Words by Trevor Polk
Images by Various Artists

Marc E. Bassy might be seeing the lime light for the first time this year, but the man behind the brand — Marc Griffon — is no stranger to success. His journey started in 2006, when the Bay Area native made a leap of faith and drove down to Los Angeles to pursue music full-time. He attended open mic nights with his band, gained local fans in the most organic way possible, and eventually got signed to RCA records under the name 2AM Club (after a historic venue in San Francisco).

Mary Ft. Big Sean & Dev 2AM Club

The band dropped a series of radio hits, and attained mainstream coverage from a plethora of different outlets. The new wave pop music they were creating was refreshing, but they struggled to keep momentum going as things went on. Marc proved himself as an exceptional vocalist, but didn’t get the chance to show fans the full extent of his artistry. The band was dropped from the label in 2014, and Marc started his career as an independent artist under the pen name Marc E. Bassy.

Andy Griffith Marc E. Bassy

"You gotta give in at some point
to the things that you love to do."

- Marc E. Bassy | Only The Poets (2014)


Marc debuted his independence with the release of a full-length project titled Only The Poets, released in July 2014. We posted the project the day it was released, and I summed it up pretty well back then:

From the get-go he samples a speech from James Baldwin, saying that the artists and musicians and writers are the ones who really know the truth about us, the only ones who see past the fortune and greed, and the only ones who speak out against conformity and dare to pursue their passions. He’s managed to balance arrogance and personal ideology in a way that results in unique lyricism and quotable anthems.”
  1. 01 Only the Poets (prod. Count Bassy) Marc E. Bassy
  2. 02 Cigarettes (prod. Casper and B) Marc E. Bassy
  3. 03 Catch Myself (prod. Casper and B) Marc E. Bassy
  4. 04 Relapse (Ft. IAMSU) (prod. Mik Beat) Marc E. Bassy
  5. 05 Over the Water (prod. Count Bassy) Marc E. Bassy
  6. 06 Lock it Up Marc E. Bassy
  7. 07 Smoke to It (Ft. Skizzy Mars) Marc E. Bassy
  8. 08 American Dreamlife (prod. Count Bassy) Marc E. Bassy
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While the project wasn’t as flawlessly recorded, mixed, or mastered as the studio-quality work he was making with 2AM Club, the sound he achieved on Only The Poets is a testament to how the industry has changed. You don’t need a huge studio with expensive equipment to make beautiful, relatable music. You don’t need a record label’s backing to make it as an artist.

The independent route is full of obstacles, but confidence in himself and his music is what separated Marc from the rest, and perseverance is what pushed him to make it where he is today.

2015 was the year where things started to take off for Marc again. He started with the release of a project he wrote while living at his girlfriend’s house somewhere in the hills of Hollywood California, which was fittingly titled “The East Hollywood EP”.

After the EP hit Soundcloud, it was clearly a huge leap in his career, but more so than he may have thought. The project was gaining a ton of momentum, and labels started to notice. While I’m a huge supporter of independent musicians, there’s certain things that

only labels can do, so when an A&R rep comes at you with a great deal, you take it.

  1. 01 Some Things Never Change Marc E. Bassy

So Marc signed to Republic Records in December of 2015, and re-released his East Hollywood EP on iTunes, Apple Music, & Spotify. The project had several singles that made chart appearances, but at the forefront was his single “Some Things Never Change”.


After making a deal with Republic, he made sure to let his fans know that the help he’d be getting from the label wouldn’t effect the quality or quantity of his music. He dropped a rainy day cover of Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From The Storm”, sounding more organic and authentic than ever before — acoustic guitars, whistle-solos, and unfiltered vocals gliding over a crisp drum beat. It was the perfect reminder of who he is as an artist, and it set the scene for his next project: Groovy People.

While Spring 2016 was full of shows for Marc, including our SXSW showcase, he managed to consistently release content while simultaneously working on his new EP, titled “Groovy People”. It was a movement he started that featured organic instruments, honest lyrics, and a special appreciation for the people in your life that make you happy, or that make you feel something real.

The EP was a huge success, and his single You & Me (feat. G-Eazy) reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Marc managed to release some of the most honest music ever to play on the radio, and retained complete control over his artistry. The project itself is a testament to how versatile, talented, creative, and driven Marc and his team is. The soundscapes throughout “Groovy People” are intricate — from the guitar solo on Subway Car to the female chorus harmonizing on Last One I Love — everything is immaculately performed, recorded, arranged, mixed, mastered, and branded. It’s a work of art, and it’s the start to a new generation in the music industry; one where artists retain independence as a musician and a creative, but have the financial backing and trust of record labels.