Having worked for years to make a name for himself in the LA music scene, hip-hop artist Aaron Mazarati has come into his own. In addition to his three mixtapes and EPs, Mazarti has become CEO and publishing owner of his own company, Mazarati Music.
With the release of his upcoming album Black Tees x Blue Jeans, Mazarati is ready to showcase his most thorough work to date. Aaron took some time out of his schedule to discuss this, Mazarati Music, and what’s next.
It’s hard enough for most musicians to make an impact in the music industry, but you’re managing to do just that while at the same time running your own publishing company and label. What sort of challenges or benefits does this provide you?
Well when it comes to running the two companies, it’s definitely a lot of work. They finally just got off the ground after six months of paperwork and logistics, but now everything is properly in place. Put myself in the position to have complete control of my every move and have 100% control of my publishing, which a lot of artists get screwed on because they aren’t aware of how important publishing really is. It can be the difference between longevity or not. Massively crucial.
Which has been more difficult: breaking into the music industry or operating the label?
Breaking in, definitely. I’ve been 100% in the LA grind since 2011, and before that it was me stuck to my pen & paper since I was 14. So yeah, the grind has been a long journey, but finally, I got it. Once you find your sound, it all clicks. Stayed at it relentlessly until it started drawing in eyes and ears, and now here I am.
Your music was featured in the film “Who’s Driving Doug?” and, previously, in “Kissing Strangers.” What sort of effect does it have on an upcoming musician’s career to be featured like this?
Both those placements in those films gave me a 1up on my credibility as an artist. They act as votes of confidence and, to be honest, the checks weren’t bad. What a lot of artists don’t realize is that if you get your music in the hands of content creators like those of the film industry, there are tons of people that would much rather pay for the use of independent music in licensing/placement than the high priced major owned masters.
You’ve said you are influenced by East Coast hip hop as well as other outside influences like Nirvana and Eric Clapton. What was your biggest musical influence on your upcoming release, Black Tees x Blue Jeans?
The thing is I embody all of the music that influences me in every single lyric and production in all my music. I studied the hell out every single influencers catalog, and it reflects in my every musical expression. Just as art is artists. We find something fascinating and funnel it into our own new creation. This is exactly what I did with Black Tees x Blue Jeans, only, this time, I was heavily inspired by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, simply on the fact that they embody the state of California in everything that they do. Since the album was also largely influenced by the TV show Californication, it only makes sense that I would be lured in the direction of RHCP. Not to mention “Californication” also happens to be the title of one of their biggest platinum records.
Black Tees x Blue Jeans, is influenced by one of my favorite television characters in recent memory, Hank Moody of “Californication.” What was it that drew you to him when creating the album?
(laughs) So I’m a huge fan of Showtime’s show “Californication.” In it, the main character, Hank Moody, is an esteemed but erratic writer who frequently becomes embroiled in bizarre, borderline scandalous encounters in Los Angeles and in so many ways I am this. Also, Hank pretty much only wears black tee shirts and blue jeans throughout the 7 season series, and that’s about the only thing I drape myself in.
When one of my producers, Eddie Gomez and I sat down with my discussion of the Californication concept, I explained to him I wanted an extremely laid back feel to this record, based on the simple fact that Hank Moody of “Californication” is just that, laid back. So we started with all 50’s instruments and the bass riff just popped into my head out of nowhere, which ultimately you hear in the masterpiece single that is “Black Tees x Blue Jeans.”
This is your sixth release. Since 2011’s First Gear Mixtape, how have you grown as a musician?
Geeez I’ve grown tremendously in all aspects as an artist and musician over the course of the last five years. As you grow older, you start to set into yourself and your ways more comfortably. If you are consistent, persistent, and resilient, you eventually find your way to what you want. Plus, if you’re dedicated to perfecting your craft, you eventually find your true sound and position in where you want to be. This is exactly what I experienced, and I continue to surprise myself in my new creations every day. The development process is a much more beautiful thing when you grind ridiculously hard at it, and that is exactly what I did.
What is next for you?
On September 27th, we are scheduled to release my 3rd project/1st full-length LP under my newly established label, Mazarati Music Group -Black Tees x Blue Jeans. Immediately following the release we are set to hit the road for a West Coast College Tour, “LA LA LAnd Tour 2016”. Dates are being finalized right now and will be made public as soon as all the dates are locked in and official. Just released the “Black Tees x Blue Jeans” single and are all set to shoot my next single, “Just Did It.” in October. Also, my next album will be released in February of 2017. In the meantime, my publicist at MLC PR is going to make sure the whole world knows exactly who I am with numerous red carpet appearances and the endless exposure in every music media outlet one can think of.
And finally, our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us, so what brings out your inner nerd? What do you “nerd out” over?
(laughs) My inner nerd is the biggest dork ever. One that no one really knows about is that I love making collages of random print advertisings, postcards, brochures, etc….anything I find that catches my eye, I take/buy it, cut it out, and create images of my own with all these cut-outs. I use these images as ways to always avoid writer’s block (which I don’t truly believe in). Anytime I find myself at a momentary loss for writing material, I just create new images with all these cut-outs or look back at past art pieces I have created with these cut-out images. This makes it super simple to spark new concepts and ideas.
I don’t know if this classifies as “nerdy” but I still love to sit down just read and write poetry for hours on end. That’s something I have loved for years, and I swear I’ll never lose that, nor do I want to.
I’m a gadget whore. Ever since a little tike, I’ve been obsessed with the next best electronic product I can get my hands on. Back then there wasn’t near as many electronic devices, so a struggle I’m having right now is staying up with the newest and best thing.
Puzzles are another big one.