MARISSA MJ SAVINO
MJ was born Marissa Savino in West Islip, New York, and raised in Freehold, NJ, where she discovered her love for music at an early age. As a kid she and her sister would put on skits emulating their favorite artists, from Madonna to Michael Jackson.
"We had the glove and all, pretty damn good at the Thriller dance I might add."
The daughter of a poet and a published poet herself since the age of 9, MJ gravitated towards Hip-Hop music specifically because rap is poetry!" Her proclivity towards poetic lyricism led MJ to find her favorites among the likes of Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Biggie, Nas, Mos Def, and Common.
"Once I heard those emcees I was hooked."
Her affinity for poetry and lyricism led MJ to develop her own writing skills, which garnered her a following in the poetic community and eventually lead to MJ touring her work throughout New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia.
"During those years I was approached by Jay Grady founder of Lyrically Fit movement to write for his website. I was doing poetry, restaurant and drink reviews, album reviews, artist interviews, articles on Hip-Hop, articles on mental health, lifestyle, etc. The moment I did my first artist interview I knew there was no turning back!"
Driven by a passion for music and a penchant for connecting new and relatively unknown artists to the resources they need in the industry, MJ eventually founded MJ's Hip Hop Connex, a one stop shop for contemporary, classic and independent Hip-Hop, with the singular goal of helping industry personnel get connected, and stay connected.
Fast forward to the present and we find MJ a single mother of 3, balancing a full time day job in the field of social work with motherhood and the music industry. MJ keeps up with her multitude of responsibilities by living by the Bob Marley quote "you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option." Through the years many have wondered at MJ's ability to wear her many hats, to which she answers "You just do it...you can't leave yourselves room to ask how do I do this all? Once questions come into play and into my mind it becomes a distraction from motivation and moving forward with my goals."
MJ is motivated by her natural urge to be creative, versatile, and original, and draws energy from helping to advance those who do the same.
"Being behind the scenes with deadlines, making contacts, connects, networking, publishing, doing interviews is such an adrenaline rush...it's my crack!"
She has now evolved beyond strictly writing to managing artists, publishing music, and promoting. Continuing with lyrically fit until the "wheels fell off," MJ began contributing to blog sites including Direct Access World Wide Mag, Rap Music Promo, Writterâs Block Concerts, On The Scene NY, She Bloggin, Hip Hop Forum, Hip Hop Hook and Husky Records. As she constantly kept the world current regarding the upcoming Hip-Hop talent in her area, MJ's signature grind did not go unnoticed. Artists began looking to her for promotion, booking, and overall guidance in their career. She currently manages the careers of New Jersey emcee Stevie Franks and the legendary DJ Soulbuck, in addition to promoting Wu-Tang legacy ODB Jr. and New Jersey legend and Naughty by Nature affiliate Milkbone, as well as a business relationship with Scott La Rock Jr. and many other well known artists in the music industry.
In addition to managing and promoting artists while sharpening her writing skills, MJ also found a niche interviewing the prominent underground and mainstream Hip-Hop artists she ran across in her travels. This next progression would lead MJ into the realm of radio, and after linking with T.H.E. and Gunner G's of UTM Radio, who began to rely on her to book featured artists on the digital radio station, the Lyrically Fit Artist Spotlight Radio Show came to life. As a result MJ sat down for in-depth conversations with a number of Hip-Hop legends, including Slaine, Das Efx, Digable Planets, Arrested Development, Rampage, Termanology, Rockness Monsta, Planet Asia, Bizarre, and ODB Jr., among others.
When it comes to finding motivation to push her forward in all her ventures, MJ looks no further than the mirror, drawing inspiration from knowing exactly what her capabilities are, and desiring the platform and influence that match.
"I know what I am capable of, I know I'm good at what I do! My name is respected on the east coast from jersey to Philly to NYC! That motivates me to expand, to grow so my name is known internationally!"
In addition to her self-motivation, MJ also lives for the opportunity to provide talented artists the exposure they deserve.
"I am in this for the love, there is no dollar amount you can put on that...watching [an artist] go from no social media, no music outlets, only performing at open mic's to rocking out a stage with Keith Murray or DMX or Kool G Rap...to be a part of that growth is truly an amazing feeling."
Being that MJ has had a clear vision of what she would set out to from such an early age, she has her eyes set on a future for herself and MJâs Hip Hop Connex which looks a lot like her past, just on a larger stage. She plans on continuing on as a radio host and exclusive interviewer, hosting live cyphers, and nurturing artists' careers to prominence.
"I will continue to get indie Hip-Hop artists on the map and across the globe, it's what I do!"
Journalist & Co-CEO at Rap Music Promo
Journalist & Promoter for T.H.E.M. Recordings at Writter's Block Concerts
Journalist at Direct Access World Wide
Journalist at Hip Hop Hook
Journalist at Hip Hop Forum
Blogger at On The Scene NY
Radio Host & Booking Agent for uTm Radio
Founder of MJs Hip Hop Connex