1. You just hit Soundcloud with a track, “that I HATE YOU love” that’s getting a lot of attention and replays. It’s one of the most creative things we’ve heard lately because it’s not the normal “I’m a baller/killer/flashy” lyrics folks are putting out. It’s actually a real slice of life. What’s the inspiration behind it?
Well honestly I went back to a couple of my past relationships, and basically did some self-reflecting with that track, its many times where we as people like to play the blame game on why something didn’t work, but I just wanted to showcase my insecurities and the bullshit I was putting these women through, and basically how the tables can be turned on you as well. It’s not solely based on one situation, but it was an accumulation of different things.
2. You’re a multi-talented creative. In addition to the project you’re about to drop we’ve also noticed your work behind the camera. Which came first, and did one lead to the other?
Well I always rapped, since I say 5th grade, but didn’t get serious about it up until 12th grade, however shooting videos, and branching off was something I did as a hobby once I got in college. I’ve always been pretty good at anything I put my mind to, but it was something about making my ideas come to life with some type of visualization that always connected with me, so I figured hey let me get good at this as well.
3. Talk about the music scene in the DC area; is this the right place to be for an emerging artist? Is the ecosystem supportive enough? Collaborative enough?
I think its pretty good on an artist level as far as like my peers and shit like that, I don’t necessarily believe that we are keeping each other down honestly. Yeah a lot of times people say we practice the crab in the bucket mentality, but honestly that’s EVERYWHERE, however I think some of the people in charge in this area, some of the gatekeepers, aren’t doing their job, they dictate nothing that comes from this area honestly, artists are having to move to completely different regions in order to get on, and I think that’s a problem.
4. You did “I Deserve It” with Darren Hanible. Who else have you recorded with, and who are the folks you want to work with, artists and producers?
Well I’ve worked with the likes of MK Beatz, Heavy, Kelow, Lightshow, Gudda Sweiz, Strumma, and a few others I can’t think off top of my head, Im always down for collaboration, I believe that’s how you come out with the best possible product.
5. People can find you on Twitter at @thisisMarlow. Your social media game is nice, you’re not shy about promoting your projects, but you fill it out with a rounder look. You show other artists love, you throw in some social issues, and you don’t take shots. So you don’t waste the forum. Why do you think so many other artists in this area don’t get that social media is a tool?
Honestly, not to sound too cocky or anything, but I just feel like some people aren’t smart enough to work social media in their favor, its basically a form of marketing, and everyone can’t do that, however I don’t think I’m a master at it yet. It’s times I go on tangents, and say too much on social media, so I’m learning myself as well.
6. What’s the plan with performing? Are you doing things now, or waiting for the project to drop? Ideally, where would you like to perform?
Honestly I’m just working on projects and visuals right now, I’m always down to perform but it isn’t my ultimate focus right now, I’m super critical of myself and I just want to have the perfect set list before I go out doing too many shows, you feel me?
7. Lot of folks out here making music. How do you differentiate yourself? What’s going to help you build an audience?
I’m a student of the game, I pay attention to what works and what doesn’t work, I also rap about shit I really do. There’s not a lot of honesty in this field, all I can hope for is that there is more real people out here than it is fake so they can recognize that. Besides I have room for improvement, so I’m continuously working towards separating myself from the others. I also believe I’m more keen to take risks than a lot of these other artists, my video for Long Live attests for that.
8. Who are the people working with you now, or who’ve worked with you, helped you learn along the way? Whose advice do you take?
Well my mentor and engineer DJ Mo Supreme has been a big help along the way, and my producer, well my bro, I hate calling people “my” anything like I own them [laughs] MK Beatz, he’s also been a big help with developing my style. And as far as advice I hear everybody out, even if 95% what a person saying is bullshit, I can take that 5% of sense they’re making and apply it, I’m not really above anybody advice to be honest, but I do understand everything I do is ultimately up to me.
9. At the end of the day, making music is a business, and the business model is changing. Brands are driving the change. As you think about that, are there any local or regional brands, either fashion or sports drinks or tech companies, you’d like to have backing you?
Its crazy but I really am against the corporate element entering rap. I think it’s what ruined rap in the first place, but the business side of me knows it’s pretty much inevitable and to be a vital player in this game, you usually have to do that. So I would have to say whatever allowed me to the have the most creative freedom, and is able to allow me to secure a great future for my family, I will have to go with that. I’m a big Apple guy, so maybe you never know; I may get with them lol. End of the day I’m basically selling my soul to one of these companies, but its like politics, it’s about picking the lesser of the evils [laughs] seriously though…
10. Tupac or Biggie? Nas or Jay Z?
No matter the answer I’m going to be a hypocrite [laughs] because my favorite amongst them changes everyday. It depends on my mood [laughs] so let this be the only cliché answer I present: Marlow.