To say that Marc E. Bassy is a music lover would be the understatement of the century. The talented singer-songwriter who burst onto the scene with the release of his first mixtape "Only the Poets" back in 2014, wears his love of music quite literally on his skin. Many of his tattoos have been inspired by his craft and by the musicians and poets who have inspired him along the way. 

Bassy took the time to give us a tattoo tour, pulling back the curtain and sharing the stories behind each of his pieces. 

Marc E. Bassy's griffin tattoo

Marc E. Bassy's griffin tattoo

Griffin 

This was my first tattoo. The “suburban, I just turned 18 and I’m a little badass, give me some ink now” tat. My best friend at the time had drawn his own personalized family crest so I wanted to keep up. My father had died a couple years prior, so I decided to make it a tribute tattoo for him. The picture is a Griffin, my namesake magical beast, and the letters are my dad’s initials.

Marc E. Bassy's microphone tattoo.

Marc E. Bassy's microphone tattoo.

Microphone 

I had just moved to L.A. I was 18 or 19 and my girlfriend at the time suggested I get another tat. I had just become committed to being a singer and I saw the old school mic in the artist’s drawing book....go for it! 

Marc E. Bassy's Sly Stone inspired tattoo, as well as his "Only the Poets" tattoo.

Marc E. Bassy's Sly Stone inspired tattoo, as well as his "Only the Poets" tattoo.

Sly and the Family Stone Lyrics

Another one with my girlfriend at the time...there is a pattern! Ahhh I had just started digging into old records and classic soul music. I was working at my aunt Leslie’s deli in Potrero Hill and Sly was my new favorite. Something about the simplicity and honesty of the lyrics combined with the unabashed power of the musicians really cut me down. In “Everybody Is a Star,” the band trades off singing duties line for line. Sly’s brother comes in before Sly on each verse and in the second verse he says, “I love you for who you are... not the one you feel you need to be.” Something we all want to hear. I got the lyrics tatted on my ribs as my girl looked on, an homage to one of my heroes.

Marc E. Bassy getting tattooed. 

Marc E. Bassy getting tattooed. 

Only the Poets

This is a tat dedicated to my first album and James Baldwin, one of my favorite Americans. He gave a speech in which he states, “Only the poets...know the truth about us.” That always stuck with me, now it’s stuck on me.