You may not necessarily understand her hipster style, her unique sound that intermixes singing and rhyming or even her passion for love and positivity, but once you get it, you’ll be locked into this L.A.-based artist. Marz Lovejoy, born Marria Lovejoy, has created a rippling effect since appearing on Pac Div’s “Shine” back in April. VIBE Vixen caught up with the curly-haired emcee who hails from planet West Coast to talk about her modeling career, meeting rap legends and why she’d place her money on Lil Kim against Nicki Minaj any day. –Niki McGloster
I want to jump right into the music. Tell me a little about your background and how you began rhyming?
I was actually born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I was out there for two years. I was raised in San Diego. With the music, my father is a DJ and he’s had his own radio show since he was 14. Like, the whole quiet storm, R&B thing. And my mother played the steel drum, she’s a writer and artist, so I already grew up around [music]. Even my family is really big into music.
You already had a super creative background, so your love for music and art came natural to you.
Exactly. I just started off with poetry. I always loved listening to the radio. I was in my car seat, no joke, in the backseat telling my mom what radio stations I wanted to listen to. She’s be taken aback like is this little girl really demanding what radio station she wants to listen to, but my mom chose her battles and the radio was my domain.
Okay, so how did you go from a music lover to gaining the attention of Pac Div to do “Shine?”
I always had it inside of me, but for some reason I was shy about it. But definitely I’d say after I graduated high school. My mother moved us to Minneapolis, kind of just sprung it on me after I graduated. I got out there and I was bored, so I started making YouTube [videos], and that’s when I let people publicly hear me. You know, I did ciphers and my close friends or people at the parties I rapped at, they knew, but not everybody else knew. I did the YouTube [videos] and got feedback. Like from Pac Div, saw them and he direct messaged me on Twitter. I already knew who they were, of course, and he just asked me, ‘Would you be down to make something with us,’ and literally the next day, I went over and we vibed. I came over the following day and we recorded “Shine.” It was great because just getting hit up by somebody who I already listened to and liked. those are my brothers now. We definitely have a great relationship now. It was just the strength of love and being on the same page at the same time, and it was definitely a great experieince. I learned a lot from those cats.
And you’re singing on the track. Do you consider yourself a singer?
Yes, I’d say so. I’ve been taking singing lessons and piano lessons. I want to grow, I want to develop my voice more. I don’t think a lot of people know what they can do with their voices. You don’t have to be this amazing singer to get your feelings and your emotions out.
True. Kanye made it work for him [laughs]. Now, for the fans that haven’t copped the This Little Light Of Mine EP yet, what they can expect?
They can expect diversity. There’s a lot of young ladies have hit me up especially and they say it’s very relatable, so I’m glad I could make relatable music. There’s slow songs, there’s more rap songs, I’m singing on one song, specifically. So it’s definitely diverse and fun. Your mom can listen to it, your grandma, your uncles, it’s for everybody.
Now, you’ve got so many artists coming out of the West right now and grinding just like you are. How do you feel about West Coast hip-hop right now? Do you feel like the West Coast is back?
I don’t know if it ever left, it may have went into a little hiatus for a little bit [laughs]. But no, definitely, there’s some talented peers of my generation. I feel that the West Coast is very strong and not even just the West Coast. I grew up with a lot of the artists and it’s just good to see their personal growth. Just the youth right now in music all over the map is really dope. It’s great to see such young, talented artists out there doing what they want to do. Hip-Hop is always changing, and I don’t think that ‘s a bad thing. It’s always evolving and growing. Right now I just think it needs some more attention and some more love, but I think it’s about to get that. Like I said, myself and my peers are coming up and we’re grabbing a lot of people’s attention, so I think that whole movement is going to put more cushion and relevance and love under hip-hop like it used to have. I think it was going downhill for a little bit, but I see hip-hop holding on and maintaining and doing well. It definitely has transitioned into other genres. Rockstars wanna do hip-hop, the indie [groups], and all that is cool too. It’s making the music more interesting.
I agree. Hip-Hop is in that place where you can kind of anything with it. I know you’re an big fan of the early 90’s hip-hop, so how was it meeting and performing with DJ Quik, GZA and Raekwon?
Ah, man. It was unreal. My first show in New York, I opened for GZA, Raekwon was there, DJ Premier was there. There were so many legends. I mean, Raekwon came up to me after I did my set and told me I did a good job, that I killed it. That in itself was amazing. DJ Quik, I mean, that’s the uncle right there [laughs] as far as I’m concerned! He showed me so much love. It was just a really humbling experience to see people that I listened to and I grew up on. Even before I was born, they were rockin’ so that was great to be a part of that.
That’s incredible. Some people are still waiting for moments like that.
Yeah, it was dope.