Get To Know: Dance Music Master: Marq Electronica

Introduction

Following the solo ambition of frontman Mark, of Sapien Trace, project Marq Electronica sees a revival of 80s and 90s influence, in the form of funk and dance tracks that may contribute to a reminiscent air for lovers of such decades. The first single, ‘Get Down and Work It Out’, sees funk-man Mark explore the classic synth and bass sound, with additional soul-style vocals, through an uplifting medium looking to inspire dancefloors. However, ‘In A City (Love)’ sees a gritter story-telling; aiming to provoke emotional stories that, Mark claims, are unlikely to be unique just to himself. Catching up with Mark, I gain an insight into his musical influences that crafted his audio landscape, as well as a peer into the emotional turmoil behind his latest single ‘In A City (Love)’.

Your sound seems influenced by an overview of the dance genre, in a way. Would you say this is accurate, or is there something more we should listen for in your music?

Yes, my sound is definitely influenced by dance and electronic artists from the '80s and '90s. I grew up listening to artists like A Guy Called Gerald, Inner City, and Frankie Knuckles as well as producers like Jam and Lewis, and Nelee Hooper. I have a great love for deep house artists like Rudimental, Chase and Status, Frankie Wah, Jessie Ware, and MNEK. I think there is some of their influence creeping into some of my music. I would go crazy if I got to work with any of them, I'm a complete fanboy!

What spurred your desire to explore a solo avenue outside of Sapien Trace, and what shaped it to take this certain creative direction?

What spurred me on was a need to keep creating in the lock down vacuum. I was frustrated because I couldn't get to work with Alex and Dan from Sapien Trace. I had a lot of my own ideas on the back burner that was ready, or that I wanted to work on some more. So, with the extra time on my hands, I took the plunge. Electronic dance and soul music has always been a part of my life and helped shape my creative direction; from EnVogue and Missy Elliott to Gorgon City and Diplo. Melodic, funky, but different; I wanted to express that in my own way. I love the versatility of sounds and moods available through electronic music. So, I suppose it's basically a form of self-expression.

Thinking of your recent release 'In A City Love', can you give us some more insight into how this track came about?

‘In A City (Love)’ came when I really needed it. I was at a crossroads; being in a management and production deal that was taking my money but not promoting me, and working in a new town, fresh out of a bad relationship and feeling lost. Then, my old bandmate threw me the metaphoric lifeline. I poured my ideas, my frustrations from the failed relationship, and the fallout from it into the lyrics. Adding some darker tones musically to my friend’s melody, we took it to a studio that mixed it, then did nothing with it. Now I am more in control of the music and its direction; I felt this track deserved to be heard after all our hard work.

What do you aim to provoke in people through your music?

I aim to provoke a reaction or emotional response, or connection with my music. I think the lost love theme of 'In A City (Love)' is something most of us have felt. Although the fun of promoting a feeling of ‘hey, I've been there too I understand’. However, underneath all my forthcoming tracks are about people watching, and the challenges of daily life. I hope I promote a feeling of ‘hey, I've been there too I understand’. However, underneath all my music I want to provoke that funky earworm thing, where someone has a song they hear and the melody stays with them all day. So then they hum it on the bus or in the canteen!

What are your musical aspirations from the future, and what should we look out for from your projects?

Musically, I would love to build on the solo work I am doing and those collaborations, whilst still being part of Sapien Trace. I have learned a lot from what I’ve gone through, and this way I can remain creatively diverse. I also want to get airplay globally, building up streams that make people sit up and listen, as well as getting to perform live again. To work with some of the artists I mentioned would be an ambition too. Just imagine a bald, chocoholic guy from Middlesbrough at number one, working with big artists; that would be great!

Check It Out

‘In A City (Love)’ is now available to stream on all major platforms, alongside debut solo single ‘Get Down and Work It Out’

Follow and listen to Marq Electronica