I caught up with Producer Marcus D to discuss the Bop Alloy album, The Nujabes Tribute Show and his new album Shoshin check it out below!
Firstly thanks for taking the time to speak with us, for the people who have missed out on your music, introduce yourself.
My pleasure. I’m Marcus D and I’m an independent producer from Seattle. Also one half of Bop Alloy, alongside Substantial.
How did you first get in to music? and when did you first start producing?
I had a copy of Final Fantasy II when I was about 5 or 6 and I discovered the musical legend that is Nobuo Uematsu. I started playing piano shortly after and continued playing until my classical and jazz music formed into hip-hop, when I was about 15.
You and Substantial have formed the group Bop Alloy and you have worked with him allot in the past, how did you first come to work with him and how would you describe the connect you two have as artists?
I originally contacted him to be a part of Revival of the Fittest around 2006, 2007. I sent some beats through and he told me that he automatically noticed similarities between mine and Nujabes’ production. We finished the first song, Enjoy Yourself, and it came out exactly how I’d imagined it. I kept sending beats and he would send songs back until eventually we had enough for a full-length album. As artists, we’re both willing to put in however much time it takes to construct a cohesive project we can both be proud of. When we’re working, it’s natural. Nothing about the music sounds forced. I think that allows for longevity in a group.
[wpaudio url=”https://www.thewordisbond.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/01._Day_In_The_Life_feat._Substantial.mp3″ text=”Marcus D – Another day in the life (ft Substantial)” dl=”0″]
Bop Alloys debut album was critically acclaimed and the physical copies sold out real quick, were you surprised by the response to the album and can we expect more Bop Alloy albums in the future?
We both put some of our best work into the project and I think it shows in the type of response it’s receiving. I’m just happy people are listening to it and enjoying it. As far as more Bop Alloy…I’m about 10 beats deep into the next project, so yes, you could say that ;)
You’re from Seattle a City with some great Hip Hop acts, what are your thoughts on the Seattle scene and are their any upcoming artists we should all look out for?
The Seattle scene is a mecca for undiscovered hip hop. We haven’t had anything big out of here for a while, but there are definitely still people holding it down. I’d say we’re due. I work with an artist named Justis also from Seattle, under the group name Quarter After, and he’s also featured on my new album, Shoshin. So be sure to check him out.
Last year you won the Seattle Red Bull Big Tune Beat Battle, how was that experience for you?
Big Tune’s a great opportunity for upcoming producers. After I won I was flown out to Atlanta for the finals and we had a week of personal mentoring sessions with producers like Alchemist, Just Blaze, DJ Toomp, Denaun Porter etc. Having the ability to ask questions to experts of your craft is priceless and I took away a lot of invaluable information from it.
You recently went to Japan to attend the Nujabes Eternal Soul Tribute concert, can you tell us about your time there? And what was the highlights of your trip to Japan.
It was a beautiful thing. I grew up listening to Nujabes and he’s been a main influence in my sound, so being able to meet and build with all of the artists he’d sort of cultivated was something I won’t forget. The unity between all of the people in the club that night who were celebrating his music, was something, in my opinion, that Nujabes lived for. Just being able to be a part something like that was the main highlight in and of itself, but next to that, performing Parallel Universe with Shing02 at the HVM in Shibuya and having the opportunity to DJ for him at the tribute was beyond inspiring. Cise Star and I also worked on a track for my next album, so hopefully you’ll all be able to hear it sooner than later.
You are preparing to release a instrumental album called Shoshin on October the 12th. What was the motivation behind the album and what can listeners expect to hear?
The motivation behind the album was to build a soundtrack for thought. Whether it’s for studying, contemplation, or self-reflection, I wanted to create something to stimulate intelligent thought. The music is soothing and in my opinion it paints a vivid picture of what I was thinking and trying to express while making each track. The word Shoshin comes from a Buddhist teaching that emphasizes always keeping an open mind. The most famous teaching from the doctrine states, “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few.” In short, if you never have the mentality that you’ve attained or accomplished something, there’s always room for more learning and more improvement. Humility in its purest form.
What advice would you give to any up and coming producers?
Above all, make sure you’re doing what you love to do. Inspiration, or lack thereof, shows in music and listeners will be the first people to notice it. Make music because you can’t not. Don’t do it for the money…in all honesty, you’ll see a lot more of it doing something else.
Thanks again for your time, are there any finals words you’d like to say or any shout outs..etc
Thank you. Shoshin will be available on CDBaby and iTunes and it features Shing02, Substantial & Justis. Peace to Wordisbond.com and Bob. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Bop Alloy album. The dual cover and real life folding action is the truth…and the music isn’t too shabby either.
Links on where to purchase Shoshin will be posted once the album drops! So keep a eye out!