Author’s Note: I just got back from A3C a couple weeks and something I noticed and put together while I was out there, is the media rarely covers the incredible accomplishments & work women have been putting into hip-hop since its inception. I’ve always wanted to put forth more of an effort covering women and this is only the beginning of it.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Maria Myraine and truthfully it’s been a long time coming. Writer, Publicist, Model, Maria wears a number of different hats and dominates in her respective platforms while also helping perspective artists properly promote themselves. In this interview we talk about her diverse career and she drops some keys for the up and coming artists.
Dead End Hip Hop: For those who somehow still don’t know introduce us to Maria Myraine.
Maria Myraine: Maria Myraine is first, and foremost, a proud Filipina who came to this country at the age of 4. Everything that has transpired in my life – the good & bad – has molded me into the woman I am today. Resilient, passionate, and fiercely determined. I try to keep the definition of who I am as open ended as possible because I am constantly evolving but these three aforementioned traits will always be at the core.
DEHH: This question is honestly out of my own curiosity, but you wear a ton of different hats, how are you able to step into all these areas without losing your mind?
MM: To be perfectly honest, I have my moments, but I’m human. It happens. For the most part, however, I’ve learned the power of meditation and prayer. Gotta let out that “WOOOSAHH” when necessary (lol). In all seriousness though, being in the NOW and focusing on your breathing keeps me sane when my phone is blowing up, email notifications and to-do lists are never-ending.
DEHH: Out of everything you do what’s your favorite profession out of everything you do?
MM: Oh geesh. Don’t make me choose! haha. I love everything I do. I’m a firm believer in that saying “do what you love, love what do.” Because anything else is just a waste of time, energy and skill(s). But if I HAD to choose, I’d have to say my PR/Publicity work, and my work as a journalist because I’m able to help push the culture forward.
DEHH: One of the hats you wear is as a publicist, truthfully I feel a lot of artists don’t really know what a publicist is and I think every publicist does things a bit differently. So what is your definition of a publicist and what do you bring to the table as one?
MM: A publicist is an integral part of any artist, brand, or company’s marketing team. We are responsible for making sure you’re heard/seen, that your public image is up to par. We work to make sure you’re a presentable package with relevancy in your given field.
As a publicist, I believe I bring a diverse background of experiences in various communications and marketing fields. I’m giving you content marketing, SEO, social media, branding, and more in addition to public relations.
DEHH: For artists trying to genuinely break into hip-hop scene, what advice would you give an artist releasing their first project?
MM: Quality wins. Please make sure your project is mixed/mastered and that your cover art is presentable. And keep expectations real. You’re competing against a sh*t ton of artists and projects, brand yourself on social media. Network with bloggers in the industry – don’t just DM or tag them with your music links. Start building those relationships organically.
DEHH: I know one thing I deal with as a publicist are artist who aren’t ready to actually have a proper press campaign run for them. When artists approach you looking for help what should they have ready and how should they approach you?
MM: Have a budget! No, seriously. You’d be surprised how many artists waste my time with back-and-forth emails only to be like “Oh well, I don’t have the money right now. But I’ll keep this in mind.” Additionally, have quality music on deck – whether it’s unreleased tracks, freestyles, old tracks that didn’t get any press, and your essentials – bio (a publicist will help you re-write it if anything), updated music links, and social media sites. A press kit is helpful as well, but if you don’t have one yet, no worries. Your publicist will put one together for you and keep it up to date throughout your campaign. Just make sure you have knowledge of any blogs that have posted your music in the past, list of events/shows/venues you’ve performed, and updated photos.
DEHH: Unfortunately hip-hop in terms of media and coverage is a male-dominated industry, that said there are and have been women doing amazing things for hip-hop since its inception, what do we need to do to better serve and praise women in hip-hop?
MM: Respect us. Period.
We aren’t your inferiors. Understand that our path in this industry isn’t as easy as yours because sadly, “gender role” expectations and sexism still exist.
DEHH: So we know you’re a journalist, you model, you’re a publicist and much more, but rumor has it, you write poetry and may or may not be known to drop some bars every now and again. Are we ever going to hear a project from “My-My”?
MM: I love Hip Hop but I’m not going to front like I’m a rapper. Poetry and spoken word is my lane. I can’t lie though, I have written some bars/freestyles that I’ve been wanting to record. Maybe one daaaaay, for the culture, haha.
DEHH: Anything else before we get out of here? Let em know where they can find you and get in contact with you.
MM: One of my favorite teachers in high school once told me, “to live life is to love life, to love life is to live it.” So I wanna end on that note. Go for yours.