Gark Mavigan makes good choices. Literally. Bay Area hip-hop artist/multihyphenate Gark made his sophomore album, GOOD CHOICES, using Fiver at every step of the way. But that’s not the only thing this MC/poet/writer/doer has up his sleeve. Read on to find out why working with freelancers fit this musician’s schedule of “bruising pages and having one-mic stands with Bay Area stages”—and then follow along on our Insta stories to see (and hear!) a day in the life of a modern-day musician.
Tell us a little about you. Who you are, where you’re from, what you do.
What’s up, Doers! I’m Gark Mavigan, a writer (“prosefessional”), hip-hop artist and spoken word poet. You can find me slinging words and wrecking cyphers in San Francisco, but I’m originally from Stockton, CA, where I helped found the city’s first team to compete at Brave New Voices—the world’s largest youth poetry slam.
I’ve recorded three feature-length albums and opened for artists like Common, MC Jin, and Husalah. My most recent project was RAMENdon, a Top Ramen-themed EP that graced the pages of EARMILK, 2DopeBoyz, RESPECT Mag and more.
When I’m not busy telling my own stories, I help craft narratives for early-stage startups and entrepreneurs who are looking to evangelize their brand. I also moonlight as a hip-hop writer for EARMILK, spotlighting up-and-coming emcees and producers who are making noise in the underground scene.
You’re a multipreneur, to say the least. Tell us about some of your (many) businesses.
Sometimes wearing so many different hats feels like whack-a-mole, but I’ve learned to stay organized and allocate my time effectively (for the most part).
My most recent project was an album I dropped in late-March, called GOOD CHOICES. It took more than a year-and-a-half to finish, but it felt great to finally push it out and shift my attention to other creative endeavors. My main focus right now is a memoir I’m putting together, though I do “take a break” occasionally to pen an essay, poem, or short story that’s been lingering inside my noggin. As a performance artist, I also have to stay sharp and be prepared to rock whatever gig comes my way.
The cool part is that all of these mediums intersect at times and spark creative ideas. For example, I might integrate a poetic device into my prose or see tech jargon in a press release that I can use in one of my songs.
Tell us about your album—how did you come up with the idea? Who is the target audience?
I’ve always loved the phrase, “make good choices,” because it’s drilled into our heads from a young age and then thought of as cheesy or superfluous as we get older, even though it’s probably the most sage advice we’ll ever get. It’s like scoffing when someone tells you to drink water, and then secretly you’re like, oh snaps, they’re totally right; water is majorly crucial to my life energy.
On GOOD CHOICES, I chronicle some…well…good choices that I’ve made, including the best choice I ever made (*wink wink*). Highlights include a tea drinkers anthem (“Meryl Steep”), a Spongebob cameo, some stellar features—including the Detroit Children’s Choir—and hilarious 80s PSAs. Most importantly, 100% of proceeds benefit two Bay Area non-profits that provide a platform for artists like myself— Lyrical Opposition of SF, and With Our Words, Inc. of Stockton, CA.
What drives you as an entrepreneur? Why do you do what you do?
I’m in love with the creative process and how miserably beautiful it is. Picturesque views require perilous climbs, and putting a project into the world after weeks, months, or years of tinkering is incredibly rewarding. It’s also an amazing feeling when your words resonate with someone and inspire them to think about something in a different way.
How do you use Fiverr as a business? What do you use it for? Why do you like working with freelancers?
I’ve used Fiverr for so many different things. For my album alone, I enlisted sellers for songwriting, vocals, beatboxing, artwork, promo, PR, you name it. It’s a great resource for musicians who want some extra oomph on a track, or need a streamlined way to push their music out to the masses.
I enjoy working with freelancers because they’re motivated and you can find someone for practically anything you need done. As long as you clearly communicate what your needs are, a seller should have no problem delivering.
Just some of the sellers I’ve worked with include:
- Leslie Carron – Singer
- Aracilbiz – Beatboxer
- Joni Fuller – Violinist/Cellist
- Amarita Ioana – Pianist
- Shelby Criswell – Illustrator
- Sound On Fire – SoundCloud Promotion
- Spears22 – SoundCloud Promotion
- Ironfist_ – YouTube Promotion
- Min Soo Kim – YouTube Promotion
- Mancone Music – PR
What do you think of the Fiverr out-of-home ads around Oakland?
They’re dope! I always see them on the way home from work and they inspire me to be productive as soon as I walk through the front door. The entire “Year of Do” campaign is perfect for keeping yourself on track and pulling together the resources needed to get sh*t done.
What advice would you like to give entrepreneurs just setting out on your business journey?
Focus on one project at a time and set realistic goals. One super polished project is better than multiple half-baked ideas that never get fleshed out.
What advice would you give to first-time buyers on Fiverr?
There is a Fiverr seller for practically anything. If you need something done, chances are there’s someone on here who can do exemplary work for a fraction of the cost. That said, I definitely recommend vetting sellers by looking through their reviews and portfolio, to ensure they’re the right person for the job.
What’s next for the brand? Any goals for 2018?
For the rest of 2018 I will do the write thing—my memoir, other prose, and a sprinkle of poems. I’ll still perform and drop a single here and there, but the written word will reign supreme.
Preview Gark’s #MadeOnFiverr album GOOD CHOICES (featuring Fiverr seller Leslie Carron) below:
Want to know more about Gark—and hear more of his killer tracks? Ask him in the comments below, find his music on Spotify, YouTube and Soundcloud—and then tune in (literally) to our Insta Stories to hear his rhymes in action!