There’s a boy next door quality about rapper MarcWayne that makes his music that much more relatable when you meet him. It might be because he grew up singing in the choir in Flint, Michigan or maybe because he grew up surrounded by four brothers. He proudly mentions he’s a Scorpio which could explain his emotion-tinged lyrics and unwavering determination.
Whatever the reason, it’s resulted in “Finding MarcWayne,” his 6-track EP that takes the listener on a journey from heartbreak, to life reflections, and ultimately the motivation to go out and go get it. I met up with the rapper to discuss all the above.
What was the moment when you decided that you wanted to get into music?
Kendrick Lamaar had just did the song, ‘Man Down’ and my brothers went to the studio and recorded their take on the song. They were just like, ‘Marc, do this song!’ I wasn’t really into it at first, but then one day I started to write and they noticed. They told me I was actually good. That’s when I started to realize I actually could write and put words together. I came here and I’ve been seriously pursuing it for the last 5 years.
When did you make your first project?
It was actually in 2014 and I was in D.C. at the time. It was called ‘The Art Project’ and it was just a small EP that I created in GarageBand on my iPad. I was trying to find my sound. My first real single was last year. It was ‘Kinging’ that came out in October. After that, it was my EP which was the true beginning of my music. It was just like, this is MarcWayne.
How would you describe your sound as an artist?
My sound is like, emotional. I use emotion because I put so much feeling into it. It’s a Scorpio thing. You’ll hear me singing sometimes because I go into different emotions. I may want to be more tough or I may want to be more poetic. When I’m singing I may want to get in my feelings or be in my bag. My music is my emotions because they’re all my stories.
Your EP Finding MarcWayne came out in January. I listened to it and it’s definitely a vibe. The production was great and at first I asked myself, ‘is that him singing on there?’ But let’s talk more about the EP. My favorites were All in my Head, Ocean Blue, Kinging and Drowning. Walk me through the inspiration behind the songs on the EP.
I get that a lot. A lot of people don’t expect me to be singing on tracks. I think that’s dope, though. But yea, we can go through each song.
Dolla $igns: This is the opening song and it gives you and idea of what you’re going to get. It’s about a Nigga who did me wrong.
In My Head is a vision of how I see things, how I think about things, and my perspective. It talks about things in our community. I mention backpage and escorting. I just wanted to be honest.
Ocean Blue is my second favorite song on the EP. That song is about how I would love someone; how I would love a guy; how I’m a gentleman. Ocean blue is a wave and I would want the guy to float with me and be my perfect float and my perfect wave. At first I had someone else featured on it, but it was the first song where I really sing.
Drowning was actually the last song that I recorded on the EP. It’s about being in love with someone and not wanting to separate from them. It’s giving you, ‘I would drown for your love, I would die for you,’ vibes.
7 Days is really about Flint, Michigan. I’m ballin’ 7 days out the week. I’m changing, I’m manifesting, I’m becoming better, but I’m still that same Marc. It’s my motivational, go get the money record.
Kinging is my talking my shit song. I found the beat and I thought of ‘bands can make her dance,’ but I thought about how I could make it current and make it a bop.
What type of artist do you want to be known as? When people listen to your music what do you want them to take away?
I want them to think, ‘that really helped me.’ Like, that really showed me a different perspective of a situation. When I was growing up I used to listen to the B2Ks, the Jazmine Sullivans, and artists like that, but I was listening from their standpoint. I’m a gay man and I would listen to Chris Brown sing about girls and even though I loved the lyrics so much, when he’s saying ‘she’ I’m thinking about ‘he.’ Music can take you to a different place. I want my music to be a lesson and prevention from bad shit.
How have you been able to navigate being an artist and rapper while also being a gay man?
For me it’s kind of easy. I grew up in a small town so I really wasn’t exposed to the gay lifestyle as much as I am now from living in the city. It’s not at the forefront of my music. I don’t shy away from it, but it’s not the focal point. I still make it easy for the brothers like me to listen to it. But it’s also a vibe for the heterosexuals. I feel that your music has to be universal. I’m talking about lessons. Lessons that can be for anybody.
Who would you say are your musical influences?
Frank Ocean for sure, Bryson Tiller, Chris Brown, Teyana Taylor...I love a good Brandy. I mean, that’s a vibe right there. They’re all singers, but they’re real chill. Not crazy performers, but they’re good performers.
What’s keeping you busy at the moment?
I’ve been kind of quiet at the moment, but I’m actually going to be shooting my music video for the song mirrors next week so that will be coming out. I’m getting ready to drop my album so you can look forward to that. It’s going to be an R&B vibe.
What else do we need to know about MarcWayne?
If anyone wants to learn anything from me, It’s to never give up. I was homeless before living in New York City. I was in a shelter. A lot of people don’t know that about me. I was 21 and exposed to a lot and I want them to know that a struggle is not forever. It’s a lesson and sometimes a blessing to get to where you need to go. When you’re at the end, you’re really at the beginning.