Toronto’s Mez Mariyé talks his debut EP, Blessings & Transitions
Toronto, ON – Arising to meet initial widespread notice on HICU’s first soundtape, Toronto artist Mez Mariyé has been silently working away on his debut EP for most of 2016. “Money, Art, Zen” was one of the top stream-grossing tracks on the tape, if not one of the most well-received. While many were left wondering what he would do next, he quickly emerged on Soundcloud to offer a variety of single releases that hinted at an approaching project release.
Pre-released singles from the project like “One of Them” and “3 Years Later” wove perspectives of reflection with hidden undertones of sadness and realistic revelations. Mostly, they hinted that the EP, Blessings & Transitions would be full of strong hooks, smooth bars, solid production, and melodic tracks. The final release of the project this past month, and backed by his label Aqua Sound Entertainment, placed a debut project in the hands of his fans (and a wealth of great music). Now that we have the project to fully dissect, we had to catch up with the artist to break down his efforts and ask some of the questions we’ve been compiling this past year. Catch our conversation with Mez Mariyé below, and stream the debut project.
Mez Mariyé: Q&A
HipHopCanada: Thanks for talking with us about the new project, and congratulations on the release. This is something that’s been in the works for you for some time. How are you feeling now that it’s out?
Mez Mariyé: Thank you, I feel great! I’m really happy to see it out there and available for everyone to enjoy.
HipHopCanada: You released a few of the tracks of Blessings & Transitions progressively over the last year. What was the creative process like, and did you have a clear idea of what you wanted the finished product to sound like?
Mez Mariyé: Creativity is a learning process that shapes itself over time as you sculpt it and interact with it. This is where NS my producer comes in – he defines the music and final productions / mixing as I define the lyrics and melodic flow through numerous revisions. As a singer, NS and I search for what tones to use and what is both appropriate for the track as well as my voice. There is a lot of experimenting going on through the whole process. We took our time with the production process as we always do. We spend weeks working on tracks like “3 Years Later” & “Golden Water” shaping and sculpting the sound till we felt that we had reached the peak of it’s artistic expression.
HipHopCanada: The “Intro” really sets a more serious and reflective tone for the project, and “3 Years Later” jumps right into some of those feelings. What are some of the things that you were going through this year that you wanted to convey to your fans?
Mez Mariyé: “3 Years Later” was a song I wrote for my cousin who passed away at the age of nineteen. This July would make it 4 years since his passing. All my feelings were brought to light on that song. I felt like people could relate to this. Many people lose someone close to them and are forced to examine their beliefs or religious constructs as they endure the pain and ask themselves why did this happened. Why would God do this to me/us.
HipHopCanada: “One of Them” was one of your earlier releases this year. What was the inspiration for that track, and what mindset were you in when you wrote it?
Mez Mariyé: Came to the studio, NS had that beat up and I started to freestyle some hooks on it. “I am not one of them” came naturally. So I wrote the lyrics based on that idea. It tells a story about people who follow others or traditions or patterns of behavior without questioning them as why they do what they do – in a Pavlovian context. And “I am not one of them”. LOL – Particularly in the music business – If you are not engaging in current music trends, you don’t fit in and financial success eludes you. NS and I buck this idea and are always looking to create art that represent my true feelings and real situations.
HipHopCanada: What’s something that new listeners might not know, and that you wanted to communicate with Blessings & Transitions?
Mez Mariyé: This EP is a testament to the fact that I continuously seek to evolve, work hard creating great tracks, try to be unique while resisting being sucked into following the music trend of the day.
HipHopCanada: Being from Toronto, how have your surroundings and location influenced your music, if at all?
Mez Mariyé: I love my city and being from the east end. I was raised here so that’s forever my home. I can’t say it has influenced me much musically. My musical influences come from the international scene. By creative artists like Stromae, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, The Beatles, Sade, Bob Marley and Damian Marley.
HipHopCanada: How much of what we hear is created by you, and what kind of support did you have during the process?
Mez Mariyé: NS is my lead producer, mentor, visionary, amazing musician and great friend. We create everything together out of our studio – we are traditional in our creative approach and work more like a band. I started working with NS when I was 16. When everyone else was following the hype and giving me shade, he took me under his wing and taught me alot. He trained me to become a better singer, better writer, better everything really. NS, and his team, Christian Caldeira, Sia Rad, and my label, Aqua Sound Entertainment have been the pillar of my career.
HipHopCanada: What was the most fulfilling track for you to create, and why does it hold that value for you?
Mez Mariyé: I can honestly say that all of my tracks give me joy. If I had to pick, I would say that “3 Years Later” & “Golden Water” are at the top of my list for this project because of the background story that inspired these songs.
HipHopCanada: “Golden Water” is really special in terms of lyrical content, and you open with a really strong hook. You speak about your mother on this song. What kind of role has she played in your life?
Mez Mariyé: My mother is everything to me, she’s a huge supporter of mine and words can’t even explain how much she means to me. She gave up everything for her kids. Her story is so inspiring that I had to write about it on the “750 Miles” interlude. My mother is the reason why I chase my passion, why I get up every morning and grind for it. She’ll go above and beyond for her kids no matter what. So I’m going all out for her now and forever.
HipHopCanada: What can we expect to see in the near future, and are visuals in the cards?
Mez Mariyé: This year I’ll be putting out 3 more projects with accompanying videos for sure. Look out – more great stuff coming your way.
Catch a clip of behind the scenes footage of Mez below.
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