Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, a duo from Seattle, Washington, have emerged as a premier national hip-hop group known for their electrifying live shows, expertly crafted music, and innovative music videos and media. After years of building momentum withimpassioned support from their devoted fan base, 2012 has been a banner year for the group, kicked off by Macklemore’s feature inXXL’s Freshman Class. Most recently, they have broken new ground by independently releasing their debut full-length album,The Heist, which shot into the #1 spot on iTunes and debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts without the support of a traditionalrecord label. Their single “Thrift Shop” has top 40 on the Billboard Top 100 chart and is still climbing, with a wildly popular music video (20 million+ views on YouTube) on heavy rotation on BET and MTV2. “Same Love,” a song and video in support of marriage equality, galvanized young fans and voters and led to a live studio performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. While on their 70-city, completely sold-out world tour supporting The Heist, they have garnered attention in Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, TIME and GQ, with live performances on VH1 and an upcoming feature on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ music is distinct for channeling cultural moments and refreshingly self-aware testimony through candid lyricism and thoughtfully crafted production. Their work has captivated listeners around the world, with a combined total of 50million views on YouTube and a passionate fan following. Their body of work demonstrates an impressive variety of musical influence, experience and subject matter, all in a voice unmistakably their own.
Macklemore’s 2005 release Language of My World was well received by circles who noted his fresh perspective and a striking balance of insight and levity. After several subsequent years of artistic stagnation and frustration due to substance abuse, Macklemore made a commitment to sobriety with a newfound, more intrinsic dedication to his music. A major catalyst to this change was establishing a partnership and on-going collaboration with Ryan Lewis, an accomplished artist in design, photography, video and musical production, who also acts as Macklemore’s touring DJ. They released the VS EP in 2009 & VS Redux in 2010, the latter reaching #7 on the iTunes Hip Hop charts. Throughout 2011 they released four highly successful singles, all accompanied by undeniable music videos. As an independent group with no current association with an outside record label, the duo has built their brand from the ground up since day one, and continue to be completely in-house with their music, design, photography, merchandise and all other platforms of their artistry.
The pair has been featured at a significant number of major festivals and showcases, including the 2011 Rock The Bells Tour, Lollapalooza (IL), Soundset (MN), MusicFest NW (OR), Sasquatch (WA), Outside Lands (San Francisco), and a much-talked about run at SXSW, including a set at the Fader Fort. Perhaps most notable was 2011’s Bumbershoot Festival, where Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed an extended set to 12,000 fans at Key Arena, unprecedented for a Seattle-based hip-hop artist. They also performed “My Oh My” at the Seattle Mariners home opener at Safeco Field for 48,000 people.
Select publication appearances include the Source’s “Unsigned Hype” column in early 2012, the “Show-And-Prove” feature in XXL Magazine, a front-page feature on the Seattle Times and the cover of City Arts Magazine and The Stranger.