Have you heard of Stealin' Strings, Honest Monday, R.A.S. Movement, Milwaukee's Own, Bryan Cherry Band or Naima Adedapo? If you have, you've probably seen Marc Ballini play live. In fact, Marc is kind of a staple in the local music scene, in Milwaukee performing weekly at a number of clubs in the area as a soloist, vocalist and keys player with MEGAPHONIC and R.A.S. Movement.
Q: What was it like growing up in Milwaukee?
Marc: I moved to Milwaukee when I was 12 years old. I consider myself lucky to have grown up in the city of Milwaukee. Milwaukee has been so very good to me in the last several years, and by being able to make music my full time job has been nothing but priceless. I wouldn't trade growing up in this city for anything.
Q: What is your favorite part about the city?
Marc: My favorite part of Milwaukee is the connectedness of the people, all the different pockets that inhabit the city are unique in their own respective ways, and all of them are enjoyable for their own reasons. From Bayview to Riverwest and beyond. You have to truly spend time in all parts of the city to have a true understanding of how great Milwaukee is.
Full disclosure, I've actually known Marc for a few years. He was one of my favorite customers when I was younger and had my own ambitions of the rock 'n roll lifestyle working at a Cream City Music. We reconnected recently when I started going to yoga classes at Urban Om. It just so happened that Jozi, one of the owners and first 414 Degrees participant, and Marc have been together for a few years and have a couple of adorable dogs!
Q: What makes Milwaukee unique?
Marc: Colectivo!! I love their coffee as well as everything their business stands for. This city has an industrial heritage flavor that many other cities would like to incorporate. It's a booming city, full of business and promise for the future. Good people, great friends!
I always call Milwaukee a "big/small city". It's got everything any big city could ask for, but it's small enough that you're able to find whatever you need to find within a short driving distance. The different neighborhood nooks this city has to offer, as well as the tight knit community overall sets Milwaukee aside from bigger cities. The amount of local support by its citizens and businesses alone make Milwaukee feel like a home. Everything from the excellent restaurants to the small neighborhood bars make this city one to make your home. Milwaukee = Home.
Q: How do you feel connected to Milwaukee?
Marc: Being able to make my living playing music for the last 10 years straight in Milwaukee has connected me to so many different people and lifestyles. I feel lucky to have been able to experience all the wonderful aspects that this city has to offer by making music.
Q: What led you towards music?
Marc: Music has always drawn me in, ever since I was a little child. It's been a moving force in my life that nothing can compete with. Music runs through my blood and continues to bring joy and happiness to my life.
Q: How does the music scene influence and benefit the city?
Marc: I've seen, first hand, how the music scene in Milwaukee can connect so many different groups of people. Milwaukee is such a tight network of people and local businesses. The people and the attitude in this city set it apart from the rest. I absolutely love Milwaukee and will continue to be a strong advocate for this awesome city.
Hanging out with Marc inspired me to get my butt back out there in the music scene again, not necessarily to start playing again, but rather to enjoy the blessing of such a thriving musical city we have. So with summer just beginning get out there, see a show and support local music! If you want to catch Marc live he can be seen playing with MEGAPHONIC at RC's Bar every Tuesday, at The Jazz Estate almost every Wednesday nights or with R.A.S. Movement now that the summer season is in full swing.