To kick off Summer 2020, I recently met with Lexington rapper and philanthropist, Marley Carter at Sportsman Club Lake in Midway, Kentucky to discuss his latest EP, “The Sunny Collection,” and his nonprofit organization of the same name. We also talked about his new charity initiative, Fishing To Feed. Marley Carter is partnering with FoodChain, Arbor Youth Services, and Hope Center to teach youth about fishing and provide meals to the community.
The cover art for your EP showcases you fishing at a lake on a sunny day. What’s the tie between the theme you chose for “The Sunny Collection” and the name of your charity initiative, Fishing To Feed?
Personally, it’s more of a mental health thing. Every time I come to the lake, it’s mostly sunny. Of course there are cloudy days, but for the most part I feel great. Im happy to be here. It’s my positive atmosphere that I can level out and it’s everything positive for me. I feel like I can bring that with me. So it’s just a representation of me.
How did you choose the track selection for the EP?
The three songs were kind of a natural selection. It best fit the times that I was in and it best correlated with the meaning of the title and the music.
One of the standout tracks is “Bipolar Love” featuring SomaIsaias. How did this song come about?
I had a muse. It was really a song about a roller coaster relationship with one person that I used to be in love with.
The song is a totally different side of me. That was another step in my transformation of being abstract and multifaceted. At heart, that’s the type of music I like and that’s all we usually listen to. Of course we listen to our select Rap and whatever we feeling, but for the most part – Soul, Funk, R&B, Jazz – that’s our forte, that’s what we like, that’s what I was raised on. Why not emulate that?
Did you or SomaIsaias come up with the hook for the song?
I wrote it and I couldn’t sing. I sounded pretty damn bad singing the hook. I needed somebody else to sing it. Soma put his own touch on the hook and he made it his own thing from there.
Is there anything that you’ve been writing lately based on either the COVID-19 situation or the current social justice issues going on right now?
Absolutely. I felt like I’ve always put bits and pieces of that somewhere in my music, so I don’t have to “try” to do that anymore. It just comes out because it’s on my mind all the time. That’s something that we all have to deal with, still. Even though it doesn’t happen to me directly, it’s people who look like me. So I’m just as vulnerable because I want to go to those same places. We still have a whole world to see. I just want to make it better for myself, the people around me, and the next generation or my kids if I ever have any. It’s always going to be a part of my music, somehow.
How did you first get into fishing?
It was my father. He was raised on fishing and is originally from Versailles, Kentucky. A lot of the time that is how we ate. It was fun and it is a passion, first and foremost. It puts food on the table, so it was a big part of our lives. I got older and I never stopped liking it.
So did you eventually start going out by yourself to fish?
Yeah, I started going by myself and trying to show other people that it’s definitely a fun thing to do. People spend a lot of time trying to find something fun around here, but you have to embrace it for what it is.
How did “Fishing To Feed” come to life?
The original plan was not even a nonprofit organization or charity initiative, but it took a life of itself. This came with a name change. The original title for my EP was “Big Headed, but not Big Headed.” I sat and thought on that for a while and it just wasn’t me. “The Sunny Collection” was more fitting (for the EP and nonprofit). It is just genuinely me, I genuinely love doing this. So, it only makes sense to give back to the community.
What are some basics you plan on teaching the youth at your Fishing To Feed events?
Some basics are tying the hook, setting up a rig with a bobber, how to use the rod and reel, and how to take a fish off the hook without poking yourself (lol). We will go out and catch fish, at least. We will take our catch to FoodChain and prepare them for the meals we will cook and feed the community. Also, when we get enough volunteers, I plan to teach classes and go deeper into such things as how to clean the fish, etc.
Fishing To Feed will meet once a month beginning July 25, 2020 at various lakes across Kentucky to promote proper fishing, skill building, and to give back to the community.
More information on Fishing To Feed can be obtained by contacting Marley Carter at email@example.com