Updated: Feb 15
DIY torch bearers, Louis Navas and Emmy Marks, are local musicians and promoters in the Long Island, NY area who consistently curate community-oriented events for underground artists through their platform, Mali.Rest.ING. On a similar wavelength to CVC, their international networking group is dedicated to collaborating with local talent and connecting them with visionaries abroad.
After connecting with Louis through the Emo Trap Group Facebook page, we hopped on a call to chat about DIY shows and potential collaborations. From the get go, we appreciated each other's visions and made sure to connect down the line. I was interested in setting up an East Coast run sometime during fall 2022, but it didn't really pan out at the time. While I was finding a balance living in LA and growing the local community with CVC, Louis and Emmy were crafting some of the finest underground lineups for a wide array of genres out on the East Coast. Teaming up with the venue Shaker's Pub out in Oakdale, Long Island, Mali.Rest.ING was able to pop off on weekends with local legends like Dev Gajan, Rats!, and Dan Cooney.
Last December, I took a trip with Murtzel to the East Coast to handle some study abroad paperwork and happened to reach out to Louis spontaneously to see if there were any lineups I could hop on for a SpaceyY set. Coming' in clutch, Louis had a few shows already lined up and added me to a bill at Shaker's on Dec. 14th alongside Sal3m Shawty, ISMOKEBEATZ, and others. A five hour flight, 6 hour bus ride, and chaotic subway journey later, Murtzel and I landed in Long Island with a few hours to spare before my set. Immediately, we were treated with open arms by Emmy and Louis and got a glimpse of their passions paying off. The local NY scene was really inspiring. Seeing how supportive all the artists were for their fans and friends was as wholesome as your homie giving you their last bud to toke or bite to eat. Connecting the coasts was a beautiful experience and we're grateful to keep capturing slices of life out in the underground scenes across the US.
Looping back from the East Coast trip, I caught up with the two visionaries to chat about the origins of their outlet and what they plan to do next.
Q: How did you bring the idea for Mali Resting into reality?
Emmy: Quite literally by Lou and I meeting each other. We’d have discussions about all kinds of things music related (cause we’re both giant nerds about it) and realized we had a lot of the same visions and ideas for how we could create a more stable music community, and overall industry. Louis has been booking for upwards of a decade, and I studied music business in college. It was a super natural fit from the get go.
Luis: In my opinion, this idea came together when we met the new community that was coming together on LI. I was ready to focus on booking/traveling with some artists I’d been meeting all over the country but when I met Emmy (and when I finally spent time with artists like Santino Nox, $a13m Sh4wtyy, King Khona, Calliope, Pig Farm, and that sick-nasty Long Island market rn) there seemed like a need for something like what we do. We didn’t want to be booking longterm but we had some ideas and the next part was just talking about it. Soooo yeah, we just kept talking (and listening for new music).
Q: How has that journey been so far? Were you involved in DIY communities before this project?
Emmy: I’m a lifelong musician, so I’ve always been a regular at DIY shows, sometimes in New York, sometimes in Massachusetts. I always have a deep respect for anyone who tries to make things work on their own or with a rag tag team of fellow artists!
Luis: I’ve lived like several lives in the 12 years I’ve been in the DIY scenes. Started playing drums in bands at around 14, making scene-relevant art for releases at 15, ran 200-500 cap venues from 18-21, helped get people into the production-based music thing between 22-25, and somehow found time to do a little something like all of those things for the homies in the last year at 26.
