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Keakie Presents MarcLo, the triple threat artist transcending Hip Hop

Keakie speaks with MarcLo about blending genres and working with Big Sean.

22nd Mar 2017

Image Credit: Roli

Marcus Lomax is a man who truly appreciates artistry.

Following the release of the video for his summery song ‘SWNGN’ we had a candid conversation about how much music means to him. Showing that physical spaces are never a limit to his creative sparks, he coolly explains how he wrote most of the track in an Atlanta hotel room whilst on a trip. What is particularly fascinating is that after a few minutes of conversation, you quickly realise that you should not be deceived by his seemingly relaxed demeanour – MarcLo is a man who has studied the game and is serious about transcending his artistry to the next level.

The nostalgic song, which is clearly inspired by the 90s era of music, tastefully reinvents Montell Jordan’s party classic ‘This is How We Do It’ with a vibrancy that can be appreciated by a new generation of music fans. MarcLo told us: ‘I’ve always wanted to interpolate that song because I’ve noticed that at every single house party I go to, when they play the 90s jams and that track comes on, it’s lit!’ Describing the 90s and New Jack Swing as his favourite eras of music, MarcLo credits legends such as Teddy Riley and Babyface as major inspirations. The singer/songwriter dedicates much care to his craft just like his idols. Speaking on the video for ‘SWNGN’ which already has us looking forward to Summer 17, he describes wanting to make listeners feel excited for the summer months ahead: ‘That’s the feel of the record for me, summertime barbecue vibes, that’s the setting I want people to listen to it in – it’s what I wanted to convey.’

From Magic City to Los Angeles

MarcLo’s journey began in Miami, a place known for its sunny beaches, gorgeous women and lively party scene but it was in the city of Los Angeles where MarcLo would get his big break: ‘Though I love my city Miami, I had to make the move out to LA to get my foot through the door.’ The decision to do more work in LA with his team, Grammy award winning song writing and production team The Monsters and Strangerz, was clearly the right one and has led him to major success in the music industry. The team has written and produced for some of the biggest names in Hip Hop such as Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean as well as global Pop superstars such as Adam Levine, Meghan Trainor and Fifth Harmony.

MarcLo revealed to us how determined he is to blend genres. ‘To me, good music is good music.’ We were surprised to learn that his guilty pleasure album is Britney Spears’ ‘Femme Fatale’ due to its immaculate production - which is further proof that MarcLo simply appreciates good quality music from any sphere. He even produced a track called 'Man on The Moon' on Britney Spears' latest album. In fact, delving deeper into his team’s discography, you quickly notice that with ‘The Monsterz and Strangerz he has worked on music from a wide range of genres outside of Hip Hop; working with a variety of different artists from P Diddy to Zara Larsson. Citing Quincy Jones as another big musical inspiration because he worked ‘on all types of music,’ MarcLo is well on track to emulating him with this kind of versatility in his catalogue.

An Industry Insider

Speaking of Quincy Jones and breaking genre boundaries, we connected over the legendary late Michael Jackson and what he means to music. MarcLo proudly keeps an image of himself standing next to a life-size portrait of the icon in the hallway of Epic Records as his Whatsapp profile picture. The conversation topic moved to labels and the Independent artist movement: ‘In terms of Chance The Rapper[who has been in the headlines recently for his Independent activity], I’m just so proud of him and what he’s been able to do…I’m just over the moon about that.’ Stating that he has no plans to sign a record deal anytime soon but wouldn’t rule it out in the future, MarcLo is determined to take control of his own musical direction which is inspiring.

He also spoke passionately in defence of the livelihood of songwriters: ‘The music industry needs to figure out a way for songwriters to be paid for writing these songs – the labels are getting a great share of the royalties that should be going to the songwriters. Unless you have a hit record on the radio, you can’t make any money from just writing songs.’

Speaking to MarcLo gave us a real insight into the mechanics of the music industry, the Grammy awards were the talk of the time and having won a Grammy himself with The Monsters and Strangerz, MarcLo was honest about award shows not always getting it right. Highlighting the backlash that the Grammys received after awarding Adele with the Grammy for Album of the year over Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade' (even in her acceptance speech Adele admitted Beyonce should have won), MarcLo stated directly, ‘I’m not afraid to say I voted for Beyonce.’

MarcLo warns us to expect more from him this year. He’s just produced a new track with The Monsters and Strangerz sung by Meghan Trainor called 'I'm a Lady' for 'The Motion Picture Smurfs.' He’s been performing a lot more recently and had a show in Hollywood. He claims getting on stage is ‘one of the main reasons I do music. I’ve been on stage since I was three years old.’ The son of a dedicated pastor, from his youth he has witnessed the power of music to inspire people. Now seems like the perfect time for an artist to push the boundaries of what we call Hip Hop and RnB music – the lines are certainly blurred and the race is wide open. We look forward to what the future holds for such a boundary-breaking artist.

Have a listen to MarcLo showcase his vocals on his funky track ‘Middle’ below:

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