The 99% Podcast Episode #25 with Myles Marcus
“Myles Marcus has been playing music since he was a kid. At 13 he began releasing covers on the internet and at 14 he released his first original single, “Jump.” It was at this point that he began collaborating with Roy “Royalty” Hamilton. Hamilton is a world-renowned producer, musician, and former Director of A&R at Capitol Records. He has worked with the likes of Britney Spears, Micheal Jackson, NSYNC and Cheetah Girls, just to name a few. After working with Roy throughout his teens, Myles went on to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts from 2011 to 2015. He describes his experience at college as, “four years of songwriting boot-camp.” After college, Mr. Hamilton signed Myles to an artist development deal up in Toronto, Canada. His move to Toronto was that of a true starving artist; Living on a couch, no friends, and left with nothing but his songs and a dream. It was this time of struggle that brewed an undying hunger for success in the industry that can be considerably unforgiving.” – Bio of Myles Marcus.
Listen and Read Myles Marcus 99% Podcast Interview:
Steereo: We are here with Myles Marcus, singer, and songwriter. Thanks for joining us today on the 99%.
No thank you guys for inviting me. I really appreciate it.
Steereo: We just had a listen to your music, and we before this call we just learned you are a Berklee baby, which is very exciting.
Brings a lot of credibility to you as an artist. Congratulations. So Myles, do you want to tell us a little bit about where you’re from and ultimately what the music scene is like there?
Sure. I’m actually from Sparta, New Jersey, which is a smaller town. It’s closer to the Delaware Water Gap area. The music scene’s smaller, but usually, I do all my shows in the New York area, New York City metropolitan area, because it’s a lot more musicians, and that’s where most of my fans are.
Steereo: Amazing. Have you been to LA recently?
Yes. I was just in LA probably three months ago. I love LA. All my friends are in LA. I’m almost thinking about moving to LA, but I’m not sure yet, because I love … I’m such a New Yorker. But yes, I’ve been to LA multiple times.
Steereo: Because I got into this very interesting conversation recently about the difference within the music industry in LA and New York. Because there was a lot of good points and bad points for both cities. It feels like New York is moving in a different direction, whereas LA is staying in that entertainment world. Have you felt like that is a reality for you as an artist in New York?
Definitely. I mean to me New York is a little … LA’s a little congested in a way that … there’s just so many artists. It’s a good thing and a bad thing. New York is a little different [inaudible 00:02:34] little more spread out. And I feel like it’s a little easier to get opportunity when it comes to doing shows in New York than it is to LA, because LA’s a little more congested with more artists.
For you Myles, what was it like when you were first breaking into the music industry? Were there certain things or lessons that you’ve learned since then about your first steps into the industry?
[03:03] Myles Marcus:
Definitely. So the first … I first really got into the music industry when I was 13. I released my first single, worked for its producers and songwriters, and that was definitely the first time I really broke into the music industry. I think the number one I really didn’t understand at that young is really the publishing side of the music world. All I did at that point was just I loved to sing and write music, but I didn’t understand the business side of it. Now, and I wish I knew more about it when I was younger, but now that I know more about the business side of it, it’s a totally different animal.
Yeah. And how do you find balancing the business with the artistry? Because I know for modern-day artists, that’s always something that comes up in conversations about the balance between the business side, the music business, and the actual music. How do you find that balance?
It’s not easy. Primarily as an independent artist. When you’re doing mostly everything yourself. You basically are, you’re basically the CFO or the president of your company. So it’s a lot. Especially when you’re trying to do the marketing, you’re trying to write music, be in the studio. And most artists really are not just doing music solely. They have another job so they can support themselves, and they can do the marketing, pay for the marketing, and they can book shows. There’s a lot to it, especially as an independent artist.
Steereo: Yeah. And in your opinion, you know, from an independent point of view, what are the benefits of being independent, and what do you feel the drawbacks are?
I think the great thing about being independent is no one’s telling you when you can release your music, and no one’s basically telling you how you should be, especially as an artist, and what you should write about. And I think truly I think the most successful artists are true to who they are. And I think that’s what’s great about being an independent artist. you know, you can really take your time with your music when you’re independent. You don’t have the stress of someone telling you-you have to get this done right at this moment.
Steereo: You’re not working on someone else’s schedule.
Steereo: So in Myles’ world today, what are you loving about the industry? Is there certain artists, new artists or old artists that you’re excited about? Records that you’re listening to? What are you excited about right now?
