Interview: Catching up with Marcus James
Image credit: Matthew Butcher
Canadian alt-dance producer first arrived on our radar with his single, ‘Honest’ featuring the magnetic duo RYYZN with whom he would go on to release several singles. Naturally, at the time we sat down with the rising star for one of our “exclusive interviews” that gave an in-depth look at Marcus James’ creation process. We closely followed the pursuing months as he released several more singles, an EP and even acoustic versions of the songs with the duo. Marcus James has proven to be an excellent team player, working with the likes of multi-platinum selling artist Trevor Guthrie and remixing Dylan Matthew’s ‘Saturday Night’.
Now, nearly a year later, we see the producer return with yet another collaboration, releasing ‘The Night We Nearly Threw It All Away’ which features rising American artist MNYS. Curious about what the producer has gotten up to over the past tumultuous year, we sat down for a quick chat following his latest release. Catch everything you need to know about the young producer below.
Hi Marcus, thanks for joining us again. What are you up to today?
Drinking iced coffee and making music in my pyjamas.
Your latest single features up and coming artist MNYS. How did you discover the US-based artist and what made you choose to work together?
My manager lives in California and introduced me to him. I listened to one of his songs and became mildly obsessed with the idea of doing an emo-house track together so we got on a phone call, I sent him some beats, and the rest is history.
Tell us about the inspiration for ‘The Night We Nearly Threw It All Away’. Was there a particular person you had in mind while writing it?
MNYS wrote the vocal and I don’t think there was a specific person in mind for either of us when we worked on it, but the lyrics really reminded me of late nights spent ruminating on ‘what could have been’ so I tried to support that vibe in the production.
The last time we spoke, you were working on a side project called GOODLYFE. Any chances we’ll be hearing some new music from you there as well?
We’ve released two singles I Like It and Another Try. Both of which are very dear to me. It’s really important for me to have this avenue to explore my softer and more delicate taste in music – more on the way.
You’ve spoken about a love for live performance and interacting with fans on a personal level. As restrictions slowly begin to lift, will you be returning to the stage? Are there any upcoming live gigs on your horizon?
Definitely, I can’t wait to connect with everyone in person again. I’ve released a lot of music over the past year and a half, so one of the things I’m most excited about is coming back with a set that’s mostly made up of Marcus James originals (with some Blink-182 snuck in there of course).
Your first full-scale music video for ‘Warning Sign’ depicted the serious topic of alcoholism and its impact on a family. Can we expect you to incorporate more serious topics like this in your work moving forward?
Yes and no. I like making ‘sad stuff’ and I love hearing about how my music has gotten people through hard times. That’ll always be at the core of what I do. I think there’s also room for some feel-good bops too though. Whenever I find myself getting too repetitive in the studio I try to work on something opposite, I wanna keep growing and having fun.
Give us some insight into the future – any upcoming releases or projects we should know about?
Working with some of my favourite singer/songwriters. Feeling really grateful for the opportunity to make songs I love with dope people. The future is looking badass.
Finally, one last thought to leave with your fans?
I just want everyone to know that we’re all part of this music together and no matter where you’re from, what you look like, or who you love, you’re welcome in the Marcus James community.
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By Sarah Britton