Marc E. Bassy has found his footing in this music game once and for all. After over a decade in the industry, the singer, songwriter, and overall entertainer has separated from his major label and launched his own independent imprint, NEW GOLD MEDAL. The Bay Area native describes himself as “a dreamer who’s trying to play music that heals the world and myself.”
The singer-songwriter-turned label owner exploded on the scene with his single, “You & Me,” featuring his good friend G-Eazy, who’s music video currently hails at over 27M views and counting. His one-of-a-kind voice soothes audiences all across the world, while touching on relatable topics stemming from love, lust, and all the in between.
Now more than ever, Marc is a team member above all else, sharing the spotlight on his indie label with manager Fess, Count, and Big Pony. Pulling up to Marc’s residence in West Hollywood, the “You & Me” singer reflects on how long he’s been entrenched in the fabric of the city of Angels (something he doesn’t mind at all). In addition, he explains his two most recent singles, “Save Me,” and “Die Hard,” which can be found on his forthcoming album this summer.
You say you haven’t obtained your dream, what are your dreams?
I’m constantly trying to improve and make whatever project I’m working on better than the one prior. That’s a never-ending battle. More recently into growing a business with people I care about, creating something that sustains people I care about (and myself). I’m also a little bit of a demon, I have a dark side that’s pretty strong. The older I get, I realize that too.
What’s the demon?
I had kind of a traumatic adolescence. I don’t really grow up all of the way ever, and don’t know if I’m ever going to. This is my house and it almost looks like an adult lives here — but something always holds you back.
Holds you back from what?
Just being settled, becoming married and being a family man. I could do that at this point. Even though I’m a touring musician — I’m on tour with Jon Bellion right now, who has his wife on tour. They have a dog. It’s nice, I appreciate it. But it’s not quite for me yet.
Do you have a girlfriend?
I have no girlfriend. I did for a while but not anymore. I’m a free spirit you could say.
Talk about your recent split with your major label.
I was with Universal/Republic for a few solid years. It got to a point where they didn’t really want to support me the way I wanted to be supported. They’re the kind of label that’s very radio-driven, very focused on one single at a time. They’re not gonna put too much fuel in the fire unless there’s a spark that’s already been created. I had success early on there but it was diminishing. It was an amicable break up.
Like you fulfilled your contract?
I like to say I had the option but in reality, it was their option. They wanted to keep me. They could have paid me what was agreed upon already, but they didn’t wanna support an entire album for me. They wanted to support a single, but I wanted a bigger commitment. Honestly we live in a new world now.
Let’s talk about NEW GOLD MEDAL. What inspired you to start this?
We have a lot of plans for NEW GOLD MEDAL, big aspirations for what it could become. We gave my actual team a name, a goal, and a dream. Took on a lot more responsibility which is also fun. You get to a certain point where it gets fun to maneuver through rollouts, plan stuff, do your best and see where the chips fall. It’s fulfilling especially for me because I enjoy the art of business as much as I enjoy the art of music. NEW GOLD MEDAL is the future. Right now, it’s all hands on deck for my album. The top of the year when I go back out maybe on my European tour, we’ll start to look at other artists.
Is it completely independent or do you have a joint venture?
We’re in partnership with Sony Orchard. They’ve been really good so far, but I don’t rely on them for anything other than making sure my music’s distributed through every DSP imaginable. Everything they bring to the table in terms of promotion and marketing is a bonus.
How difficult or easy was it to launch?
My position in my company is to sing, point, inspire, and go, so I have the easiest job. My partner, Fess—it’s probably difficult for him. He works really hard, so does everyone in this house. I’m not scared of shit like this. I’m not afraid of failing.
What does music do for you?
It used to be more visceral, like, “I’m fucking sad, I’m gonna lay on the ground, listen to Otis Redding and fucking weep.” Now it’s a little more subtle what it brings to my life, but I love watching the arch of music. I love being a critic, I love being a fan. I do both equally. I get to live in my own world.
What’s the significance in the name?
It’s this Chinese restaurant in Oakland that has a really dope logo. I’m one of those people that’ll turn a name into what it means to me. All of my names come from my partner Count Bassy, including my own Marc E. Bassy moniker. NEW GOLD MEDAL symbolizes a new standard for being meaningful in the music industry.