[6:04] Myles Marcus:
Well, I’m definitely an old soul. I’m a pop guy at heart. I grew up obviously in the 90s, early 2000s. So any time an artist releases an album during that time doesn’t matter if it’s Christina Aguilera or if it’s Guns n’ Roses, I’m always ready to listen to their music. I think one artist I think that’s, especially a male artist that’s doing great, and I think he has a great sound, is Bazzi. I think his music’s great. Even [crosstalk 00:06:37] I’ve been listening to Chris [inaudible 00:06:39] stuff, and I think his stuff is great too as well.
Steereo: It’s cool, yeah. We just did an interview with him very recently. Very cool guy. So in terms of you just talked about there’s so much music out there. What is your thought on music technology and how it’s given artists the opportunity to be discovered? So even your thoughts on stereo and Spotify or Instagram, all of these new music tools that also independent artists take advantage of?
Well, it’s definitely given me such a great opportunity to basically have my music all over the world, on so many different streaming services. And also another big opportunity that I experienced was also YouTube. YouTube also have a lot of playlists and definitely opened up a lot of opportunity for me for other fans, for people who would like my music to listen to my music. And basically if it’s on a YouTube channel, they’ll want to go back to my … the Spotify or streaming service to stream my music. So there’s just so many parts for your music to basically be out there, not just streaming services, but also YouTube, and it’s really amazing to see that you can basically do it on your own and you can have millions of people listening to your music.
Steereo: Yeah it’s awesome. So obviously you’re based in New York. That was one of the first markets that opened. For you, if somebody is jumping into the back of a rideshare, and they’re listening to your music or your new EP that’s just been released, or they hear Nightmare or any of the other songs. What is it you want them to feel? As an artist, what message are you trying to convey to the listener?
Well, I’ve always felt like an outsider. That’s just who I’ve always been. I always beat to my own drum. I feel like every artist … I wouldn’t say every artist, has some insecurities. Most of the music that I’m gonna be releasing on my EP and the past songs are all about personal experiences. That’s how I stay true to who I am, and that’s how I stay true to my writing process. And I think that people can definitely connect with that, especially if everyone’s life is not perfect, and that’s really how I write my music, and that’s how I portray me as a brand and about my life situations. And it’s also about insecurities and trying to, as a young guy, trying to pressures of being successful and the pressures of trying to be actually successful in an industry that’s so tough. And I think that goes for anyone who’s trying to be … doesn’t matter, any industry or anything. Especially when you’re a young person trying to establish yourself. It’s just not easy. And shit happens in life. So I think that people will definitely be able to relate to that.
Steereo: For sure. I think it’s a hot topic at the moment. And I think the pressures that artists are under in this industry that result in tragedies, I think you’re on the money there. So for saying that, on that very positive note, for anyone who is listening out there right now and trying to decide if they should chase their music passion or their dreams, what advice would you give them Myles?
I would definitely say always go with your gut. I think every time I went with my gut, I’m like oh, I knew I definitely made the right decision. Usually when I don’t, I’m like oh I should’ve just went with my gut. Also just staying true to who you are as an artist and who you are as a human being. I think that’s always the number one thing to me. And also being open to collaborate with different artists, collaborate with people, and stay open to new ideas and understanding what your strengths and your weaknesses are and establishing that and really … that should be able to help you grow as an artist, because if you know what your weaknesses are and your strengths, then you’ll be able to bring whatever it is to help you grow as an artist or as a songwriter.
Steereo: That’s amazing advice. So for Myles, what are some of the new and exciting things coming up for you this year?
I will be doing my first show in a while, since my release of Crazy, on December 2nd, which I’m really excited about. I will [crosstalk 00:11:56] a new music, a music video for Nightmare, which is coming out soon. And I will be releasing an EP. It’s almost finished. By probably the beginning of 2019. Awesome. Where is your show that we can go and watch, you?It’s gonna be at the Stanhope House in Stanhope, New Jersey, which I’m really excited about, because the Stanhope House is very historical and has a lot of great blues, jazz performers that performed years and years ago. And it still continues to be a great place to perform.
Steereo: Amazing. And where can people find this information? What’s your website and your Instagram handle? Give yourself a shout out.
So my website is mylesmarcus dot com. My Instagram is MylesMarcusMusic. And then my Twitter is MylesMarcus underscore.
Amazing. Well, thank you so much for being part of the 99% series. We’re loving your music right now now Myles, and keep up the good work, and we’ll let people know about that show, and we’ll talk to you very soon.
Thank you guys so much, I really appreciate it. It was great talking to you guys.
Watch Myles Marcus Official Music Video Titled ‘Crazy’