If there's one thing Mapy deserves, it's success.
The Paris-by-way-of-Madagascar native said she always dreamed of becoming a famous musician. But she certainly didn't do it in a "traditional" way. While hip-hop is her passion, Mapy chose to combine her love of hip hop with the classical sounds of the violin.
"That didn't go over well in Paris," she told 21Ninety exclusively. "I didn't have the 'look' that suited them. I didn't have the 'sound,' either. When France wants to hear 'classical' music, they want things to be traditional in the approach. The sound, the look, and I just wasn't what they were looking for. Who knows? Perhaps it's a more conservative country than we all think."
Mapy, however, wasn't just a hobbyist. At the tender age of six, she enrolled in classes at the prestigious Conservatory in Paris, France. Her mother, a single mother raising four children, including Mapy, worked overtime to pay for her lessons and instilled an "I cannot fail" mentality in the young musician from the beginning.
Like many musicians, Mapy had to work a "regular" job to pay the bills while waiting for her "hip hop violinist" dream to pop off. She got a job in a law firm and then as a consultant, but while she was comfortable, she wasn't happy.
"It was then that I decided that I would play the music I always wanted to play," she said. "It was an impossible dream, sure. But when I realized that this was going to be the only thing that was going to make me happy, I decided to take a leap of faith."
Thus, Mapy packed her bags — goodbye Paris, hello Brooklyn!
She was inspired to come to New York City on the advice of another hip hop violinist and, naturally, what didn't go over well in stuffy Paris went off like a nuclear bomb in New York City. Her offbeat blend of hip hop, reggae, and Soca went over well with the culturally diverse Manhattan crowd, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, live music almost immediately shut down.
But that's where the Internet came in handy, and she recorded videos like the one below.
Yes, that's Mapy, on a basketball court in Brooklyn, playing a violin version of DaBaby & Roddie Rich's ubiquitous song, "Rockstar." As is typical of New York City, most of the players barely even realized what she was doing.
But while streetball players in Brooklyn weren't necessarily paying attention, it didn't take long for DaBaby to take notice. He was so nice, and so supportive!" she said. The next thing Mapy knew, she was sharing a stage with the hip hop superstar at the Grammys, in a performance, you can see below.
"I never would have imagined myself onstage at the Grammys," she said. "But, you know, I felt like I was finally where I belonged."
With countless nods from top artists and brands such as Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, MTV, BET Music, Machel Montano, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, and Movado, it's safe to say, Mapy will be booked and busy for quite some time.
Still, amidst all that fame, Mapy remembers her mother's invaluable advice. "Music is a passport that breaks boundaries between social classes. One day you will understand and thank me," she said.
And we're quite sure she does.
Mapy is dropping a single soon, with plans to tour this fall and releasing a fashion line early this summer. Follow Mapy on Instagram @iammapy to stay up to date!