It’s been four years since the ‘Next Young Gun’ sat down with The Rolling Stone and the world was formally introduced to Marcus Machado, the guitar prodigy. Since then, he’s released music, traveled the world playing along some of the greatest musical acts in Jazz, Soul, Rap, Rock’n’ Roll and more. I was introduced to “M Drix” after his show at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York, and we just clicked. His affinity for African-Inspired clothing established our connection and since then, a friendship filled with styling and couture clothing, my personal motivational speaker that encourages me to thrive as an independent creative, and constant congratulatory banter and humor occurs whenever our schedules permit for us to grab drinks and catch up on life. I had the privilege of listening and watching his new hit single, “I Can’t Lose” featuring Jermaine Holmes… and I was speechless. The growth of this guitar juggernaut is so real, that I had to write about it. The most amazing aspect about Machado, he maintains humility through it all.
GK: I Can’t Lose ft. Jermaine Holmes is super soulful. It brings an authentic, rich sound to my ears that remind me of 90s R & B genre, a personal favorite. The guitar is prominent throughout the song, and that’s you! Did you contribute any additional musical talent to this track? (ie. songwriting, production)
MM: Thanks, I produced that track and I played all the instruments on it as well. I really wanted to capture that ol’ school early 70’s vibe for it.
GK: The video for this song blew my mind. Honestly. It’s been a LONG time since I have watched a video for a single from a motion picture that made me WANT to go see the film. D’Angelo’s video “Devil’s Pie” is what comes to mind. Share with us what type of vibe inspired the treatment for this video and why you think it pairs so well with the song.
MM: Basically the whole idea for “I Can’t Lose”… I wanted to capture the soul and blues
of a guy who is trying to do right, yet gets stuck in the crossfire of doing wrong. Once I talked with director Patrick House about it, we both ended up creating what you see in the video. We wanna keep ya’ll guessing on what’s gonna happen next! Lol! The song itself is an anthem for anybody who goes through the struggle. No matter what… you can’t lose. As long as you keep on going…you can’t lose. With that in mind, plus the video treatment… that’s how everything came together.
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GK: How did this soundtrack land in your lap? How many songs can we expect and how do you put your ‘Machado’ stamp on this project?
MM: Actually, the soundtrack album came by accident. When Patrick (Director) had reach out to me to do the movie score for Blue Diamonds, I was working on another album at the time. It wasn’t until I had finished up the movie score… I just kept on recording! Once I had a few songs from that, I kinda thought that it would be dope if I turn it into a soundtrack album. Right now, I’m still figuring out how many songs I wanna have, but just know its gonna be a full album. As far as my stamp goes, no matter what the music is, I always wanna have the guitar as a lead in the music.
GK: Your collaboration with Jermaine Holmes is a win. Did you collaborate with other artists on this project? Who are you looking forward to working alongside in an upcoming project?
MM: Yes, I have a few guests on the album. It was a lot of fun working with everyone on this project. Everybody brought something to the table and what you hear is organic. What I look for is the connection and vibe when collaborating with other artists. If the vibe is not right, it ain’t gonna work.
GK: Your Summer ’18 schedule must be insane. You’re dropping this soundtrack, and word on the street is, we can expect more new music. What’s next for you musically?
MM: I’m just getting everything together now. I’m looking forward to a lot of the new projects like D.M.D. which is Drummer Daru Jones, Myself and Bassist Doug Wimbush. It’s too many projects to name! Lol!! But just know there’s a lot of music on the way coming soon!
GK: As a critically-acclaimed, guitar prodigy, you have been blessed with opportunities to travel abroad and play alongside some of the greats in the genres of blues, soul, jazz and more. What would you say has been your most eye-opening experience about the culture in one of those cities/countries when compared to New York City here in the US?
MM: There are too many to name but I’m just grateful and thankful to have traveled all over the world and been able to see all of the different cultures. Off the top of my head, a place that was an eye-opener for me was Tokyo. It was amazing to play there, but what tripped me out was when we played, the crowd was silent until we finish the song. They totally respect the music. They would only cheer after the show ended. The vibe is great.
GK: As a performing musician, stage presence and personal branding are important. How do you manage your stage presence so that people KNOW when Marcus Machado takes the stage?
MM: For me, it’s pretty simple, stay true to what you do… When I’m onstage, that’s the platform to get everything (you’re feeling inside) out. Whatever you’re feeling at the moment, you just leave it all on the stage. With that connection, that’s how you can bring the audiences with you (to the music) and take them somewhere else. For me, that’s what it’s all about.
GK: On a personal note, I am always curious to understand how busy, talented, creatives incorporate rest and rejuvenation into their daily habits. Getting burnout is never okay, and we often hear about celebrities checking into mental health facilities or worse. Do you practice self-care? What would you like to do more of to feel at peace? What do you recommend to others as a best practice?
MM: Yeah, it can get crazy at times when your touring etc. Knowing how to shut everything down and giving yourself time… time only for you. It’s very hard at times to do that. What I do is try to stay fit by going to the gym and eating right and making sure no matter how busy I may get, there is a time to catch up on rest or watch a movie, even though I’m still trying today to do that today! lmao