Author: Anjelica Morales
"My name is Marques Martin, I’m 23 years old from PG County Maryland. I’m currently living in Brooklyn, New York. I am a rapper, producer and artist." You can tell the quality of an artist by the effort they put into their work. What grabbed my attention immediately was Marques' attention to detail. "I think my very first experience with music was when I heard the Clipse “Grinding” for the first time. I was in second grade and my big brother and I were watching MTV JAMS and that video came on. I remember he would imitate the beat by beating on the table or doing it with his chest and I remember thinking, “man I can do that too!” And so I did! And when my brother saw me doing the beat he was like “Yo.. You can do that beat? Not even most of the 6th graders can get that beat right.” And I was so proud of myself haha. I went to school the next day and showed everyone in my class and they were all like “wooooaaaaahhhh Marques is niiiceee!” And from there on out I earned my “cool points” as the kid who would drum on the lunch tables at my elementary school.
But I think the thing that really introduced me into music was skateboarding. When I was in about 4th or 5th grade a skatepark opened up by my house in Bowie, Maryland and I remember seeing the local skate shop, Velocity Skateboards holding an event there and I remember getting into skateboarding from that. I remember I would watch skate videos all day long and I would go to school and just think about them and all the tricks they were doing. But the thing that got me into music was that in these skate videos they would have all types of music playing in the background and naturally I would be thinking about those songs that were playing too. House of the Rising Sun by the Animals was the first song I remember getting hooked to. It’s crazy to think that before then all I ever listened to was Hip-hop.
Shortly after, my Mom signed me up for the school band where I learned to play the saxophone, and that lead me to the guitar as well. Fast forward to high school I started making beats and I would low key rap as well. But I always kept the rapping part to myself cause I didn’t wanna get made fun of.
Some of my early influences from then were all over the place. The first band I’ve ever obsessed over was The Beatles back when I was in 6th grade. It sounds so fundamental but they really were great imo. From there I got into a lot of 60’s music, I loved Radiohead, Broken Social Scene, Sonic Youth, the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, St. Vincent, MF Doom, Lil Wayne, Kanye, Kid Cudi, N.E.R.D, Outkast etc. I could go on..
Hmm. If I had to describe my music I’d say its an amalgamation of myself. Like even the way its produced. Its all reflective of my feelings, how I dress, where I’m from, what I think about, what I watch, everything. I see it all as one. Lyrically it’s mostly true stories, insecurities, passions, sayings that I have said or something that my friends have said. Sometimes it’s fantasies too…But its mostly things that I needed to get off my chest. I would also say my music isn’t trying to convince you of anything. I’m not trying to answer the “Big question” or tell us how to reach world peace but I do like to talk about those subjects.
If there was a message I was trying to convey I think it would be whatever the audience makes of my music. It’s all open for interpretation. But if anything, I definitely am trying to introduce people into things, sounds, concepts that seem familiar but aren't so popular if that makes sense."
It's always a gamble being true to yourself. Especially in an industry that follows trends closely and seeks validation Marques has a clear vision for is music. "I know everyone says they’re different but if I were to humbly say so, I would say if you just listen to the music its pretty obvious that its different from what’s going on in the world of hip-hop. But if I had to give you an answer, I’d say that I’m really open-minded and I’ve been really patient. I mean more than half of the songs that I’m putting out are between 2-4 years old. I can’t explain the feeling I get when I play a song that I made when I was 19 and people still go crazy over it. It’s gonna sound corny but all I’m doing is just being myself and holding on to what I believe is real."
What adds to a sense of genuineness is a constant need to evolve. "Man, my production sound has incredibly improved from when I first started. I can’t even back track that much if I wanted to. I remember back in high school I got on Xbox Live one time and this kid from my school got on and started playing my beats that I uploaded on Soundcloud. At first I was like “damn he must like my beats!” But then he cut the music off and was like “this shit sound like Christmas music” and everyone in the game started laughing haha. I was bad when I first started.
As far as my rapping and songwriting, I have improved a lot from when I first started as well too but its really different from producing. With production its more just, finding new sounds, experimenting, and creating what you can’t say, whereas with song writing its more of experiencing new things, learning more about yourself and the world around you. So outside of me saying “I need to work harder” me improving is dependent on if I continue to learn. I’ve been through a lot over the process of making this project that I’m working on so I have a plethora of ideas for the future".
When asked where he sees himself in the near person Marques says: "Hopefully by then I’ll be doing interviews in person… But on a serious note, I wanna get to the point where nearly all my interviews are at colleges/schools. I’m really set on inspiring people but not on some Dorian Gray shit."
I asked Marques which one of his creations is his favorites. Often times an artist is there biggest fan and their own worst critique. "Oh, I don’t know. My mind changes way too often. I’m proud of About 2 Die, and this other song I got called Hailey. I have another song called “Dance Songs” that seems to answer a lot of questions for people when they ask about my music. I think the production and the message in those songs were very fitting. To say the least, they express things that I now have peace with. I’m also very excited to see what I make next too."
Expect new music from Marques soon! In the meantime follow him on social media and listen to some released music below!