Written by Bryson "Boom" Paul
Mark Spratley is a young 28 year old music mogul taking the industry by storm. While his net worth is growing rapidly, his network remains priceless. A man of many traits, “SpratFool” is a marketing & PR guru, legendary event curator, former writer, influencer and record label owner.
Sprat can account for lending a significant hand in helping take artists such as DaBaby, DDG, Lud Foe, Smooky Margielaa, Albee Al, Sicko Mobb, Nikko Lafre, Alus and many more to new heights. Beyond working with many artists personally, he is one of the premier publicists in the game, charting numerous artists, countless label deals, countless streams and being a key player in the lives of many artists careers. Mark Spratley was a key figure in the entire “Blog era”, leading the way as he wrote for Baller Status, Mechanical Dummy, HipHopSince1987 and many other popular platforms before parting ways prior to the shift in how people ultimately consumed music. Expanding out, Sprat has become a well received name in the event space, throwing some of the most legendary mansion parties and events SXSW (Austin, Texas) and many other cities have ever seen (Bringing out the likes of Russ, Post Malone, Lil Baby, A Boogie, PNB Rock, Moneybagg Yo, OT Genasis, Desiigner, Chief Keef, Lil Yachty, Megann Thee Stallion, and many more).
The man is a machine and constantly working. Post Malone has listed Sprats “Legally Loud” event in addition to the rest of his first year SXSW schedule as “This is where it all started” (Also seen in “Post Malone Saucin’ Through SXSW”). Major recording artist and superstar Russ use to call Sprat “The Plug”. From helping connect DaBaby and Lil Baby which led to their first ever record together (‘Today’ Remix), personally connecting Lud Foe and PNB Rock in the studio with Orlando Whartonberg (Atlantic Records) to create “88” , to housing Smooky Margielaa in his LA apartment when Smooky lead single was still “Layed Up”. Through many obstacles, Sprat has continued to grow respect and accumulate a large following on all social media platforms throughout his very short career. On top of being known for his musical expertise and ear, Mark Spratley has created a brand and strong influence over the youth and music culture.
We took some time out below to ask Mark Spratley a few questions.
Website: www.SpratFool.com – Twitter/IG: @SpratFool
How did you get started in the music industry?
I just got to it. I got to work, I provided something that was needed and created an audience of my own. Very simple, many aren’t willing to put in the time or go through 2 years of straight work and BS in order to live like a boss. Many aren’t even willing to take a shot.
Everything I’ve done has led up to this moment of me having my own full service label as well as many other successful ventures. Not only just running them but being able to run everything properly and simultaneously. Everybody can say they have a label or can say they manage, PR, produce, curate, youtube, have a podcast etc. but not everybody provides results. Especially results from the ground up.
5 things you are most proud of during your music industry career thus far?
Being able to provide for myself and others while at the same talking calling my own shots and making my own schedule
Creating some legendary event moments (I’ve brought out countless stars that are doing arenas now)
Helped countless artists take their careers and lives to a whole new level
Charting numerous artists, meeting legends that I grew up on, never selling myself short or selling my soul.
How did you get introduced to DDG? How did that relation come about?
I literally just came across one of his first music videos on youtube and just hit him up. I think I was actually contacting him to perform at one of my events during SXSW. From there, Dimitri (His manager) and I formed a very strong relationship and got to work on DDG and his whole Youtube to music transition and the “Take Me Serious” campaign. To this day we are still making moves, that’s good people.
Dimitri, MPM, 1010, DDG & the whole squad are doing their thing right now.
List Some Music Industry Influences? (Executives)
Jay, Lyor Cohen, Dame Dash, Scooter Braun, Will (Taylor Gang), Jimmy Ivine. Steve Rifkind paved a lane to.
Diddy energy is unmatched
You have Egyptian artist pre kai ro rising rapidly right now. Is this the next artist we need to get familiar with?
Of course, pre is going up right now as he should. The music speaks for itself, only time before he’s completely out of here! My word!
Do you feel as though an artist needs a major label deal?
Hell no. I believe every situation is different for each artist. Some can benefit largely from a label deal and some might be better off staying independent. It really all depends who you have around you and what type of machine you are working with independently. If you have the right people around you the sky is the limit. If you really don’t know what you are doing or don’t know how to maneuver you might be better off getting some juice and power in your corner whether that’s an individual or a label. Too many artists think they can do everything on their own but many aren’t willing to move accordingly.
