He sits alone in an incense-fumed room surrounded by nothing but his motivations. Wu-Tang posters, Griselda memorabilia, and a tee that advocates for all the ignorant ears to wash away their sins with boom-baptisms. The soft rotation of the vinyl record spinning and the faint hum coming from the Audio Technicas hugging his ears is the only thing that provides a clue as to what greatness is being formulated. But this isn’t a description from the 90s, this is contemporary. This is a day in the life of twenty-year-old Charlottesville producer Markeis. I sat with him to learn more about the producer before his September 9th release of A Day In A Life Vol. 3.
B: Seeing how far you’ve come, what would Markeis now say to Markeis in 2019?
M: Stay in your lane, don’t focus on anyone else’s success except your own. It’s a marathon, not a race. You’ll eventually find your way.
B: How did you know this was YOUR way?
M: This is the one thing that I personally feel I’m extremely good at. Sure, I played basketball and other things throughout High School but I wasn’t a stand-out person. With this, I just knew. So I kept at it consistently.
B: Being as young as you are, many of your peers were influenced by the Metro Boomins, the Pi’erre Bournes. Why don’t you have the contemporary sound that others have?
M: I didn’t grow up on that. I came up on the Tribes, the RZAs, and MF DOOM. I also want to do it the way the people before me did it - hence the vinyl player, the pad, etc.
B: How did Daringer play as an influence on your craft?
M: In my sophomore year of high school I started listening to Griselda. In my opinion, they’re this generation’s Wu-tang as far as having their own style and just making a huge impact. I listened to everything they had out and most of it was produced by Daringer. I’d never heard anything like his style before, the way he EQs, the way he chops. He’s the reason I produce.
B: I recently listened to a previous project of yours, Albemarle High, and felt immersed in just this sort of sonic storytelling. Was that done on purpose? Or am I reaching?
M: Nah, I just push out whatever comes out. I let the artists decide all that.
B: What local artists are you impressed with?
M: I’m not aware of too many, I don’t like too much, I’m super tough to impress. Locally, though: Big Hunt, Bakari, Ro$$etti, and a couple of Richmond artists. On the professional level - JID, the Griselda boys, it’s a long list.
B: What effect has Soulato Sound had on your production?
M: Just being a part of the team was a dream come true. I had loved Thadd’s (Thadd Ross) production prior to being introduced, but I knew he was nice. I can also say, knowing where I was at that time, and being mentored by Soulto cut a lot of time down in my progression. If I wasn’t a part of it I’d still be producing but it wouldn’t be at the rate it is now. Even as far as business, I wouldn’t even have a BMI for royalties if it wasn’t for Thadd looking out for me in that area of the music industry.
B: How would you want to leave your mark on the game?
M: Be original and true to yourself. That dream you had as a child, never let that go. I’d also just love to be the first out of Charlottesville to do what I do. To be able to come back here and build a studio for the community to go to consistently is a dream of mine.
B: What else can we expect from you?
M: A lot of beats, a lot. I”m still reaching out to artists to work with, but within the next year, it’s gonna get even crazier with more tapes and more projects.
Follow Markeis on Instagram: @itsmarkeis
Follow Soulato Sound on Instagram: @soulatosound
Written by: Bakarii Kennedy @therealbakari_ on Instagram
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