Seattle-based rapper Maribased1 is bringing a fresh sound to the west coast, with pop and rock-infused production and a whole new take on “chilled-out” vibes. Hailing from the North West, he grew up in the rain and the snow—not a common theme for your average hip-hop artist. Now, he’s ready to drop his first full-length, following the release of his debut mixtape, Mariotto: Volume 1. Check out the promotional singles for Mariotto2 below:
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mari recently to give One West readers the inside scoop on “Bouncin,” “Score’n,” and the full project, set to be released in 2020:
- Congrats on your recent success, let’s get right to it. What was your creative process like for ‘Marriotto 2’?
Appreciate it fam! For Mariotto2 my creative process was to go with a rock/pop type of sound, but still keeping it original street music. What I mean by that is, I wanted some of my songs to sound like I’m a rockstar and have some rock elements in it, combining it with an original style called “The Northern Flow.” For example, on my song “Score’n” there’s electric guitar screeches and solos throughout the whole thing, with an electrifying feel. I even intertwined some of that style into other tracks on the album. To me, it makes the songs more sensational. This album reminds me of Lil Wayne’s album, Rebirth—for the simple fact that he was able to take live instruments, good beats, and create what I call rock/pop—but still original at the same time.
- I like that. Okay, so, when you’re preparing for a release, do you record multiple tracks and then narrow it down to a tracklist? Or do you focus on a specific number of songs?
I usually focus on a specific number of songs, simply depending on what kind of project I’m working on. For example, if I’m working on an album, then I’ma set a tracklist goal and start creating the best songs possible; but if I’m just working on a mixtape or singles, I usually just go with the flow and then choose what’s next.
- That’s awesome, can’t wait for the rest of that project. Do you have a release date?
Mariotto2 is set to be released in 2020.
- I noticed that your stage name was partial homage to Lil B. How did he inspire you and your sound?
Lil B inspired me in all kinda different ways. He showed me and the rest of the world that, just by being yourself, you can do anything you want and how you want it. And that’s where some of my sound and creative thinking comes from. The fact that Lil B has opened doors in the rap game to be able to literally say whatever on a track and people still rock with it. Don’t get me wrong, though—some people are biased, but that’s people’s personal opinions.
- Alright, and on that note, who else has inspired you? Can you give us a Top 5 MCs list?
Besides my parents, family, and friends… Some other artists that inspired me would be: Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, The Temptations, and T. Pain. That’s just to name a few. Top Five MC list… Lil Wayne, JAY-Z, Ice Cube, 2Pac, and Biggie.
- Now, we also know that you’re a proud Seattle Native; a region known for their impact on rock ‘n’ roll with the introduction of grunge and a ton of highly influential bands. I was just curious if you listen to any rock—do you have a Top Five favorite bands?
Yeah, I listen to rock. I like it, It’s different. I love how bands be playing them instruments and rockin’ out shows. Top Five favorite rock bands would be: Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Beatles, Guns N Roses, and Green Day.
- That’s a solid list. Let’s get back to hip-hop, though. Your hardcore listeners will recall that you’ve won a plethora of awards and been recognized for your work as an upcoming artist. Can you tell us what your favorite award or experience has been so far?
My favorite award is the plaque I got from my label, BJ&J ENTERTAINMENT, at the 2018 Seattle Sound Music Awards; for one million views on my song “Rippin n Runnin.”
- What’s your next goal, in terms of accolades?
My next goal is to achieve a gold or platinum plaque and to start getting recognized even more for my hard work and who I am as an artist. And in 2020 I’m coming full speed, applying all pressure! All gas, no brakes! Maribased1 is immortal!
- Beautiful, I love it. Alright, so you’ve toured with the likes of Blueface and Lil Mosey, but do you have any plans for upcoming shows or perhaps a tour of your own?
As of right now, I’ll be performing at the Seattle Sounds Music Awards show on November 27th, 2019. In 2020, the dope music festival and a northwest tour throughout my region; colleges and arenas, plus more future shows to be announced.
- I also wanted to ask you about the term you coined for this new sound coming out of your area: The Northern Flow. Where did it come from and what does it mean to you?
“Northern Flow” came from my pops, Mr. Benjamin, in 2008. It was mainly his style of reality rap when my dad first created the term—but, now, since I’m the next generation, I took the term and added my own style and twist to it. So, it’s my version of reality rap with an updated style of music. The Northern Flow means Seattle music is real. I live, eat, breathe, and shit Seattle music, and it would be a sin for the world to go unexposed to what Seattle has to offer the music industry; whether independent or on major level.
- Oh, absolutely, I can’t wait to see where it goes.I also like all the snowboarding imagery in your recent artwork. It’s a fresh take on the culture, in my opinion. Does that come from your personal experiences in the Northwest?
The snowboard theme comes from one of my childhood TV shows, called Rocket Power. In the show, they did a lot of outdoor sports. So, I chose the snowboarding theme because I thought it was the dopest look. Then, I had an artist illustrate the character to look like me but have the cartoon features. And that’s where the album name comes from. Paying homage to the show and the main character: Otto Rocket. Hence, Mariotto.
- Oh! Okay, I get it now. Yeah, I remember Rocket Power. That was one of my favorites too. Now, before we wrap it up here, where can One West readers find you online? Hit us with your socials and all streaming platforms:
Everybody can find me on all social media: @maribased1 and @MrBenjamin2008. Also, all streaming platforms, such as: Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube, and everywhere else. Seattle music is real! Best believe! God is good to us all.