We had the good fortune of connecting with Marcus Allen Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marcus Allen, what role has risk played in your life or career?
“If you can’t avoid death, at least die with glory” This quote, which is tattooed on my ribs, defines what risk means to me as an artist. To evolve you have to take risk. It’s a sense of fearlessness & belief in yourself. It’s a significant role in my career because I had to fail to make progress. I never wanted to think what if, I just accepted that if I wanted to make it out of my neighborhood I had to keep striving.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is writing. The best way I express myself, as a creative, is storytelling & poetry. Studying the art form, I found Langston Hughes poems as a foundation & guideline to help me grow as a writer. I’m most proud of my accomplishments in 2020. From contributing to this years voting campaign with my spoken word to releasing six pieces of music. Each piece was meaningful & had a purpose. There are many challenges when creating but I’ve learned that the more vulnerable you are, the more authentic & real your pieces become. The best feeling is when you listen back to an old piece because you hear how far you’ve come. Your voice grows with your writing because you’re stating facts about real situations in your life. What I want people to know about me as artist is that I love to give back. Through my non profit & brand, New Project, I’ve aided & my community. I believe in being selfless & looking out for our youth. Educate. Uplift. Empower
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There’s much to do in LA. If you want to enjoy art & culture I go to Leimert Park. The most authentic area, with live music, food & art. As an artist I developed the name “ Saint James Jr.” while going to Harun Cafe which is in the heart of the community. When it comes to enjoying fashion, I believe La Brea & Fairfax are the best areas. Working in fashion, I learned a lot about Vintage wear & the LA based brands I’ve grown to respect. Other than the aesthetics, there’s a wide variety of food options.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
my “ShoutOut “ goes to my mentor Lenny Santiago, Senior VP of Roc Nation. As a young artist & activist, Lenny took me under his wing and showed me what it takes to be an entity in the industry. For 3 to 4 years I quietly took mental notes; attending meetings, appearances and working some video sets. An aspect I respect about my mentor is that he gives 100 percent on every project. Striving to be the Best, with the result to be number one. That drive & mindset is the energy for me when I create or when I give back. He showed me that my dreams aren’t elusive, that with these values & foundation I can make my mark in the Culture.
Marcus Townsend Ashley Christine Craver