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M-Dot, Mary Lankford – One Day at a Time | Motivate

M-Dot is a rapper and producer with over 20 years of experience in the music industry. Known for his hard-hitting lyrics and collaborative projects, M-Dot has made a name for himself in the hip-hop and underground rap scenes. I had the opportunity to speak with M-Dot about his track “One Day At A Time,” released in collaboration with Mary Lankford on November 12th, 2021.

M-Dot told me that the track was inspired by the struggles and hardships faced during the pandemic, and was meant to offer a positive and motivating message. “I wanted to create something that would help people get through these tough times,” M-Dot said. “Hip-hop has always been a source of inspiration and empowerment for me, and I hope this track can be that for others as well.”

The instrumentation of “One Day At A Time” features a piano-driven beat with an old school vibe, influenced by acts like OutKast and Black Eyed Peas. M-Dot explained that he wanted to pay homage to the classic hip-hop sound while still bringing a fresh perspective to the genre. “I’m a fan of the old school sound, but I also like to mix in some new elements and make it my own,” he said.

In the track, M-Dot delivers a confident and motivating performance in the rap verses, with Mary Lankford’s soulful vocals adding depth to the hook. “Working with Mary was amazing,” M-Dot said. “Her voice adds a whole other layer to the track and really takes it to the next level.

M-Dot is known for his introspective lyrics, which often delve into his own life and experiences. “One Day At A Time” is no exception, with M-Dot sharing his own struggles and how he has learned to take things one day at a time. “I think it’s important to be honest and vulnerable in your music. That’s how you connect with people and create something meaningful.”

Overall, “One Day At A Time” is a track that offers a positive and motivating message through its old school, piano-driven beat and M-Dot’s confident and expressive performance. With Mary Lankford’s soulful vocals adding depth to the hook, the track is a must-listen for fans of conscious rap and old school beats.

Listen to “One Day at a Time” on Spotify!

Interview

Check out the full interview with the artists here:

Q-1: M-Dot, congratulations on the release of your single “One Day at a Time.” Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind this song?

Thank you so much, and I’m thrilled to be here!  Definitely.  “One Day at a Time” was honestly really personal to me. It hit close to home for me – and I think it hits close to home for many people. The last three years or so with the struggles of the pandemic have been hard for many people – me included – even with the passage of all this time. And I think we will feel the emotional trauma of what we have been through for quite some time. So I just wanted to feel, honestly, like I am not alone in what I’m going through and to help others feel like they’re not alone. So that is kind of what the song was intended to do. It was a vulnerable, therapeutic passion project for me to get through the pandemic’s emotional effects and connect with others.

It is a hip-hop/R&B track with a melodic piano and saxophone background and vocals by Mary-eL. It was written and composed by M-Dot and produced by Omito Beats and professionally recorded and mixed by Tyler Schafer at Cue Recording Studios. It has received positive reception on radio stations and music blogs and was signed to One Night Stand Music & Management and included on the Independent No. 1’s Compilation Album, which charted at #1 on Amazon U.K.’s “Hot New Releases.

Q-2: This track features Mary Lankford’s on vocals and her soulful performance stands out quite nicely! How did the collaboration with Mary come about and what was it like working with her on this song?

Yeah, Mary-eL is awesome!  She was an in-house session musician at the studio.  We got hooked up through the studio manager, Dusty Rose, who introduced us, and he recommended her as a good fit for singing the hook for the song,  I’m glad he did.  Mary-eL and I gelled really well creatively and it was a great experience working with her.  She did a phenomenal job bringing my music and lyrics to life in the song with her powerful and soulful voice!  The song wouldn’t be what it is without her.

Q-3: The old school rap beat and piano-driven groove on this track is really standout. Can you tell us a bit about the creative process behind the production of this song?

Yes, and I agree.  It really is a sick beat.  It was produced by independent Canadian beatmaker, Timothy Izzard at Omito Beats.  He’s super talented, and also a super chill and down to earth dude.  Check out his stuff at https://omitobeats.net/ or Beatstars.  You will NOT be disappointed. 

Q-4: You’ve mentioned that hip hop and underground rap are your love languages and passions. What drew you to these genres and how have they influenced your music?

In terms of what drew me to hip hop and underground rap, it was pretty much from day one.  I always enjoyed listening to ‘90s rap music growing up, like Snoop, Biggie, Wu-Tang and Pac.  And in elementary school I was a super shy kid, but I was fortunate to have very encouraging music teachers who encouraged me to pursue music and follow my passions. I sang in choir from fourth grade until high school, and began taking voice lessons. I was also fortunate to go to a very racially and ethnically diverse high school, which meant that kids would freestyle rap in groups for fun in the hallways between classes.  I loved it. I’ve never been the type to blindly conform to society and stereotypes—and more importantly, I wanted to express myself.   I also really got into Mos Def, Common and Talib Kweli, and became close friends with many people who were directly impacted by racism.  So I was basically moved by the movement and passion of the BLM struggle (well before it was the “woke” thing to do).

Hip-hop has been a lifesaving creative outlet for me to express myself—these days especially in the wake of the pandemic. I write about my life, things I’ve been through, things I’ve seen, and things that matter to me. 

Q-5: You’ve been in the music scene for over 20 years and have performed in a variety of popular venues. How has your career as an independent musician evolved over the years and how has “One Day at a Time” fit into that journey?

It’s been a very organic evolution that has reflected the journey of my life.  And although I’ve been having fun performing live in the music scene for over 20 years, “One Day at a Time” is the first song that I officially recorded in a professional studio and distributed via CD Baby to all major streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music, etc.   I saw some hit potential in this song that I hadn’t seen in any of my prior pieces, so I really wanted to take the opportunity to kick things up a notch and take my music to the next level!  And I have had a lot of success breaking into the industry with this single ever since!

“One Day at a Time” is honestly my most favorite song to play live because its the most accurate reflection of where I am at with my headspace these days, and my music has always been a genuine way for me to express myself and connect with other people.

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