“This is not a hobby we’re not just trying to have a party,” Mike Mass told CL before his Tampa Bay collective of emcees, Young Parisians, heads out to Los Angeles in February. The group — which uses the financial backing of local companies like Black & Denim and Symphonic Distribution to help with costs — recently took a similar trip to New York City.
They aren’t slowing down in 2017, and recently became a record label. “We are trying to promote ourselves and promote Tampa Bay as a city and promote the brands from Tampa Bay. That’s what it’s about,” Mass added.
Before they hop on a plane to cross the country, CL caught up with co-founder Mass (a Best of the Bay winner himself) to find out what he thinks the new label means for Tampa Bay.
What pushed The Young Parisians to become a label?
Having a label was a step that we needed to take. Shout-out to Symphonic Distribution, they pretty much facilitated it. We are in the pursuit of reaching a higher platform. We’re in the pursuit of reaching higher levels of income so we want to make sure all that gets funneled and accounted for, and we want to make sure we’re doing everything legally. Our official first release was a Vern Senior cut (“Mash”), which came out on January 9.
Who is on Young Parisians?
Me, Beyobe, Asher, Vern Senior., Mowglii, Mikala Sophia, Heather Gallman and Tony Handz. It’s really good to have people on the team that are experienced and know exactly how big we’re trying to make this. A lot of people don’t understand that we’re trying to make this our career. Oh also, Ned Pope, he’s like the brains, the connects and he gets shit done.
The collective is large, but exactly who is coming on the trip?
Louis Junior, Asher, Mowglii, J Roc Jones hopefully, Monica Delgado, hopefully Khalea, Artis Shi, hopefully Demi Nova, Vern Sr., and Deezy. We’re all staying in one giant house, so...
So, Young Parisians recently released your new single, is there possibly a new Mike Mass album in the making?
[Chuckles] Let’s just take it song for song right now. We’re focused on strengthening our team, because it takes more than just the performer to make stuff happen.
So what are you guys going to make happen in L.A.?
Oh man, we’re going to do three events in L.A. One is in a private location, and on February 3 we’re doing one called “The Art of Rap.” We did one in New York; it was a mix of live art and music, and we wanted to run that same event [this time]. It’s going to be all Tampa artists plus a couple visual artists from L.A. exhibiting. The next day we are turning up with Vinny Virgo, who’ll be part of a bill that includes four Los Angeles acts and four Tampa acts — that’s how we’re going out. On Sunday, I think we’re going to go to the beach and enjoy Venice. —Casey Jeanite
To find out more about The Young Parisians Check out their Facebook page.