Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Savanna Hulbert (K.I.P.P.)
Lately, I’ve been following upcoming Memphis musicians King Mayanara and Rue|Blue, who have a bond of being family, as well as artists.
Compared to other artists involved in the underground music scene who talk about making money and traveling from one end of the country to the next, Mayanara is actually writing about aspects that happen in his everyday life.
Mayanara’s real name is Desmond Catron II, and he grew up in Memphis. He was surrounded by skills of all types, such as barbering (from his father), dancing and making music.
Catron said, “When I turned about 10, I had moved to El Paso, Texas. Then when I turned 15, I came back to stay with my pops.”
It didn’t take long for Catron to pick up these skills. By the age of 12, he had already learned how to cut hair, bust a couple of rhymes whenever he had the time to and had learned a new dance that was made in the late 90’s, during the house music revolution, called rebelling. He then explained that this dance inspired and motivated his grit, grind and persistence to this day.
“Texas compared to Tennessee was a total life turn around,” Catron continued. “ I had always grown up to be the kind of child that wanted to be the best at everything I put effort to and moving to the type of environment I went to, it made me a better person,” said Catron. “Within the first week I moved out to Texas, after helping my mom unpack from our tiring 1,000 mile trip, I took a good nap and headed to the park to shoot some hoops and to make a few lady friends.”
“Boys (there) were much bigger, stronger, and aggressive than I was. I soon learned if I wanted to excel higher than anyone, I’d have to use my mind and actions as much as I possibly could to outshine everyone else.”
He did exactly that when he taught himself piano and drums and began playing for his church.
Catron explained, “If it wasn’t for church, I wouldn’t have as much experience as I would now with my music. Especially in the COGIC and Baptist churches, you learn that your music can influence any atmosphere you play in. Working together with your bandmates, builds a strong sense of teamwork as well. That certain vibe you are trying to give an impulse towards your audience, it must be somewhat telepathically felt with your drummer, bassist, lead guitarist, etc.”
Catron’s cousin, a 12-year-old musician on the rise, was happy to see him return.
Rue|Blue said, “I was really happy my cousin moved back. He’s like a brother to me.”
She’s working with Mayanara’s crew BLVCKNRIDGE, with members Kris Newman, ASHTON, and Kayin Walker, by making beats and by hopping on tracks every now and then.
Catron moved back to his hometown in late 2013 with an ambition to bring back an uprising in Memphis music, art and culture.
“After Three 6 Mafia there hasn’t really been any buttresses to help sustain that unique Memphis cadence,” he said.
Listening to Catron express his desire to reach out to others and inspire them to become more active and the best that they can be impacted me to want to become a better person.