Interview with Mark 1 by Michael Vaughn
Part 1:Emphatik, the first half.
Mark 1, tell us the meaning behind the name.
Okay, thereís not really a long story behind it, I used to perform under another name, but when I began to serve God thru Hip-Hop 100% I felt the old name embraced various aspects that I no longer embraced. I hadnít chosen another performance name, but my real name is Mark, Iíd thrown on the 1 at the end of it, and it stuck. Tha Vocillest followed later as another alias.
What was your first track you ever spit on ( for those who don't know the rap dialect it means = Rapped on.)
Oh man, I have a lot of old tapes, haha, I was recording and doing shows since I was about 16, so thereís some unreleased stuff from back then. First song ever was probably a track called Bomb Threat (played I know) bsp;
Did it sound like barney and friends or the song of the year?
Actually somewhere in between. The lyrics werenít to bad, I actually look back and thought they were good considering how little I knew about structuring a song back then. My delivery and the beats were terrible though.
Who got you started ?
Hmm...no one really got me started, I guess I started listening to Hip-Hop back around 86, and it struck a chord with me, I started like most, karaoke style, spitting my favorite verses, started writing my own, and just doing the freestyle cyphas and whatnot. I was inspired by the cats that were doing stuff, then in 92 I heard PID, D-Boy, SFC and realized you could bless God through Hip-Hop, thatís where it turned from fun, into something I really wanted to do.
What type of pen and paper do you use, to write your spills on ?
I have a few little notebooks, a3 size, I need to get a bigger book though, you canít fit one whole verse on those little pagesÖman, I always lose pens too, or chew them into oblivion when Iím thinking, so Iíll use any pen I can find that works.
Do you find it hard as a mc being from Australia.
Not as hard as people might think. We have a good small tight scene down here. I guess the onslaught of the internet has made it possible to build relationships worldwide that never used to exist..so its not too bad, it gives me a different perspective/sound/influence to a lot of cats out, so itís a positive, plus I love the country. Love it.
What do you love about your work ?
I love seeing an idea come to fruition, having a concept burning, getting it written down, and then recording it, listening to it, and hearing what was in your head. I love the fact that, God willing, the thoughts I have, can bless others, and that they can hopefully sew seeds for the kingdom.
Who are some of your inspirations ?
Oh wow..thatís a diverse list..My biggest inspiration is God, thru the Holy Spirit..truly, I have had songs like Spotless Crucifixion, that I couldnít sleep, and felt compelled to read the Word. I opened Matthew and Luke, and wrote that whole song start to finish in less than five minutes at 3 am . That was divine inspiration. I'm also inspired by my parents, my Mom and Dad have been a huge inspiration for me over the years..lots of other artists, the things Iíve been through, and seen friends go throughÖmusic of all forms. Hip-Hop, funk, soul, jazz, rock, blues..etc etc:
Tell us about this project your doing, who what and when?
Well right now Iím working on an album with DJ Flick, under the group name Emphatik. It will be really dope, Gods blessed the project from the get go. Itís a diverse album, some incredible DJ Flick instrumentals, with beats also by Ohmega Watts, Fab da Eclectic, DJ Flagrant, and more. Guest joining me to spit some wisdom include Listener of Deepspace5, Braille, Ohmega Watts, Sev Statik, Adeem and Luke Geraty..its coming along real nice. Thereíll be a lot of turntablism, and other elements incorporated on this album too. Iím also doing a few guest spots on albums that will be coming out soon.
What are some of your favorite artists ?
So manyÖMars ill, Listener, Sev, Acts29 right through to old Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, to Latyrix, to Company Flow, to BB King to Miles Davis, to the CommodoresÖI mean literally way to many to mention. Adeemís new project ďGlueĒ is the first thing in a long time to make me go WHOA! thoughÖ
Where do you find God putting your ministry in the years to come ?
Iím constantly amazed at the doors God opens for Flick and me..I donít try to get that far ahead of myself.. I figure I want to be walking hand in hand with God, not left behind, OR rushing ahead. Iíd would love to be in full time ministry, and it seems God is slowly leading me in that direction, but whether that be in Hip-Hop or some other way remains to be seen. Iím just trying to be open to wherever He leads , and ready to go.
Favorite scripture ?
Ephesians 5:19 constant inspiration, and of course John 3:16, I hope we as Christians never become complacent with the power of that scripture.
Best sermon ?
There have been many, I've been blessed to have had some great leadership in my life. Dudley Daniels, Rob Rufus, Tyrone Daniels, Fini de Gersigny, Steve Green and many more have preached sermons that have been revelations to me many times.
Any last words for us light headz ?
Umm..haha just try and walk with God, like I said..and stay close, the biggest deception the devil has is condemnation, remember that God loves you, if you fall get up and go to your Father, we all struggle, but never let that get between you and God. Never feel like you canít go to Him. Oh and peep the album haha !! Much love Peace and God bless.