Cymarshall is a Jamaican-born, English-bred lyricist who aims to give listeners a dose of love and consciousness. His music provides food for the soul, and uplifts people across all barriers. We recently caught up with the budding artist to discuss all things related to music. –andre j. ellington
You weren’t born in America, so what are some of your origins as well as your early influences within the genre of hip-hop?
Well, I was born in England to Jamaican parents and growing up, while many American families might have had Jazz playing around their house at 6, 7, or 8 years old, in my house there was always reggae music being played. My dad was into a lot of conscious reggae music as opposed to the more violent form of reggae music. When I moved to America and started listening to hip-hop, due to me having that conscious influence from my father, I started to gravitate to artists such as Public Enemy, Dead Prez, and Common.
What impact have Jamaica and reggae music had on hip-hop culture?
I’m glad you asked that question. I personally feel like these influences have been around in hip-hop since the beginning. A lot of my favorite hip-hop artists are Jamaican, such as Biggie Smalls, Method Man, and Busta Rhymes. There’s a lot of West Indian influence there, and also Kool Herc, who is one of the founding fathers of hip-hop was actually born in Jamaica and when he moved to the Bronx, he brought a lot of those influences from Jamaica into hip-hop.
Do you feel like your latest project, Hip-Hop in the Soul 3, is your best project to date?
Yeah. I definitely feel like HH3 is my best project because I went through a lot while completing this project. I went back to school twice, my father died of cancer — God rest his soul — my mother also got cancer but she beat it and I was moving around and my kids were getting older, so there [were] just a ton of things that were going on in my life. I also had to get a regular job in the process of all of this because I used to just tour a lot before this album, but I couldn’t afford to have the lifestyle I wanted and also be able to give all my kids the things they wanted so I went and got a 9-to-5 and now I’m able to balance everything out.