Which artists are you most excited for currently?
Dominic Fike. He just put out a song that sounds like me, it’s fucked up. It’s so good it pisses me off. I go through different phases. I’m into nerdy music like Cory Henry. I like Bay Area rap music always.
Which artists are you bumping from the Bay?
Obviously I bump all my contemporary: P-Lo, G-Eazy, all that. We listen to Nef and Peezy a lot on the road because my photographer is theirs also.
What movie inspired “Save Me”?
There’s this scene at the end of Mo’ Better Blues with Denzel Washington — I relate to this character a lot. He’s a trumpet player, has two girlfriends and they know about each other. He’s your standard issue musical player guy. He loves music, practices and works on his music all day. These two women he dates equally are both his girlfriend. He tells them, “this is my life, I play my trumpet from this time to this time, I play at this club.” He gets into a fight because his best friend is in a gambling bet. He’s trying to defend his best friend and gets his lip sliced in half, so he can’t play trumpet anymore. He goes crazy.
At the end — this is some bullshit I would do too — he goes to the girl whose more down-to-earth, real girl who’s played by Spike Lee’s sister. He’s telling her this story. It’s this real dramatic scene, she’s like “you just want me to save your life.” He falls on his knees: “I just want you to save me.” I’ve done that before.
What is the reality being immersed in the music industry?
It’s so tough. If you want to be great at everything, you have to make time slow down so you can pay attention and be detail-oriented. You have to really schedule out your life to the minute. It’s really hard to do. When I’m really on my game, a week takes forever to go by. If I’m like “I’m gonna wake up and meditate for 20 minutes, go to the gym, come back rehearse my singing. I’ma play piano, then I’ma read my emails.” If I write out from 10am to 3am my entire day, that week’s a tough week. That takes a lot of mental energy. That means I can’t be fucked up.
What movie inspired “Die Hard”?
We’re in the studio and Die Hard was on, the Bruce Willis action movie from the 80’s. I was on my quitting-a-couple-drugs-hype, so it was “old habits die hard.” People give up on each other too early in a lot of relationships, they find out later like “damn if I would’ve stayed with that person, I’d still have to deal with…” The hook says, “you still stay by me, we can find the right timing. Yeah I’m going to give you my heart, and let the old habits die hard.” If we stick through all of this, it’ll work out just by our dedication to each other.
What can we expect from your first independent album this summer?
Personally, it’s my best one. I was up at Ty Dolla $ign‘s house the other night, he’s my favorite artist. I heard his album, I’d say mine is equal. He’s a better musician than me, there’s certain aspects of his that are better, but there’s certain aspects of mine that are.
I think people sleep on me lyrically. Every song of mine is a story, paints a picture. It’s hard, I’m never corny in my opinion. I’m not saying I’m better than Ty, he’s my favorite modern artist. But we worked really hard on this album. When I listen to great artists and their albums, we’re finally getting to the point where the mixes are pretty close. Maybe I’m not singing all these crazy runs and backups, I can’t even do that. But for who I am, I’m getting it down on wax the best way I can. Especially in sonic quality, that’s something I struggled with early on, because I was making music in little trap studios while I was trying to make R&B music.
You have to have your vocals properly produced, mixed, recorded to complete in that space. If you’re trying to make trap music, it doesn’t fucking matter. If the 808 is good enough, if the person on the beat knows how to engineer the 808s, that’s all you need. Then you can do whatever you want. If you’re great, then you’re great.
Yes, I have Mozzy, 070shake, Blackbear, and Tory Lanez.
Best memory on tour with Jon Bellion.
Me and Jon don’t talk. We live in two separate worlds on tour. We’re so different lifestyle and music-wise, but there has been some really good shows. He packs the fucking places out! It’s been a huge blessing. I fucking love Jon. He even plays a Christian contemporary song in his set and promotes positive Christian values. My culture is a lot of sex, drugs, rock and roll type shit that he probably doesn’t approve of, but he really lets me live. The best moments are shit I’ve done with the guys. We did the hell out of Miami and Vegas, all of those nights are really fun.