After launching EveryDazeMyBirthday.com in 2010, Shiest Bubz knew he needed a pretty face to represent the female side of his new brand. The former Purple City MC and Dipset affiliate wanted a woman who could keep up with the luxury lifestyle that the blog portrayed while also helping him run the site. Enter Ashley Markt, a college grad and aspiring actress who seamlessly matched Shiest’s swag as well as his non-stop hustle. Now two years into the EveryDazeMyBirthday movement, Shiest and Ashley have evolved from business partners to romantic partners and their relationship continues to grow with the brand. XXLmag.com spoke with the budding power couple to discuss the concept that drives EveryDazeMyBirthday, the evolution of their relationship and how they manage mixing business with pleasure. — Calvin Stovall (@calvinstovall)
XXLmag.com: Shiest, people know you from your rap career, the Smoker’s Club tour and your past work with Dipset. What are you up to with EveryDazeMyBirthday?
Shiest Bubz: In 2010 I launched EveryDazeMyBirthday, which is a luxury lifestyle website. I made a transition I guess from being known as a rapper back to just being behind the scenes of things and building a brand. The concept basically started from when I was a kid. Being that I came from a strong religious background, strict upbringing, I didn’t celebrate holidays and what not. My father was always like, “You get gifts year round, so every day is Christmas for you.” So, I kind of ran with that motto and kind of revamped it into EDMB. Because basically, being in the music industry was kind of like a blessing to me, and everything I ever did in the music industry was kind of like in the bonus column for me. I always felt like every day was my birthday, so just bringing that as far as the lifestyle rap, I wanted to portray for my fans, the people who follow me and new viewers.
How did Ashley get involved with the EDMB brand?
SB: When I launched EDMB, I had already made up my mind that I was gonna be the face because that’s my life, it’s my lifestyle. I was already what people tap into full-fledged, so what I wanted to do was balance my look with a female look. I was already looking for a couple hosts and I stumbled across one of her YouTube videos. And I already had met her through a mutual friend at the time, nah mean? So when I saw her video clip, I seen her in a whole different light. I didn’t even know that she was trying to pursue a career in modeling, acting or anything like that. Because when I saw her in real life, I didn’t even know she was trying to go down that road. So I was like, “This is good. This is someone that’s low key.” And after having a conversation with her and things of that nature, I learned that she was in college, she had a degree in business communications. And that’s what I was trying to represent as far as the women of EDMB. I didn’t want to have the booty model type, video vixen type look as opposed to pretty face, smart. Nah mean?
Ashley, what did you think when Shiest first approached you with the concept of EDMB?
Ashley Markt: It like set a light bulb in my head because that was like the philosophy of the way I was living throughout my life. I was always just partying, getting money, and like just doing whatever I wanted to do. Really, I just had control. Nobody could tell me anything, basically. My determination got me what I wanted.
What do you do for the site?
AM: I write, I blog about fashion and then I also help out with the marketing and I do a lot of social networking. I run the Twitter and stuff like that.
When did your relationship evolve from just business to both business and personal?
SB: When I first started dealing with her, it was strictly business, it was like picking up a new artist. It was just that us being together for so long and working all the time… We spent a lot of time together working, conceptualizing. She’d read different books. I’d be like, “Yo, read this book.” My schedule is just too busy to allow me free time to read 400 page books. That’s just what it is. Besides being a host, she started evolving as more of a partner. And I was also looking for that and she also stepped up to that, so it just worked out.
AM: We were working together for a year before anything happened and I guess I fell in love with his generosity as a person. And I guess our compatibility. But we built a strong foundation, so at the end the bond that we have is unbreakable. But it came from the friendship.
You’re becoming a power couple, in what ways do you complement each other’s skils?
AM: He helps me as an artist, and I feel what I help him with is like consulting and the marketing. It’s my education background. So, when it comes to EDMB, he includes me as the co-brander. He runs with his own ideas, but he always comes back to ask me for my intuition which makes us work well together.
SB: For me, I’ve always developed artists, I’ve been branding since I came into the music industry. So, I felt like the look that I wanted, she was easily pulling off. So my swag, her swag complemented each other. It was just like, “Cool, any look that I wanted to get off, she could complement that which was great. Any business idea I had, she could help me put it together which is great. So that’s how she was complementing me. To the point where it was like, “Alright, besides calling it a business, I’m also kind of like catching feelings for you.
Does your business relationship ever complicate your romantic relationship?
AM: There’s difficult times, but we always keep an open communication and are honest with one another. So when any situation comes at hand we address it. We don’t dwell on it. We get over it and it’s about just building and being positive and building on the positive things that we have going.
SB: Some of the hardships about being a couple are that we’re in the music industry, right? We come from the entertainment industry, being a couple it’s hard because you’re in an industry where there’s all types of go-getters, there’s the people who will get it by any means necessary. So when dealing in that type of environment, you gotta be real strong. Like she said earlier, we have open lines of communication, that’s just how we rock. That’s the only way we can rock, really. That’s how most couples should rock; with the open levels of communication.
Click through the gallery to meet Ashley Markt
- xxlash<strong>How did you get into modeling?</strong><br /><br /> I always wanted to model when I was younger, and my mom would take me to these little seminars or whatever. But I always thought that I didn’t have the mainstream image— Pamela Anderson, blonde hair, big boobs, blue eyes. I went away to CW Post University for about a year and a half. I pledged a sorority and when I came back home I started chilling with some other girls and they introduced me to the whole urban market. I was like, “Oh, this is a good platform for me. There’s other looks that are out there that I could appeal to.” I have the exotic look that people want now. <br /><br /><strong>When did you realize you wanted to do more?</strong><br /><br />I figured that I wanted to use my brain, so that’s why I figured I’d do production management. That’s where my schooling was gonna take place. But with my mass communication minor I was allowed to take a drama class and when I took that class it opened up a whole new world for me and I realized I have a passion for acting. And from there I went to Penny Templeton studio and now I’m looking to study at a new studio over the summer.
- xxlash2<strong>How far do your acting ambitions go? Do you have your eyes on Hollywood?</strong><br /><br />Yeah, like a television actress. I know right now the entertainment is reality TV, but I’m hoping that sitcoms come back. I want to be a television actress, movie actress. I mean I watch reality TV, but as an actress, there’s not a lot of jobs now because the main thing that is on TV is reality shows, not sitcoms.<br /><br /><strong>Where did you go to school?</strong><br /><br />Lehman college with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a minor in mass communications and a specialization in marketing and human resource management… I figured that with business, I figured that I could get into any industry I wanted to. It was a good foundation and background to start with. I did mass communications because I wanted to get into the entertainment industry. <br /><br /><strong>People may see you and think you’re just a pretty face, why are you more than Eye Candy?</strong><br /><br />I’m smart, I graduated with a 3.4 gpa, I’m on the Dean’s list and I basically get what I want. I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a go-getter. I’m the birthday girl!