ONE-ON-ONE Person of influence – Maine Do and Made In Clothing Tell us about yourself: How did you get your stage name and company name, and where are you from?
My Name is Jermaine (Maine Do) Mayo and I’m from New Haven, Connecticut. Maine Do is the name I’ve been called since my childhood, growing up running the streets, constantly adapting to my environment. It (Maine Do) has so many meanings – JerMaine Do what He wants – JerMaine Do whatever he can – plus JerMaine Do a lot of different things. The name Made In was created when my best friend Kevin Lewis and I started our company, which was originally called Made In Connecticut, but we decided to think bigger!
Who would be your dream artist or designer to collaborate with?
My dream artist would have to be Ryan Leslie because of how talented he is with multiple instruments. He has a business mind as well! I would love to pick his brain! My dream designer to work with would be Tinker Hatfeild. A lot of people have no idea who he is, but he is the number one designer for NIKE. That just comes from the type of brand I have, which is a universal brand, but if fashion was my thing I’d say Virgil Abloh from Louis Vuitton. Gotta salute Black Excellence!
Which artists and clothing designers inspired you the most growing up?
As far as artists, I have to go with Jay Z mainly because when I was growing up we listened to Jay and watched him go from Marcy Projects all the way to taking with the president. Where we’re from, that was impossible. In terms of designers, I remember seeing the first pair of Karl Kani’s my cousin brought home and remember him saying that was a black man’s clothing line. I saw rappers and actors wearing his clothes, so that inspired me
What’s the story behind your clothing line? Who are the collaborators?
The way Made In Clothing started was one day my friend Kevin (Coke Kev) Lewis and I were sitting in our apartment and he was eating a bag of chips. On the back was a bar code that said ‘Made in Connecticut’, and he said “I should get this put on a shirt!” and I said “We should press some up and sell them. We should do every state!” And with that, began Made In.
What do you enjoy about making clothing, and do you prefer making clothing or music?
It’s funny, I never thought I would say this, but I enjoy making and selling clothes more than writing music sometimes, and let me tell you why. I’ve been making music since I was 15 from friends’ home studios and closet booths, to traveling all the way to New York to record at some of the best quality studios in the northeast, music was a gift that came naturally. Putting words together and having a slick mouth was just the Block. But learning the clothing business has given me a chance to learn things I never knew I wanted to know! Since my partner/best friend died in a car accident in 2015, there is more of a push from him to keep this company growing and make it something that will always be a reminder of him.
What areas are carrying the brand? And what can customers expect for this year?
You can always go to www.madeinclothingco.com and purchase our clothes. There you can basically design your own clothes. You can pick the color of your item, the state and even the color of your logo. I also do pop-up shops in Connecticut, Atlanta G.A, North Carolina and Los Angeles CA. We have recently had intakes with a marketing team in Hawaii, so be on the lookout for that “Made In Hawaii” brand!!!
How would you define your genre of music? What can new supporters expect when listening to your music?
I would define my genre of music as northeast rap/hip-hop. The reason I say the northeast because there is a difference. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, grew up in Connecticut and now live in Atlanta G.A. And to throw all the different styles, sounds and energy in one box is impossible! My supporters are going to hear more from me in 2019. The past few years have been eye-opening, with pain, growth, different levels and all types of energies.
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment to date is that after I was convicted of sales of narcotics in 1998 and sentenced to 8 years, suspended after 2 years and got 4 years on probation, in 2015 I was granted a full pardon by the state of Connecticut. I was told that I would never get a pardon, and everybody knows all that probation is nothing but a trap to continue the cycle, but I am proof that you can do it and hold your head up high after you’ve made ANY mistakes.
If you could work with any material or fabric, what would your exclusive piece be made of?
That’s funny, I’ve never been asked that. I guess it would be dope to have a nice silk Made In his and hers pajama set with the matching bed set. You never know, 2020!
What are the most challenging things you’ve experienced as a hip hop artist and designer in today’s industry? What changes would you like to see in the music and fashion entertainment industry?
I am privileged to be in the music industry and the fashion industry. Ii feel like it’s not even just who you know, it’s how long have you known them. I’m not just speaking for myself. I think a lot of people never get the opportunity or get put in the position to really be great and that leads to a lot of wasted talent that never gets tapped into. Look at Coke Kev, I believe he was a lot more talented than a lot of sighted artists, and most one-hit wonders, but he passed before ever getting the chance to let the world really hear him.
Do you think there’s a double standard in the industry or in entertainment in general?
Besides what I’ve said about the inside politics, I’ve watched the music industry change time and time again from a million-dollar compact being a big thing, to not enough, to you can’t get a cheque until we can see how many albums you can sell, to albums don’t mean anything. So I give them a pass, they are still trying to figure it out!
Do you have any new projects on the way?
I’m in the lab still with my producers (shout out to the mother ship Patriarch!!) One of my favorite rappers was recently released after 17 years of being wrongfully convicted and came home on his game like he left off (shout out Carlito and the whole New Rome). Plus there’s a young boy from my projects IBTRIZZY. There’s also an up and coming artist in LA called Dariuss Logan whose music is Bananas. Check him out on Sound Cloud.
What makes you unique from other artists? Also, where do you want to be in terms of your career five years from now?
I’m going to say, I’m just one of the few who can tell a story that relates to the relatable. My five-year plan is Grow, Grow, Grow, Grow, Grow! Put it like this, there are 3.6 million people in Connecticut, plus a customer is born every day and my job is to get a shirt, dress, mug or something in all of their hands!
What do you do in your free time?
I love to travel. I’ve been to 30 states and several islands since starting the business. I also like to go to the gun range when I have some free time.
Is there anything else you want to add?
First, always think of the universal God without whom nothing would be possible. I’d like to send love to my mother, and brothers and sisters, Kevin’s family and his kids Kaylee and Kayden. Special thanks to A.B. and the Patriarch family. May everyone continue to strive for greatness.
How can people connect with you?
My social Media handle is MainedoMainedomusic or weremadein on IG. Jermaine Maine Do Mayo is my personal social media handle, and Made In clothing is the name of our business page and group page on Facebook plus MadeIn on Twitter.