Mars Jackson on Wax / by Alex Young

Mars Jackson with his “Good Days Never Last Forever” vinyl record | Photographs by Alex Young

Mars Jackson with his “Good Days Never Last Forever” vinyl record | Photographs by Alex Young

"It took seven years just to get something like this," Mars Jackson said as he held his forthcoming translucent, orange vinyl record, "Good Days Never Last Forever." He's finally ready to release an official album. 

Currently, Mars and his label, Misra Records, rollout "Good Days Never Last Forever" (GDNLF). He joined Misra in 2016 as their first-ever hip-hop signee. The first single, "Heart Dance," from the album gained traction in Australia first as a credit to Misra's distribution methods. To end January 2018, the single hit all streaming platforms and the rapper premiered its music video at the "Down & Derby" skate party. A Yung Mulatto illustration covers the "Heart Dance" song art.

"A label believed in me every step of the way. There weren't any nos. I learned how to expand myself as an artist during this," Mars said. "I don't like being put in a box. I make good music. It's wonderful to be a fan of all genres."

Mars said GDNLF is "complete to show what kind of artist I am and just not one dimensional." Mars played the album for InTheRough in the comfort of his apartment back in September 2017. The lyrics encourage with lines like "we can live forever." The project is dreamy while acknowledging realistic aspects of life in the album title. 

During the album's recording, he wasn't "looking for a sound. We were having fun." Confident vocals show how Mars was "not being scared to use my voice," he said. Cool references throughout GDNLF like "JR Smith with my shirt off" or "That's So Raven" keep the tone uplifting. Instrumentation shines. "Good Days Never Last Forever" releases this summer.

This was different for me like this whole process. Doing mixtapes and just throwing songs out there compared to actually telling yourself you can sell music it’s totally different. You have to go through some things first before you even have the cojones to say, ‘Yeah, you’re going to buy my music.’
Photograph by Jordan Armstrong

Photograph by Jordan Armstrong

A lot of outside input and feedback went into "Good Days Never Last Forever" and it relies on a local Pittsburgh cast's support. "Nice [Rec] took me under his wing and trusted me over his production," Mars said. The producer Nice Rec has "worked with the best" and has credits on albums like Wiz Khalifa's "O.N.I.F.C.," along with executive production on Mars' "Good Days Never Last Forever." Musician Benji "kills" his feature on the song called "Simple" on the album, and rapper Choo Jackson also features on the record. "Keep it local. If it's local, it means a lot," Mars said.

To that end, Ryan Brown of lifestyle label farESH Brand creative directed the project. "He saw the vision," Mars said of Brown. Additionally, graphic artists and photographers Brian of Frequently Fly, Generic Pieces, Keep Pittsburgh Dope, and Paizley helped create the album cover and insert booklet. "Pittsburgh everything," Mars called it.

"Anything that happens in Pittsburgh I see. I'm just a fly on the wall," Mars said. The 31-year-old New York born and Pittsburgh raised resident has been in the rap game for a while and a key part of Pittsburgh's creative scene. He told a story about Daily Bread clothiers utilizing Mac Miller and A$AP mob during their 2009 rise for brand promo, and then sitting in watching the filming of a Hardo and Jimmy Wopo rap video years later. "They were trap'd out."

In the inner city, we make stuff pop and then you get bigger companies who look to see what’s going on in the scene and use some of the blueprints.

Although don Mars still views himself as a "local artist" and people still "see me as their peer," he said. Overall, "it's always good to give people the love tap," explaining his encouragement for Steel City residents.

Mars will join local talents Benji and singer Sierra Sellers for a performance on Feb. 16 at the Club Cafe venue. Get tickets for the 10:20 p.m. show here. Also, Mars needs a tour DJ for shows like his April date in New Jersey. Email him at knowmarsinfo@gmail.com if you have interest and qualifications.

Before Mars releases "Good Days Never Last Forever," he wants people to know that "they've never heard me like this."

Club Cafe

54 S 12th Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15203