Published on August 27th, 2017 | by Lauren Mayo0
M Marshall releases debut album ‘Who I Want to Be’
After attempting to assimilate to 9 to 5 culture, Las Vegas rapper M Marshall is now on the road to becoming exactly who he wants to be. Over the past year, he released the debut single “Changes” which peaked at #108 on the Urban Charts and gained major attention from prominent media outlets from coast to coast. His debut album, “Who I Want To Be” (#WIWTB), produced by Yonni and The Futuristics, gives listeners an earful of what M Marshall is capable of.
Valley View Entertainment, owned and operated by brothers M Marshall and Denver Broncos Linebacker Brandon Marshall since 2016, released the project earlier this month.
M Marshall sat down with Hype Magazine to talk music, #WIWTB and brotherhood.
When did u decide you wanted to make a career in music?
Probably when I was 13. I wrote a song for a school project and I met a couple of guys that were in my grade level but weren’t necessarily in my class, and they were as serious [about music] as I was in the sixth grade. They said ‘you know you can do this for a living’ and I was like ‘ok, shit this is what I wanna do’.
So, for you there were never any other avenues or careers possibilities? It was always music?
No. When I graduated high school, I started working at a uniform place. I tried to assimilate into a 9 to 5 job. I was even a social worker at one point in time. It was actually a job that I really enjoyed but all of the jobs that I did, whether they were great, stable or temporary, a lot of them just left me unfulfilled creatively. That’s a big pocket to leave empty.
Did you have a defining moment that led to your decision to concentrate on music?
I would say the defining moment was after I got canned from my last job. I was a maintenance man at an apartment complex. My brother approached me and he said ‘I really want you to be able to live your dream and do music and give it your best shot at making it your career’. That’s when Valley View Entertainment was born. It’s been go time ever since.
How would describe your sound and do you write your own music?
Yes, very rarely do I record a song that my hands haven’t touched as far as writing and production goes. My sound is real RnB influenced by hip hop and urban pop.
You were born and raised in Las Vegas. I gotta be honest, when people think Vegas, they don’t really think RnB. What do you think you, a Las Vegas native, can bring to RnB that’s different?
Part of that is Vegas’ fault. Vegas seems to focus on a lot of other music and, even in the RnB genre, a lot of subpar RnB. [I think I can bring] that authenticity, a real sound, an authentic sound, an interesting sound. I think I’m dope as fuck, honestly. I’ve worked at it for so many years and I’m still working.
So speaking of working, congrats on your album dropping. What can people expect to hear or feel?
Honesty. A lot of honesty. A lot of real life influence. A lot of stories. The album’s filled with stories that not only I’ve lived but I write about what has happened to my friends and things that I’ve seen. [There are] some really interesting places that I go on the album musically. The album is a polished real RnB throwback that doesn’t really feel dated.
What song would you pick from the album to serve as an introduction to you as an artist?
“Let It Go” because I feel like on that song right there, I am as damn close to RnB as I can get. I really want to be known as a real RnB artist. I’m able to hold my own without the use of too much autotune and too much tuning in the studio and things like that. The record, the way we wrote it, it’s not a record for the lightweights. It’s a really heavy RnB record with strong subject matter and strong feelings that come through.
Any features on the album that you’re hyped about?
Yes, a really dope artist by the name of Micky Munday. He’s featured on a song called “Noho” along with Kesington Kross, another really dope artist. My brother is actually featured on the album, Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall. I’m mostly excited about that feature because I don’t think a lot of people saw that coming at all.
This is the same brother that encouraged you to pursue your dream. You all must have a very collaborative and supportive relationship seeing as you both are partners in Valley View as well.
He’s the personification of unconditional love. My brother knows pretty much the worst things about me yet he still is constantly there and refuses to not be there. [He] supports me in whatever way possible. It’s really something when somebody backs up the talk, the ‘I’m here for you’ and ‘We boys’ with action. That’s the thing about it. He doesn’t just say it. He lives it.
M Marshall’s “Who I Want to Be” is available on Tidal, Apple Music, Google Play, Spotify and all over major digital retailers worldwide.