Shoutout to Tameem Shaker, Sailor Jerry, Taykwaun Jackson of Sworn Enemy, Eddie of I Ignite, Jackie Guma, Skuby Muñoz and Kyler Sane, Joe Conserva, Boys Of Fall, Adventurer, Colton Ulery, Handguns, Dyne Side, Belmont, Capstan, MJT, Candiria, Jake Salazar, OTO, Kirill, Tom Diognardi, Rene Fuentes, Pauline and the ex-Revolution Team, Anthony Villani and them Dijan’s from Farsight, Cody Saunders, Costas T, Tom A, Shawn O, Pete, STATT CREW, Celia Werner, Bruce Video, Jimmy Busch, Katie D, Richie and Jimmy from RATS! for letting me and Emmy focus on so many things with our band, and ESPECIALLY Nika and Ann Jameson from Shakers Pub in Oakdale, NY (y’all are my biggest supporters ever). I’d be here all day shouting out the people I loved meeting and working with.
Q: How has the local DIY scene evolved from your perspective?
Emmy: Everyone’s gotten the chance to meet and settle into the scene together. At first there were growing pains, there still are, but we always try our best to keep things fun and community oriented. We emphasize more than anything respect for others, respect for the music, and respect to the people who run and aid the rooms, whether that’s us, other promoters, bartenders, sound people, photographers/videographers, vendors, artists, etc.
Luis: My last answer was long so I’ll keep this short: a lot of us realized how important it is to keep in touch and that’s what we do now. We keep in touch.
Q: How does Mali Resting operate? Any venues or artists you work with regularly?
Emmy: Honestly I have no clue. We just follow what works, haha. Everything and everyone requires a different solution to their problems, it’s just about being able to solve it as efficiently and fairly as possible.
Luis: mostly it’s in Instagram Group Chats, via phone call, or hanging in the room (or gym) just chatting away our ideas. One of us usually fires off in a direction and we just see what happens. If bands get to jam, rappers get to freestyle, and artists get to sketch, why can’t we treat booking those talents the same way? We just roll with a general idea, see what we can do, try our best, and love the results with all our hearts because they were organic ideas in a time filled with routine thought. It’s that type of mindset for us.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories with Mali Resting so far?
Emmy: A guy called one of our friends a bitch. She owned the bar and was also working the bar that night at a packed out show. Someone had ripped a paper towel holder out of the wall and she had to go check it, this guy would not leave. She had her boyfriend, who was also the bartender, drag him out of the building, and Lou jumped in to defend her. The situation took all but 30 seconds to start and finish, it was very explosive. Now, I did not see any of this happen, because I was grabbing my bass amp from the car, so imagine my surprise when I walk back in and there’s a crowd of people surrounding me in dead silence. The first question out of my mouth was “Lou, what did you do?” Because I’d already guessed someone was kicked off the premises. And I was correct he did something, and of course it was to defend someone else who needed it. I just always laugh at that memory, because it was absolute chaos.
Luis: This is the hardest question you’ve asked because literally every minute since Emmy and I started working on this project together I’ve considered it the best part of my life. I’ll stick to 3. Choice A: I met Vito and Dev Gajan at 2 shows (one at Shakers and one at the Fuze Box in Albany) last year and it spawned a series of visits we all made to each other (as well as new musical endeavors from each of us). Choice B: watching $a13m Sh4wtyy and Halloween Headazz’ “Hot Wheelz” become an underground anthem for our local friends. Choice C: watching Shakers shows go from a series of empty but pleasurable crowds to a series of packed out nights with artists like Jonny Craig, Keepmysecrets, I Ignite, $a13m, Amboy, Pig Farm, The Color Fred, Alex Melton, Playing Dead, and so many of our friends.
Q: Any goals or plans for 2023?
Emmy: Make bank. Make friends. Live free and prosper.
Luis: We joined up with Riffsville to set up some LI shows (as we decided to stop hosting regularly). I’m also in a tattoo apprenticeship right now while Emmy and I await the arrival of 2 incredible records from our band RATS! Most of the music was written before I joined the band so I feel like I still get to brag about how fucking cool Rich Olson, Jimmy Vollert, and Emmy Marks’ songs are and how lucky I am to play with such a kickass rock n roll band. The plan is to start visiting the west coast soon too so maybe we’ll meet again ;)