RGM INTRODUCING, WE INTERVIEW NEW YORK ARTIST AUSTIN MARQUEZ
What made you decide to start to become a soloist?
I have been writing music for as long as I can remember, however it was always a more personal experience for me compared to my other artistic ventures as a musical theatre performer and choreographer. But during the lockdown, I got into producing more and heard my songs come to life in a way I hadn’t experienced before, and started sharing them with small groups of people. I realized that my music wasn’t only relatable to me and that others could benefit and enjoy it as well, so with some persuasion from many friends, including my current manager/best friend, I finally got the nerve to team up with some wonderful producers here in the city to start releasing my tracks.
Introduce us to you and your musical history?
I am Austin Marquez. I am a songwriter raised back and forth between Wyoming and Colorado and have been in New York City for almost 9 years now. I grew up performing with my family in my mothers children performing group and we would travel all around the West doing state fairs, musicals, half-time shows, performing in nursing homes, and really taking any opportunity we could to sing, dance, and act. That led me to study theatre professionally which eventually brought me here to New York City. I’ve worked all around the city as a performer, choreographer and teaching artist, and while doing all of that, I’ve always been working on my own music on the side. Now I am finally ready to bring my music to the forefront and share it with everyone.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
I feel like it’s a little early in my career to be getting sick of being asked certain questions, but I will say the hardest one to answer is usually about my history as a musician, simply because I don’t think my background in music is vey traditional, and I’ve worked as a performer in so many different aspects that it’s hard for me to pinpoint when I truly became a musician. It just feels hard to give a simple answer to that question.
We set up RGM to share music with both countries, good idea?
Great idea! I feel like music truly is so universal and I’m constantly listening to music in languages I don’t know, but great music crosses borders for a reason! I think making music as accessible as possible is always a good idea.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I was just joking with my friends that we should become conspiracy theorist! Honestly, I wish I could give you a good example of a conspiracy theory that I really believe, but I don’t think theres one that I feel super confident about. But theres definitely truth to aliens, but I feel like we all believe that, right?
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
No, because I am such a terrible online shopper, I like get weirdly stressed out ordering things online so even buying things I NEEDED during the pandemic was hard for me. I probably ordered way more food than I needed, but that’s probably it.
What useless party trick do you have?
Useless…hmm. I mean I hate to admit it but I was the guy at the party in high school that would pull out his guitar and make sing-alongs happen, or just make my friends listen to my own songs. I cringe at that now! But I don’t really have any special hidden talents, I feel like I messed up growing up training so much as a performer that I never developed unique tricks as other people have!
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
For my debut release, I had a release party at a karaoke bar here in New York City and I performed my single (closer to) clear at midnight as soon as it was released. Performing around some of my best friends and colleagues was such an unforgettable experience and the love and support I felt in that room was unmatched. That so far has been the most fun I’ve had performing my music.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I was performing at a huge state fair one summer when I was like 14 or 15, and my guitar at the time was so old and broken, but my family didn’t have enough money to buy me a new guitar before this show. The main issue was the guitar would not stay tuned, and right as I start playing my first song I notice the guitar sounds TERRIBLE and so out of tune.
I’m stop playing to try to tune it up, but I was so nervous and so young and again the guitar was so far gone that the tuning was not happening. The sound engineer ended up having to come on stage and try to help me tune it in front of a huge crowd of people and I was so embarrassed. He got the guitar decently tuned, but it was so broken that it still sounded a bit off and I was so embarrassed that I’m pretty sure my playing was off as well. The crowd was nice about it though.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
My music sounds like the feeling you get when you’re flying your UFO through a really bright and ethereal galaxy with vibrant colorful constellations and beautiful horizons. It is calm and introspective, yet pulsing and dynamic.
I hope they would get that?
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I believe, and I’ve been told, that my lyrics make my music stand out. I think I approach pop-music with a much more folk inspired lyricism that is based in story-telling. I like creating music that makes you want to move but also makes you think. It’s kind of fun when people play the song again and catch different elements within the lyrics that gives them a deeper understanding of the song.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
The supreme courts decision on Roe V Wade. I think it is absolutely disgusting and despicable that the government thinks they should have a say on what people with a uterus do with their body. Abortion is health care and there are so many reason why individuals have abortions and frankly, it is no ones business, other than their own. Everyone should be able to make that choice on their own in a safe way.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Switching gears here, haha, at the moment, it is my new single Nostalgic Boy. It is just so playful and fun and I always have so much fun performing it. I’m looking forward to a day when the crowd knows the lyrics and they can sing it back to me.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
Nostalgic Boy is my second single, and it is a more playful side of myself than show on my debut. It has a catchy hook, bright synths, and pulsing guitar riffs that just exudes summertime vibes.
Nostalgic Boy describes the characteristics of one who is constantly chasing after love they’ve let go. It is a tongue in cheek, self-aware pop bop that will make you wanna groove and sing along—while also questioning if you yourself might be a nostalgic boy.
What was the recording process like?
Nostalgic Boy came together quickly. I contacted producer Carl Culley at the end of May asking if he thought we could produce & master this track in less than a month. He hopped on & together we put our heart & soul into this track. I had produced a demo of this track over a year ago, but with pride month & a live stream concert I am headlining on June 30th, I knew I had to release it this month. I believe the high energy behind the scenes of creating this track is felt in the final production. Carl and I had a lot of fun tackling this challenge and we both are in love with the end result.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
The biggest learning curve was probably just working on such a short time-line and learning how to get things together quickly without sacrificing the value and quality of the work. This applied to the song, the visuals, and the campaigns. I think in the end though I trusted myself a lot more and my own opinion rather than waiting for others to make choices for me, so that was a great learning experience for me cause I often second guess myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely still did this time around, but I think I let myself make the final call more so for this release than my last one.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I try not to look back too much once something is done, and I am truly happy with how everything came out with Nostalgic Boy, so for this release, no.
Now that being said, I think Nostalgic Boy was a special case where rushing the process actually played in its favor, but I don’t think I’ll ever push a release this quickly ever again! But I also waited so long to release my first single that I think now I’m finding the happy medium with timing between the two.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Hopefully an EP!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
A lot more music, but for now, I think I’ll keep y’all waiting a bit longer.