For R&B artist Marc E. Bassy, things seem to be falling into place. Thanks to the release of his latest album “PMD,” shows on his first headlining tour are selling out.
“I am really excited to perform,” Bassy says. “This is my first headline tour with a solid production, in terms of lights, stage design and merch.”
The jaunt comes to Music Box on Tuesday, March 17. Tickets are still available.
“I want my fans to feel inspired and have fun,” Bassy says.
Otherwise known as Marc Griffin, Bassy was born and raised in San Francisco and worked his way up through the industry by working with artists like Kehlani, YG, Ty Dolla $ign, Charlie Puth and Hailee Steinfeld.
Bassy caught people’s attention with his platinum single with G-Eazy, “You & Me,” which garnered more than 300 million streams on Spotify. Through his two albums—“Gossip Columns” in 2017 and “PMD” in 2019—the artist found his sound and continues to explore it within his own record label: New Gold Medal.
Success wasn’t handed to him, though. “PMD”—short for postmodern depression—covers the struggle and pressure of fame and hustle in Los Angeles.
“I’ve been living in L.A. since I was 18, that’s 10-plus years,” he says. “There’s a lot of depression in L.A.—really everywhere, But in L.A. there’s a lot of pressure on people—pressure to be connected, to be social, to be popular, almost like middle school or high school.
“As an adult that constrains you and holds you back from being who you actually are, and not being authentic to yourself can make anyone depressed.”
He adds it’s easy to get sucked into the rut of trying to please people, especially in an industry that banks on being noticed.
Bassy isn’t depressed any longer. He focuses more on personal growth in music than pleasing others.
“I just realized I have a good life, my friends and I just make music,” he says. “I’m trying to be balanced.”
It’s still easy for him to get down on himself.
“I get upset because we work really hard, and I’m in L.A. struggling and comparing myself to others,” Bassy says. “I forget this tour is selling out mostly. My last headline tour we did 200 people. Despite ourselves, we continue to grow and our fans keep sticking with us.”
That says something. Bassy has explored genres and fans have remained loyal.
“We take them in all sorts of directions musically. We put out ‘Till I Get Found’ as a single, a straight Eurodance song, and we put out a reggae single in the beginning. If I were a fan of myself, I’d be like, ‘I love Bassy, but I don’t know what this guy is doing.’ They still stick with me so I’m grateful for that.”
This time around, Bassy leans toward rap and hip-hop, but there’s still evidence of the funky R&B his fans are used to. Now, he considers himself a stronger, more well-rounded artist.
“You could play this back to back with Drake, Kendrick (Lamar) and Taylor Swift,” Bassy says. “My music is loud and it slaps now. My songwriting has always been good, but my old stuff I never paid attention to mixing or mastering.”
To further explore, Bassy released a deluxe version of “PMD” on January 31, featuring four bonus tracks.
“I had other ideas for songs we hadn’t finished,” he explains. “My label and I wanted to give the fans a chance to go back and relisten to the album. Those songs were made with ‘PMD,’ but are almost like B-sides.”
His standout songs from the album are “Nascar,” “Aquemini,” “Same As” and “Where We’re From.”
“They’re really personal,” Bassy says. “There’s no filler lyrics in any of those songs. You couldn’t hear those stories anywhere else. I’m telling my personal, true-life stories. It’s not about what anyone else thinks.”
Down the road, “I want to do this tour, I want to get better at singing and I want to maintain a positive lifestyle on the road, which is difficult. Then when I come back, I want to make an album that’s worthy of a Grammy.”
Marc E. Bassy
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17
Music Box, 1337 India Street, Little Italy, $25