Premiere: Gullymarc’s ‘Real One’ featuring Zarin Michael
We’ve been fans of neo-R&B singer Gullymarc and rapper Zarin Michael for years, so it’s a real pleasure to present the premiere of “Real One,” a track featuring both musicians. Although Gullymarc moved to Atlanta to further pursue his career in music, his connection to Kansas City remains strong. Check out the video below, as well as an email interview with the singer in which he gets real about his story.
Gullymarc: Even though Zarin and I have known each for a long time, our route to collaboration was … circuitous. We both attended Lincoln College Prep. I was a junior or senior and at the time, he was a freshman … so naturally, we really didn’t hang out. We had choir together. Sometimes we had mutual laughs and talked some shit but otherwise, we weren’t more than classmates. I graduated and went on to my full-ride at Langston University studying journalism. The more I studied though, the more I felt I was being distracted from my purpose (music). So, with the help of some mentors and local producers, I started traveling home on the weekends and attempted to record near the end of 2016.
I thought this may be my chance with Zarin. I dm’ed him and asked for his number. He gave it to me with no hesitation. I sent him the track. He sent the voice memo back with the verse in less than 24 hours. I was driving on 435 South when I got it and was so excited to play it. By the 4th bar I was literally screaming like wow this dude MURDERED IT. Way harder than I could have imagined. He pulled up to 825 Studios and cut the verse in maybe an hour and a half.
Who’s doing the artwork in the video?
There’s like, a whole crew present. What do they represent — the “valid and genuine at all times” people you’re wanting folks to be?
Kind of depends on how you want to interpret them. They could be that—real ones. But consider the single art. Their faces are scratched out, leaving only me and Zarin. At the end of the day…what if I’m saying is that…you can only count on yourself to do what’s best for you? *hits blunt* Or they could just add to the production value and aesthetic of the video lol. You tell me.
This is even more laid back and kinda dark, as opposed to the last two videos. Was there something which prompted the stylistic and visual change?
Um…yes. Life. Life happens. My artistry is still in its infancy stage. I’m finding my voice…or more likely finding a voice that’s marketable lol…but still true to me. As I grow and change, my sound will do the same, reflecting what I’m going through or how I’m feeling. I’m a multifaceted, multidimensional person…as we all are. And while that may make it hard for people to discern what kind of artist I am at this stage, I believe that good music…REAL music… speaks for itself. I always get unsolicited advice like I should drop this style of song, or work with this artist or do what this person has done or whatever to “take off.” With my artistry, I’ll do what I want, when I feel it is appropriate…and the only defense I will offer is that it’s the truth. It’s me. Why would you want anything else from me? So let me do me, folks, and please enjoy the records! Or don’t. That won’t stop me.
You’re now based in Atlanta, but obviously keeping a connection to KC — where do you go from here?
Who the hell knows? I’m just along for the ride. As doors open, I try to take advantage of opportunities and strategically advance my career but…when will the next door present itself? What’s on the other side? Couldn’t tell you.
It’s funny, though. When I was in KC, I was just another regular on the scene…nothing special. But once I moved to ATL and doors started opening for me here (major label writing sessions, tv appearances, acquiring Rick Ross and French Montana’s lawyer), the flood gates at home opened. When I left, I originally thought I was leaving that wide-eyed, amateur, born-in-the-middle-of-nowhere persona and associated stigmas behind, but it’s proved much more advantageous to embrace it.