There is only one explanation for the genesis of LA-based rapper/dancer/singer Maceo Paisley: The future barometer of brainy cool came from a mystical pop culture big bang.
Fusing subatomic particles from the Rat Pack galaxy, celestial gatherings from the 1990s hip-hop Native Tongue posse, and cosmic sprinklings from the Godfather of Soul, Maceo beams down his debut offering, “Talking Touching.” The single and video will be closely followed by a prismatic debut EP.
“My earliest memory of expressing myself is being seven, dancing around like The Pied Piper in my underwear playing clarinet to C + C Music Factory’s ‘Everybody Dance Now,’” the LA-based artist Maceo Paisley says, laughing.
Maceo’s beat pulses through a myriad of artistic pursuits. He’s an accomplished clothing designer with his own sockline, songwriter, self-taught dancer, multi instrumentalist, and philosopher. All of these fall under the umbrella hustle term of his creation, “artrepeneur.” In addition to these creative directives, Maceo has given back through social activism and serving in the Army in the Middle East.
Fast forward to nine months ago. Maceo is a young adult dancing unselfconsciously around the apartment, only now, for a simple creative outlet, he posts some videos on YouTube of these jolts expression.
The posted videos made Maceo something of a viral buzz artist by accident. He soon found creative allies in guitarist Neil Popkin and the LA-based production team Riot City (known for their work with singer CONWAY). In little time, the posse was working feverishly in the studio, merging Maceo’s off-the-wall antics and his quick-witted storytelling with a barrage of dayglow beats and twisted soundscapes.
Maceo’s solo debut EP is bold, uplifting, and impishly irreverent. The leadoff single, “Talking Touching,” boasts tongue-twisting rhymes on courtship and touches of retro-futuristic hip-hop and indie rock. The song’s accompanying video distills down some of Maceo’s gifts—his uncorked dance moves, on-camera charisma, and his swagger. Another EP highlight is “Chirp,” a catchy and glitchy track with an engaging romantic narrative. “It’s basically what happens when the nerdy worm musters up the courage to say hello to a pretty girl,” Maceo reveals, chuckling. Also included in this mini oeuvre is Maceo’s first original, the cleverly anthemic banger, “Vacation.”
Up next, Maceo is making his presence known with a dazzling live show that spotlights his prodigious performance talents. “From here, my job is to just be myself,” Maceo says thoughtfully. “My goal is to not chase fame or fortune, it’s to chase freedom.”