MARLON PERCY is a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who describes his sound like an electronic soul with a jazzy twist. He tends to collaborate with upbeat house/electronic producers and avoid many effects on vocals.
“I like to keep my vocals quite clean; I guess it gives my work a touch of authenticity.”
Currently, Marlon’s latest single “About You” is at number three on Indie Top 39.
When did you realise that music is what you want to do?
I grew up around very creative people, we were always making something or crafting another, then it was the after-school drumming workshops where I felt confident for the first time, it came naturally to me, and it felt therapeutic.
As an adult, I was playing at the biggest venue in my university city (Brighton) to hundreds of people, shooting my first music video, performing at Boomtown Festival, experiencing recording in professional studios and receiving positive feedback pushed me to peruse it professionally. It made it all seem possible. Before all that it was more like I gravitated towards music.
Living in London the competition for musicians is insane. Do you find it more of a challenge or a benefit trying to breakthrough in such a market?
Online, it’s a level playing field; artists can get recognition on their own and build a fanbase. However, the underground live music scene is suffering from saturation. It has become difficult for unsigned artists to book regular shows.
There are so many rip-off merchants targeting inexperienced but ambitious artists, hoping to make money off you
What gigs have you enjoyed and why?
My favourite gigs of all time have been at heavyweight sound-system nights where they play dub. The energy in the room is unbeatable. That said, two big artists, I’ve seen live recently who smashed it are Sampha and Loyle Carner. My guilty pleasure was Craig David last year, hats off to that man’s stage presence.
What is the biggest struggle while being a musician nowadays?
Not to compare yourself to the world when you have all social media platforms for music at your fingertips!
It can be tempting to know where you fit in a vast ocean of artists but if you focus on your sound and craft it to be unique then people will connect with it regardless of what it “sounds similar to”.
What’re songs/artists are you currently listening to?
Toulouse and Freya Ridings, I love right now. As always James Blake – all his new and old tracks. I liked Jaykae’s recent video “Moscow”: the production on the Instrumental and the visuals was really cool.
How would you define success in the music business?
Recognition is key: The money comes through recognition, but nothing beats when people are talking about how they enjoyed an artists work.
and many artists are solely fixated on that, but the best reward is people telling you how much they enjoyed your show, new track or video.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Getting featured in Clash Magazine and SBTV.
What is your opinion on TV talent Shows – X Factor, Britain Got Talent, The Voice?
They are a little bit “Black Mirror”, providing amusement from people’s embarrassment (some of the time) but the media is so full of that, and they aren’t the only ones now. However, they do make popular TV and help certain artists get the push they need to start a career.
“ Music talent shows are becoming a little like Black Mirror”
Tomorrow 4 big record labels approach you. How would you choose the best one? Or would you see yourself working independently?
I think good relationships in the business are based on trust so my relationship with the A&R would have an effect. I would want to research and see details on all the labels recent releases and campaigns. Aside from those two, I usually go with my instinct on what I feel is right and who I trust the most and the deal I am offered. I don’t believe in getting signed to early, so it has to be the right deal, but I don’t want to be independent forever.
Marlon released his debut EP named “The Little Things” at the end of 2017
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
I want mainstream recognition for my work. I hope to have a couple of albums behind me, to have held on to my beautiful girlfriend and to have a place of my own with a separate studio I’ve designed myself.
What are your plans for 2018?
My next single is coming in March, and in early April I fly to Antibes to film the music video. I plan to drop another single or two before the next EP release in may and next month I will hear back from festivals about my bookings this year. This is the year I’m going to make everything fall into place. I want to be on mainstream radio, playing massive shows and getting loads of features. I want to take my live performance to the next level. I’ve been working hard on building the foundations of my brand for so long that now I’m just determined to get my shit off the ground.
Photos: © Warren Sebastian » © Claire Grogan