Was the music industry something that you always wanted to be apart of? How is it?
Not even. I’ve always been a fan of music and been ahead of my peers when it came to new artists or new music dropping but music was never the vision. Growing up I obviously always wanted to be a professional athlete, after that I always wanted to be a sports agent. Life went a certain way, directed me towards the music and a passion I already had and I decided to go hard.
What rap artists did you grow up on?
I listened to really everything and was exposed to everything. But Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Dipset, DMX, Eminem, Wu Tang, LOX, Big L, Pac, Biggie, Lloyd Banks, Fabolous, Snoop, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Pun, T.I., Outkast, Old Cassidy was fire. You can’t be a early 90’s baby and say old Ja wasn’t fire before the whole G Unit x Eminem beef.
Being a 90’s baby I was able to grow up pretty much in between 2 decades. So the artists above which then transitioned into Lil Wayne and a bunch of different other artists and sounds, which then transitioned into the Gucci, Waka, Future and Chief Keef days.
Max B I really didn’t start listening to until late high school & college.
Top 3 favorite shows you have ever been to?
Method Man x Redman x Curren$y
Hot 97 Hot For The Holidays
You’re from New Jersey, what artists stick out to you in your home state? Any predictions?
A lot of artists are dropping music but not a lot are sticking out or taking it to the next level. I actually believe there is some solid talent in NJ but the campaigns, artists and teams behind some of these artists aren’t making it work.
Tone Stith, LVNDVN and NBDY are some dope R&B acts out of NJ
Daidough should’ve been out of here
Obviously you have all the usual names out of Jersey as well. I really feel at times that Albee Al was one of the only ones truly going hard for Jersey but now he locked (FREE HIM)
First time meeting DaBaby? Where was he at in his career?
Probably about 2 years and maybe some change at this point. DaBaby was the same person he is now, music just as dope. He maybe had around 20k followers back then. He knew he was going to blow up eventually. It’s crazy but not a lot of people remember he had a record bubbling years and years ago called “Light Show”. After seeing ‘Pull Up’, ‘Gorilla Glue’ etc. I knew he was going to be something big.
What was it like working with Albee Al?
Albee is good people, definitely a good person who stands for what he believes in. A talented rapper for sure. There was a point when you could walk out your door in Jersey City and within 5 minutes it would be guaranteed that multiple cars would pass you blaring some Albee Al.
One of the dopest with the freestyles. Albee tells stories, his music is filled with emotion, he spits real bars, real pain and real music.
It’s hard for a lot of artists to do anything in New Jersey. Especially North Jersey. The police don’t allow it, especially on the event side. They’d rather not deal with anything at all or tax you thousands of dollars to sit outside of whatever venue to have a particular artist out (Regardless of security being present or not).
I can’t stress enough for Jersey artists to get up out of New Jersey and travel. Don’t feel like you OWE Jersey anything just make sure you represent it wherever you go. Experience life and other cultures elsewhere, continue to grow and get your music in other ears and push your movement beyond the Tri-State.
What is your relationship with Sonny Digital?
That’s SQUAD. One of the more genuine and real people I’ve met in this music industry to be honest.
Sonny and I had been suppose to link and get introduced numerous times by a few different people. Me moving to Atlanta made it a bit easier. From there my guy Mason Taylor finally linked us, we vibe’d, got to work and just kept a solid relationship throughout. Beyond that being my guy, we’ve done events, press runs and much more. Plenty more is definitely going to come from Sonny and I.
Most memorable moments during SXSW?
Countless moments. Really epic moments actually. Let’s leave it at that.
First off, you made a major move with your ‘New Day, New Wave’ Spotify playlist running on a Times Square, New York City billboard. Most people dream of being up on a billboard in Times Square, how does that feel?
I appreciate that. It definitely is amazing that I’m able to do this. Beyond my name or logo being up on these billboards, it’s a HUGE platform and promotional piece for plenty of artists whether they’re MAJOR or on the rise. Everybody was doing playlists or collaborating on playlists just how everybody is doing podcasts now to. I figured it would be dope to take the playlist to the next level and throw the entire list up on a billboard so everybody could see it physically as well. The playlist not only showcases my ear but gives artists another outlet for their music. Everybody wants to see their name up on a billboard, now I run it every 2-3 weeks with a fresh update of artists you need to hear.