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Meet Maribased1; The Seattle-Hailed Artist On The Rise

Words by Toks Asher Young November 5, 2022 • United States

US-based artist Jamari Smith, better known as “Maribased1,” is the next generation of Seattle music stars. Born and raised in West Seattle, he went to Chief Seattle High School and graduated from South Seattle Community College, majoring in culinary arts. Maribased1 is an award-winning independent rapper, songwriter, and producer. He thinks that Seattle music is authentic and a movement, not a game. Jamari has made groundbreaking achievements within the Seattle music scene. His current project, “Talk Talk Talk,” where he teamed up with one of the hottest artists out of Nigeria, Yung6ix, just hit over 1 million plays on AudioMack. The video has also garnered steady airplay on BET Jams, Soundcity, MTVBase, and national and international radio stations.

Our associate editor, Toks Asher Young, recently talked with him about his career achievements in the past months and his plans going forward. What is your real name? What’s the story behind MARIBASED1? My name is Jamari Smith; friends and family call me “Mari,” a short version of Jamari, but most people know me by my alias “Maribased1”.

You are from Seattle and one of the artists putting West Seattle on the map, not just in America but globally. How does it feel to be a trailblazer? It feels good that I can lead and represent Seattle as a whole and show the world that Seattle music is accurate and not a game; it’s a movement!

A lot of artists do not have a close relationship with their parents, but yours is different. Do you have a close working and personal relationship with your father? What’s the secret? The secret is to listen and learn. Pay attention, many that, soak up all the game, and assimilate as much knowledge as possible. And then apply all the pressure and execute! Have you collaborated with any African or Nigerian artists before Yung6ix? How did that collaboration happen? Can you give us a little background on that?

No, I haven’t; Yung6ix is the first Nigerian artist I ever worked with musically. That collaboration came about from my video director, ‘The VideoDopeDealer.’ He hooked me up with Yung6ix. We put the play in motion, and the rest was history. What’s your creating process for your songs? Have you written for other artists? My creation process for songs comes naturally. Depending on the style of music or beat is how I direct my sound and style. Yes, I have helped co-write for a few artists. Who are some of the artists you look up to and hope to collaborate with someday? An artist I look up to and hope to collaborate with someday is E-40. I admire and respect his grind, especially coming up and hustling as an independent artist, plus all his various adventures. And I also like how he stays relevant and adapts to the times and the next generation.

What’s your take on the global recognition of Afrobeats and Nigerian music? Was that part of your motivation to collaborate with Yung6ix? I love it! I love how Afrobeats has its own unique sound combined with the flair of the culture & and the next generation wave of music. It also influenced my collaboration with Yung6ix. African artists, especially Nigerians, are currently getting international attention and spotlight. Which other Nigerian or African artist would you like to work with, given the opportunity? I want to work with WizKid, Burna Boy, Davido, and anybody else that’s ready to work. I want to make good music and build connections.

As a rising young artist, what are some of the challenges you face daily? challenges do Honestly, I don’t face any challenges on a daily. But if I encounter any music-related challenge, sometimes it’s when I have writer’s block in the studio. That’s the most frustrating at times because you want the recording to go a certain way, but because of the block, you must do a couple of takes and retakes until you get it right. See also Singer Kechi Okwuchi, who accurately represent beauty, as she shares her story in a recent interview.

Your most recent release ‘Talk Talk Talk, ‘ just hit 1 million streams on Audiomack. How do you feel about that? What are you most thankful for? I feel incredibly blessed, and I thank everybody who streamed the record and who supported the record as well. Shout out to all the DJs from Africa to the United States who spin my record. And Shout out to all my fans and supporters; I love you all! I am most thankful for my parents, brother, sister, and grandparents because they molded me into the best! I am thankful for my video, Talk Talk Talk, which never airs on MTV and BETjams. It is being played on all the major radio stations from West Africa to the United States. I am thankful for the dopest team I have around me. Shout out to y’all! How do you and your Dad keep your professional relationship friction-free? And what advice do you have for other artists managed by a family member? We keep our relationship friction-free by just listening and communicating for the most part. Business is business. Plus, at the end of the day, I know my pop will neveryou all make me stray in the wrong direction; he’s always going to put me on the right path to be successful. But the best advice I can give anybody being managed by a family member is to listen at the end of the day, even if you don’t want to. Just soak up the pieces of advice and the lessons and use them to your advantage, especially if they’re valid.

With your growing fame and celebrity status, I am sure you have many people in your DMs and your face trying to get with you, especially the ladies. How do you cope with the attention? How do you keep yourself grounded?

Honestly, that stuff is usual to me at this point in my career. I am just focused on my music right now. So, I wake up and go to sleep peacefully every day. Who are your musical influences? You majored in culinary arts, and now you have a music career. How did that happen? Which artist(s), celebrities, or business people have influenced your career path?

My musical influence is my pop; he’s been making music since I was born. So, I have been privileged to have been around music all my life. Back in college, I was doing music on the side, but once I graduated, I decided to do music full-time and started dedicating my life to it.

Artists like Lil Wayne, E-40, Soulja Boy, Lil B, and T Pain influenced me sound-wise in my career. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? What advice do you have for other rising acts like yourself? In the next five years, I see myself on top of the rap game, especially where I come from. With Gold or Platinum records, and living my best life. The best advice I can give other rising acts is never to give up, never be a follower, lead by example, and do yourself.

Are you working on an EP? Are you going on tour any time soon? What should your fans expect from you in the coming months and beyond 2022? I just released my new song, ' Seattle Got That Fire, ‘ for the Seattle Seahawks and the 12s. You can find that on my YouTube channel (BJ&J Entertainment) My new album called ‘48 Ouncez‘ will be released in early 2023 with my smash hit ‘Talk Talk Talk’ featuring Yung6ix as the lead single. So be on the lookout for that. We are taking our ‘Seattle Music Is Real’ showcase on the road from city to city. Our next stop will be November 25, 2022, at the ‘Craft Brewer Of Boise’ in Boise, Idaho. Be on the lookout for more dates to come.

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