Jermarco Britton aka Lyrique is not only a talented singer/songwriter and radio personality, but the C.O.O. of the hit upcoming music conglomerate known as M.M.E. The St. Louis native is a true student of life so it’s only right that Jermarco feels at home becoming our newest Council member here at ThinkDope. In this edition of Meet The Council you will learn all about the man himself!
How did you end up getting involved with making music and when did you know it would be a major part of your life?
I have been creating music since childhood, although not for anyone outside of myself majorly. I would not get to record and sell music, however, until 2009 when I joined a hip hop group titled M.M.E., where I still act as the lead vocalist of the group to this day. Since aligning myself with some of the most talented individuals I’ve met anywhere, I’ve had the opportunity to do and see amazing things happen in and around my life. My experiences up to this point let me know that staying up many nights in hopes of doing music as a means of living may not be something that’s unattainable.
As far as your music goes, what is your favorite song that you’ve worked on?
I’d have to say that my most favorite song I’ve worked on to date would have to be Dreamgirl from my Sing for Free, Sell for Food project I released in 2011. I remember the process so vividly. I was walking down St. Charles in New Orleans for God knows how long, just allowing the music I was hearing to resonate within me and create space for words. Singing whatever came to my mind and not really caring that about everyone else I passed by. I looked like some crazy person reciting broken and incomplete lyrics. So now when I hear it I receive that same feeling, that same perfect weather, and that same emotion of connecting with the girl of my dreams.
Your radio show, Blue Light Underground, focuses on making listeners feel good through R&B and soul music. What was the driving force behind creating Blue Light Underground?
Blue Light Underground came about simply because there was a void that needed to be filled that completely catered to great R&B and Soul music from the past, present, and future. I was sick of hearing the same hip hop/pop-infused R&B music that was beginning to fill the airwaves and blogosphere and had always had an interest in radio. So I reached out to Julian Keaton, owner of Stereo Assault (and fellow ThinkDope Council member), about creating a platform that paid homage to the pioneers of this genre, the way makers of today, and the artists who are taking unique stances on the art for the future. He agreed and we made moves to make just that happen. On top of all that, the people needed to hear music they can make love to, not just two-step.
M.M.E. is a major movement looking to change music forever, what are you responsibilities as C.O.O. with them?
My responsibilities as C.O.O. are just to make sure business is handled in the absence of our Chief Executive Officer, Muhammad Austin, better known as Mvstermind. Theoretically speaking, I would be second-in-command, but we’ve created a business model as to where all the founding members of the company are on equal footing in representing and handling business matters.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date in the industry? What else do you plan to do?
Hands down the biggest accomplishments I’ve made thus far in the industry would have to be a tie between creating and establishing the brand and radio show that is Blue Light Underground, and being flown out to New York with my M.M.E. family to pay tribute to Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys. I have a variety of plans for the immediate future, but I won’t blow the whistle on just what I specifically have planned to do just yet. Just know that whatever I do will always be with the intent to push the art culture forward.
You’re heavily invested in the music industry between hosting radio shows, events, and making dope music. Are there any other industries you plan to delve into in the future?
As of late, I’ve found a new interest in photography and painting. I’m not sure if this is a case of the increasing amount of visual art I’ve been around lately or just me discovering a new outlet to express the world around me. Either way I think these will be things I do for personal pleasure and nothing further. Also, charity work and philanthropy is an overall ultimate goal of mine. Eventually, I’d like to put myself in a position to use art as a driving force in helping and healing people globally.
What keeps you motivated to keep creating and influencing the lives of others?
Remaining motivated is easy when you allow yourself to be receptive to the things around you. Identifying the beautiful, the ugly, and in-between all finding appreciation in the fact that they all work together to keep the human experience moving. In moments where I become creatively stifled I know it’s for one reason or another – I’ve had to shut myself off. And to be honest sometimes it’s hard to turn back on, but thankfully I always find myself right back to where I need to be.
Art is such an important part of life to millions of people, but it means something different to us all. What does art mean to you?
Art is a signifier. I like to think of it as how they say that “no two snowflakes are the same”. You can’t see that they are all uniquely crafted once they fall to the ground. You just see snow. It takes picking one up and taking a closer look to recognize its individual value. There are 7 billion people on the Earth who all function primarily the same. What sets someone apart from the next? I can’t answer that for anyone else but I know that art, for me, is my stamp of uniqueness. It forces me and others to take that closer look and realize the divinity in me being me.
We’re glad to have you a part of our team! What’s your reasoning for aligning yourself with ThinkDope?
I decided to join ThinkDope for the simple reason that I believe in always pushing art culture forward. Art saved my life. Art kept me from the streets. Art kept me human. If I have the opportunity to instill that saving grace into someone else I will. Aside from that, I’ve watched ThinkDope grow into an amazing brand and am looking forward to seeing how it evolves in the future. If someone asked you to be a part of possibly the next big platform for creative minds to flourish would you say no?
The rest of the team welcomes you to ThinkDope! Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself in this interview, do you have anything you want to add?
Much love to everyone. I’m happy to be a part of the team. Let’s work!
Photo credit: Leo Davis