A Star On The Rise
A Star On The Rise
Tell us about Sweet Geesus, who is Marcell, how did the name Sweet Geesus come about?
My dad’s nickname is G, so it’s sort of passed down to me from him. Joshua translated into Hebrew is Jesus. My full name is Joshua Marcell Raygoza. Because I didn’t want to offend anyone by claiming to be “Jesus” I changed the spelling to Geesus. The sweet part came about because I’m a nice person. It’s a subtle reference to remain humble. I’m here for the music, and the name is a reminder not to let anything go to my head and to remain humble.
How old are you?
I just turned 20 towards the end of March.
When did you 1st know you had the gift of music / when did you begin rapping?
I began writing around 14-15. It was more about my thoughts and poetry. My father was a major influence on me musically and had friends who were into music. I really began to take my music seriously around 16 – 17 hanging out with friends who had mics and I would rap what I had written down with them while hanging out. I never thought it was really that great, at first. It was more of a past time I wanted to develop. I was never satisfied and always wanted to get better. My style changed up around 17-18 which is around the time I began going by Marcell Sweet Geesus and went from a street rap style to a more purposeful one.
How would you describe Marcell the high school student, what kind of student/person was he?
To be honest, I was a straight A student. In our family education was always important for my brother and me. At a young age, I was in advanced and honors classes. I hung out with a small group of friends. I was good at sports and was offered a spot on the varsity football team. In high school, I made A’s & B’s and was dedicated to my education. Then music came in, and it was around that time I began dedicating my time and energy to my music. I was a good kid.
How has Marcell, the adult, changed since then?
I’m more open to the world. I’m more open minded, and I feed off of better energies; I’m more mature and want to create and go down my own path. I’m more dedicated seeing I have a future with music. I’m a better person all the way around.
What’s the story behind the song Black Power Ranger?
I got the idea at 15 after noticing I wasn’t being reflected in the media. There were no black superheroes on TV. When I would watch the show Power Rangers, it always seemed as if the black one was always off to the side. The song is about creating the image of a black superhero. I had myself in mind when I finished the song at 19. I wanted to see more diversity and wanted to empower everyone and wanted to show you are powerful.
Who are some of your music influences?
Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Travis Scott and 2 Pac. I look at what people do; 2 Pac wanted to spread a positive message and help his community. It’s not fulfilling just to be a rapper, send a positive message… it’s more than just the music. Do more for others than you do for yourself.
What underground rapper would you most like to work with, what known female and male artist would you most like to work with?
Hopsin. Kendrick Lamar, and SZA.
How would you describe the current “underground music scene”?
It’s diverse. The underground scene is more about the message, and the point they are looking to get across. Everyone has their own style. There isn’t enough attention paid to the underground scene, and that’s a shame because there is a lot of talent underground and they should be receiving more recognition for their music. It will always be alive and well.
If we were to press play and listen to what you are currently listening to, who would we hear?
What are your thoughts on sampling another artist’s music?
I think it’s cool if you do it with permission and you do it respectfully. I think it’s cool to keep older music alive…. I don’t see anything wrong with it.
What are your thoughts on labels, meaning if someone were to call you a rapper would you agree or disagree with them?
I wouldn’t want to be tagged as just a rapper; I’m genre blind. I want to make music and break the title of being placed in a genre. I’m an artist.
What responsibility do you feel an artist has in addressing social issues in their music for those who are “woke”?
It’s important when you know you have the ability to create change or touch on a subject for the better… then they should. Because of their platform, they should share the idea of positivity because of the power of their words carrying more weight than the average person.
You just made your 1st million, what are you spending your money on?
I’m buying a Beamer because I’ve always wanted one. I would pay off my Mom’s house and help out my family because my family has been with me since day 1 and without them, I wouldn’t have anything, so I’m paying back my dues.
How do you select your beats and when do you know you’ve found one?
The beat has to match the vibe with the lyric. I talk with producers to make sure they understand what I am looking for. With everything, it’s about the quality.
Who would you consider your targeted audience?
Anyone who loves music, anyone looking for positivity.
What is the driving force/motivation behind your music?
Wanting to be more of an influence by showing people you can do it and make it; I never knew it would go this far. I wanted to set an example of doing what you love and how that will take you where you want to be.
Where will you one day perform that will be considered a dream come true for you?
Madison Square Garden.
What has been your least favorite job and what has been your favorite job you’ve had to date?
Working 48 hours a week at a grocery in the produce department has been my least favorite job because you do the same thing every day. I most enjoyed volunteering at the elementary school I attended as a kid helping build greenhouses, planting gardens and planning events. Perhaps it’s a little nostalgic, it’s fun to see the kids appreciate the work we do.
What would you like to say to your day one fans?
I appreciate… really appreciate all of the love and support and without them, I couldn’t have gone anywhere. So I really appreciate you.