Not surprisingly, every New York musical act has a different story about coming together. For MAD members, Davon Vernon and Marcos Antonio, this story has a little more meat to it.
Antonio and Vernon, or as they are commonly known, Marcos and Davon, met through a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization called El Puente, where both were employed at the same time. According to the guys, the chemistry was immediate, and when they heard about Art Start’s Emerging Artist in Residency (EAR) program, they promptly seized the opportunity…well…maybe not promptly.
“I forgot to mention, we turned in our application on the last day,” Davon admits. “I felt like if it was meant to be it would happen. Literally, on the last day I was still completing it.”
Their luck continued shortly after when they mixed up the address (Thanks, HOPSTOP!) and were each about an hour late to their interviews for the program. Thankfully, they were still welcomed with open arms, which tells me two things: 1. Art Start knows what’s up with the creative types. 2. These dudes got it goin’ on.
As two new musicians, the work Marcos and Davon did with Art Start was their first real experience with recording their music, and they maintain they’ve learned an immense amount from the process and have both improved significantly as artists along the way.
“Sometimes you start a project, and after being with it for a little too long you start losing inspiration,” Davon says. “But being here, being part of Art Start and them giving us the space, the time, the equipment allowed us to do it. We had everything we needed.”
As the two pull out their business cards, Marcos agrees that the EAR program has made an impact in both their lives.
“We’re very indebted to Art Start,” he notes.
During their six months in the program, the guys wrote, tracked and recorded a 10 song album complete with artwork by MAD’s very own Davon. Incidentally, the two are also working on a comic centering around two characters based loosely on them. Apparently in addition to dance and music, Davon can draw as well! Marcos isn’t without multiple talents of his own, as all the music for their freshman album was composed primarily with the help of his guitar and a loop pedal. Despite success with this method, the guys express intentions to expand their instrumental portion to include more variety in drums and beats.
Thanks to their strong start with a program that reaches out to fringe youth interested in the arts, after releasing their first hip-hop album Marcos and Davon are also already working on a new album and a mixtape, the latter of which they expect to release sometime in June. Before then, keep an eye out for MAD music videos from the mixtape on YouTube and check them out on twitter, ‘cuz we gotta get these guys into the social media world. #makeithappen