London-based artist, producer, and DJ Marcus Marr is a product of the environment he grew up in, and that’s the dance-dominated world of underground Europe. He learned his craft by listening to vinyls ranging from rock and soul to acid house and watching legends like DJ Harvey. Ultimately, he developed a distinct sound of his own, one that incorporates funk, disco, and house that you can’t not dance to.
After releasing a few very successful singles like “The Music” and “Brown Sauce,” he collaborated with Chet Faker on the marvelous Work EP featuring “The Trouble With Us.” Currently, Marr is traveling North America on the Rocketship Tour, named after his latest single.
Read more on Marcus Marr’s beginnings, tour stories, and more below.
OTW: How’s your Rocketship Tour going so far? Any entertaining stories?
MM: It’s going well, thanks. I’m enjoying going round America. My set at Splash House in Palm Springs was at 4pm. By then, the temperature was 114 degrees Fahrenheit and the sun was blazing down. Fortunately there was kind of a roof thing covering the DJ booth, but about 20 mins into my set I felt the back of my legs burning as the sun had started to sink a bit. So that was my first experience of trying to DJ while putting on sunscreen. Thank you Splash House, I have acquired a new skill!
OTW: How’d you initially land in the disco/house realm? Why does that type of music attract you most?
MM: My brother bought an acid house compilation when I was seventeen. Then I started going to raves in London (where I’m from). It was like another realm–another world. It was like stumbling into a world of possibilities.
Around the same time, a DJ friend made me a mixtape of left-field underground disco. That started to open my mind to the history of dance music–I was pretty ignorant before that.
OTW: Tell us about your experience with Chet Faker—what was a typical conversation like as you developed the Work EP together? What was your general goal w/ those songs?
MM: Me : “We need to put this lyric in here”
Him : “You must be joking”
We didn’t really discuss a goal. But before we started recording I thought he was going to want to make slow relaxed music so I got some of my slow relaxed songs ready for him. It quickly became clear the opposite was true.
OTW: Any vocal features or collabs coming up that we can look forward to?
MM: Yes, but not that I can talk about yet.
OTW: Who are 3 artists on your Ones To Watch list and why?
MM: The Black Madonna - I like her dj’ing and her attitude.
Buz Ludzha - This guy also goes by “The Cyclist.” His music is dusty, scruffy, and beautiful For example:
OTW: What’s up next for you?
MM: Finishing my EP–out on DFA records soon.