Year" showcase at the A3C Festival: Artist Spotlight

"This is My Year" showcase at the A3C Festival: Artist Spotlight

This week, we’re highlighting three emerging hip-hop stars we can’t stop listening to: Mari, Mvstermind, and Kamau Kenyatte. All three artists were selected to perform live on the Squarespace Discovery Stage at A3C, a festival and conference that engages and inspires the artists, entrepreneurs, and creatives who shape hip-hop culture. In addition to owning their stage presence, these artists are also dominating digitally with their amazing websites. We spoke with each of them about what it means to be in hip-hop today and how they are using their Squarespace sites to take their careers to the next level.

 

 

 
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Mari

On the scene since 2015, Mari is powering full-speed ahead with a solid track list and incredible style. We love his fashion sense, which combines retro vibes with modern elements, almost as much as we love his music. His recent performance at Kinfolk 94 reached capacity when he hosted a free party to thank the fans who voted for him to perform at A3C last weekend. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about this inspiring artist and devoted New Yorker, his responses below will.

What inspired you to get into hip-hop and start your career?

When I was a junior in high school, I played sports but failed to be the star I wanted to be, I struggled romantically, and was broke as hell. I felt really trapped and stuck and struggled to be comfortable with myself. Hip-hop became my space for self expression. I created all genres of music throughout my college years, the main one being hip-hop. It took one song for me to notice that I was being heard and that my music was getting reactions out of people. If you can get the people talking about your art, you can make a career out of it.

What has been the biggest milestone / success for you in your career so far?

I consider my biggest milestone for my career is my A3C Send-Off Event, which was a thank-you event for my fans who helped me get to A3C. We were almost over capacity at one of the most popular venues in NYC, and I experienced the real meaning of teamwork and collaboration. The type of support I received for this event was very eye opening and made me even more grateful to have people who support me.

Why is it important to have a digital presence as a hip-hop artist in 2017?

Having a digital presence plays a tremendous role in an artist’s career. The best way to reach people worldwide is the internet. The more people you can make aware of your musical brand, the more loyal fans you can build, the higher your chances of success.

What advice would you give to young artists like yourself who want to make their start and build their personal brand and online community?

I would tell young artists to make sure their online presence matches who they are in real life. Be genuine. It’s okay to keep things simple if you’re ever stumped on how to make a striking presence.

Mari’s website is powered by the Horizon Squarespace template.

 

 
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Mvstermind

Mvstermind doesn’t rely on trends or mainstream hype to inform his musical creations. Instead, he prefers to let his artistic expression come directly from the soul. He’s been named a “Top Rising Star” by Complex, and recently played Loufest alongside some of the biggest names in hip-hop. When he sat down with us, the St. Louis native shared what all of this means to him and offered up some advice for the next generation of music makers.

What is your favorite part of making music?

It all starts with a feeling….

As [an] artist, I then translate that complex feeling into a digestible form for people to feel compelled to do an action. Whether that's to turn up, be socially aware, boost confidence, snatch you out of sadness, chase your dreams, escape reality, protest, make love, start your war, relax, etc. Nothing’s better than being able to provide music for the world’s appetite.

Tell us what it means to you to be a part of A3C’s “This Is My Year” showcase this year.

With the kinetic movement we’ve achieved I think it’s safe to say  this is my year.  I went from watching performers at A3C back when it was located at the Masquerade to navigating my way to A3C’s Discovery & Main Stage in a matter of years. Being a part of “This Is My Year” is humbling, yet still powerful. Feel like Muhammad Ali—trained my ass off for this moment, yet I know all that training would be nothing if the people and the stars above didn’t have my back like they obviously do.

What impression did you aim to make on your fans with your website?

“Issa professional artist.”

What do you want your fans to take away from listening to your music?

The gift of being present.

What advice would you give to young artists like yourself who want to make their start and build their personal brand and online community?

Keep perfecting your craft, and write your own story.

Once you do that, head over to www.squarespace.com and proceed to impress the press and fan base.

Mvstermind’s website is powered by the Horizon Squarespace template.

 

 
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Kamau Kenyatte

Gaining popularity across the country as one of the most buzz-worthy artists in hip-hop, Kamau Kenyatte is an artist to watch with a promising career ahead of him. Blending genres, styles, and sounds, he’s already amassed a diverse and loyal fanbase that extends well beyond his New York hometown. We were eager to pick his brain about his style choices, his online presence, and what’s next to come for this rising star.

What inspired you to get into hip-hop and start your career?

The fact that I want to live my life with no regrets.

Tell us what it means to you to be a part of A3C’s “This Is My Year” showcase this year.

It means a lot to me actually. It means recognition for my hard work and artistry. One of my favorite music festivals actually deemed me worthy to be in one of the biggest festivals in America, I'm highly honored!

What do you want your fans to take away from listening to your music?

The authenticity. That this is my real life, this is the pain, the rage, and the victories that I go through.

This is how it felt and this is what it sounds like.

How does the design of your website capture your personal style?

It really highlights some of the darkness of my style, of course. The theme of zombie was the color orange—I wanted to express myself through a color in this EP. So orange is the basic backdrop of my site; it's calm yet vibrant. We also mixed in some dark things that fit those spooky zombie vibes while still being stylized, current, and cool.

Kamau’s site is powered by a Squarespace template similar to Sonny.

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