How did you get your initial start in music?
I remember quite clearly, I was 8 years old when a 16 years old friend of mine was rapping the lyrics to Sisquo’s “Unleash the Dragon” and I was so intrigued by this. From then on, I instantly became attracted to the art of being able to memorise and sing songs. I began my journey by constantly repeating all the songs I liked and buying various lyric books to learn the lyrics to my favourite songs.
Aside from rapping I was especially attracted to my church’s choir and only fully decided to become part of it when a girl I had a crush on was involved. Joining the choir taught me how to sing in a range of notes and gave me the first ears I now have for instrument and voice harmonisation.
What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?
Becoming the best version of me I can possibly be. This makes so much sense to me because I believe once you are your true self, it will be much harder for others to plagiarize your work without sounding unoriginal. I want to set a distinct mark for who Mike Maro is and make it very easy for people who feel the music to understand why they feel that way.
Asides this, my ultimate aim is to be seen as more than a rapper. I try my best to tell stories and say things that are relevant to the world we live in today. In this way I can be a part of helping shape the communities we live in and be a source of hope to my listeners.
Lastly, I want to make music that is timeless and be remembered as someone who overcame circumstances surrounding him and leave a mark that will be untouched through out history.
How long have you been writing your own music?
I started writing when I was 11 years old and I’m 23 now, so that is almost 13 years.
Who are your top three influences and why?
This is a really hard question because I have so many influences but Tupac Shakur would have to be one of them. This is because of what he stood for as an artist and how potent his work is till today. He spoke about things we still can’t fail to mention today and I admire his work ethic and what he was able to accomplish in a matter of 6 years.
Jay Z is a huge influence to me because of how consistent he has been in his career. I respect the fact that he has given kids a vision to see for their selves that no matter what an A&R or Record Label Exec says to you (in terms of not making it), that doesn’t matter because your ambition is greater. The fact that he has given so much back to his community and being able to not get shadowed by his music alone is something I will always be moved by.
Another one of my influences has to be Drake. I can remember how music was before Drake and that sentence alone is why I respect his influence. The fact that I now know that being your original self is the only right way in this business is because of people like Drake. He was able to move the world simply by putting out what’s real to him out there.
Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?
I actually wrote the lyrics for the song in 2013 and they stuck with me since then so I felt the need to put that into the world. Also, the first part of it is called 0-100, a song originally performed by Drake. You can find a link to this on my soundcloud.
Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?
I am currently living in Bromley. I am quite new here so am still exploring the scene. However, I tend to branch out to East Croydon, Hoodoos venue in particular. I like that spot because I get to watch live music from different genres such as rock, folk, jazz etc. as well as be a part of the performing artists there.
Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?
From the people I have had the chance to work with or be around (From Nottingham) – I’ll recommend Mr Virgo who is a DJ and produces bassline beats. He has just dropped an EP titled “Bits”.
A really cool rapper to listen to is Tey Chaplin – you can find his project “Die Hard” on soundcloud.
Also another dope MC is Snowy from Nottingham.
Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.
I am currently using my YouTube channel and Soundcloud as my major outlets for the music I am making. You can also stay updated on various projects I am working on by following my social media pages.