Mark McCafferty prefers alone time during the writing process. He credits the late Mac Miller as a true influence in sound and process. These are just two of many factors that make the young artist one of South Jersey's most unique. His uncanny ability to pivot between melodics and dense, layered rhyming prove he is ahead of his years—and with an EP on the way—it seems as though there is no where to go but up for McCafferty.
This past weekend, I sat down with Mark to discuss Mac Miller, his writing process, a new EP on the way and more in an exclusive interview with Burbs Entertainment.
Can you recall for me an album that first sparked your interest in pursuing music? Why this particular album?
I would probably have to say Kids by Mac Miller—when he dropped "Kool-Aid and Frozen Pizza,” I was mesmerized. I just fell in love with the game and how it works, and my love for music went completely upwards. After finding out about him and everything he did, as well as where he’s from [Pittsburgh, PA] it just lined up really well—I was inspired.
When a new listener hears one of your records for the first time, what do you think is the first comparison that runs through their head?
As far as a comparison goes—I would probably have to say maybe Skizzy Mars. I think our sound is very similar in terms of the harmonizing, the creative melodies and the true lyrics—being true to yourself. Skizzy Mars is definitely best comparison.
Melodies seem to be a really important part of your music—when I was listening to “Lost” and “Expecting A Call,” one of the things that I noticed was your ability to flip back and forth between melodies and polished bars. Are you aware of this versatility during the creation process?
Yeah, I cherish that specific aspect a lot when I'm writing. I try to envision myself as a listener and deal with my writing process in that manner—really focusing on spreading a good message and relating to people above all else.
What can we expect from BLUEM—your upcoming EP?
You can expect themes about growth in life. When you first hear it, you’ll instantly know that it's something that took a long time— a project that took a lot of work and patience from a writing standpoint. I just want to paint the perfect picture to paint for people—while throwing the listener into real-life situations.
What would you consider to be unique about your creative process? This is a question I feel I need to ask every artist I speak with.
First thing is I’m not a freestyler. I love writing my stuff and being able to sit down and trying to paint the right picture for people to understand as best as possible. I think the number one thing with me is that I could sit in my room and just go on for hours and write and write and write—and then find a beat that goes along well with it— making it all mesh together to sound its best. I think that it's different— ‘cause most artists like to go to the studio and just hear it live. I've actually just recently gotten the opportunity to start doing that with a good friend of mine, Nickyboyleo—he's from Buena, New Jersey and has his own studio. He’s a genius when it comes to music, and I just recently sat in on a session with him and started writing to the beat that was being created while I was listening to it, you know what I mean? I'm not an artist that usually does that, I'm usually by myself and trying to send a specific message in my lyrics.
That's a super interesting concept—the differences between working in the studio with a group of people versus writing by yourself.
Yea, and I don't hate that process—you know what I mean—I'm just still getting used to it and breaking myself in with working off the top-of-the-head. I don't like to rush my work, you get me?
I asked your brother the same question, but I’d like to get your take on it as well—what would you say is the weakest facet of your skillset?
I really think that I'm better at writing than talking in general, so I just want to be able to take my music and what I write and communicate it better. My weakest point would probably be in my writing—a minor mistake here and there. And that's good, that's good.
What is a dream feature for Mark McCafferty?
Can they be dead or alive?
Probably Mac Miller. Like I said, he started putting it in my head that this rap stuff is just super fun. It gives you an opportunity to open up about somethings you've been suppressing for a while. I was writing down music and I was writing lyrics, and I would realize stuff that I may not have thought to include—so it's kind of like a subconscious thing that I learned through Mac Miller. Being able to work with him on a song—me and Mac—would go crazy. As far as a living artist goes? I’d say Post Malone.
You’re really keen on Mac Miller, and I do see lots of his qualities in how you make and present music. Do you have a favorite Mac album?
Kids sparked my inspiration on him. After he passed, however, his posthumous album hit me the hardest. It’s heartbreaking and unfortunate that people have to go in that way. When he talked about swimming in circles—where you're going around and around with yourself. I just see myself in him sometimes. Circles and just wrapped it up for me. I'd say that Circles and Swimming are probably the two that resonate with me most.
What are three things Mark McCafferty cannot live without?
A studio, family and honesty. I just can't live a lie. Being someone who isn't about what they say they’re about is always a red flag. It's been like that too. I've had Brenden to be a devil's advocate for many different aspects of my process. But yea, I'd say those three things.
I can tell that you really value family—what’s it been like coming up in the music industry alongside Brenden?
It’s kind of crazy. Pretty rare too. The music industry is really hard as far as communication goes, so it's just perfect having him alongside me no matter what. The magic that we can create going forward is going to come to life and people are going to see how well we communicate and how well we can get things done together.
What is the future hold for Mark McCafferty?
I think the future holds a lot more than just me bringing up a “type beat” from YouTube. I see myself being able to create music from the ground up. That’s a big goal for me right now, and I think that Brenden and I are going to bring this EP life and show people what we're about.
Check out Mark McCafferty on streaming platforms as well as social platforms: