Marcus Yates is truly a bright light in this world. Bringing musical talent, incredible fashion, and true passion to the table, he is soaring high! Music is his destiny and while listening to his songs, you will be transported as your heads bops, and hips sway! Recently, he released his track “After All,” and you will love it! An album on the horizon and more shows, Marcus Yates is an artist you definitely want to keep on your radar!
Do you believe the path of music was your destiny? Explain.
I do believe the path to music was definitely my destiny. Artists are asked this all the time and can probably name valid reasons why but simply put, I believe it was my destiny because before me, my family had great success in entertainment. Both sides of my family heavily leaned on entertainment to cope and communicate. To win the hearts of your elders as a child, you went the extra mile to learn older songs and musical humor for their validation. My older cousins were sort of tastemakers for what music I should listen to. They would have passionate discussions about who’s better than who and that as a kid makes you want to dive deeper.
Share with us the first time you ever performed. What was it like? How were you feeling? What did you sing?
The first time I performed a song, I was at this 2 week camp that Usher Raymond held every summer in Atlanta named Camp New Look for talented underprivileged teens. I was heavy into dancing so the nervousness of performing live was non-existent. I was rapping alongside my step brother, Bubba and we were just trying this rap thing out. Before going to the camp, we practiced performing it because every Friday during the camp, they would have kids express themselves in other ways outside of their given majors. It was received so well because we incorporated our dance elements in it. We sang this song called “New Shoe Dance” and it was produced by a prominent producer name Michael “Seven” Summers. I still remember parts and pieces of the song which is crazy but it was definitely a good time to step outside of my comfort zone and deliver.
In what ways has music saved you.
Music simply kept every bad decision out of sight and out of mind. Growing up in the inner-city, you have the cliche life choices. With being busy with dance and producing, it was easy to make choices that benefit me. My parents were heavy on keeping my sisters and I busy with things we can have a career in.
Tell us more about your latest releases and what each of them mean to you.
My latest releases were “Nice & Neat”, “In The Greatest Way” featuring Tech N9ne, “Giving A Care”, and “After All”. All of these songs pretty sum up my morals and standards on love & romance. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve felt tricked by someone who we’ve like or even love but after a situation forces you to tell the truth on where you both stand, it seems to be different and that’s what Nice&Neat is. Dressing up the situation as something great and hopeful just leave like nothing happened. “In The Greatest Way” means a lot because we all need that person who can take us out of our misery. You don’t want to come home to another problem on top of the ones you experience on a day to day basis. It helps when someone can empathize with you and redirect that frustration towards love. “Giving A Care” is just an emphasis of “In The Greatest Way”. On top of me enjoying the joy you bring me, it helps when you’re faithful and in love with that person. “After All” is about getting to know someone. Maybe the person you want to hook up with has a wall up to prevent from being in a situation of love. You know you could be a good friend or lover to this person, all you have to do is win their trust.
If you could describe yourself as an instrument, which would you pick and why?
Because I listened to a lot of Miles Davis, I automatically see myself as a trumpet. Not the over the top runs but something prominent that just fits on every track and gives the track more color. It can also be prominent in the background as well and when in unison, it sounds so satisfying.
In what ways do you stand out from other musicians?
I think the thing what stands me out the most is knowing that I don’t stand out at all. I want to give you the best most artistic answer but truth is, I’m just apart of this renaissance of this time. It’s so hard to be different because everyone is different. But to answer your question fairly, I think what stands out most about me is my drive to practice and practice. Some people find a vibe but practice kind of makes you ready for any changes in this industry. So I challenge myself to withstand the changes as opposed to following the trends.
What does love and hope mean to you?
What love and hope means to me is practicing doing better for myself so that doing well for others is a habit. I guess the hope is the optimism you gain from thinking someone can reciprocate that same energy back to you. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t but the love you have for yourself makes you not worry as much. You just love and go, basically.
Favorite part about producing a music video? How does the process usually go?
My favorite part about producing a music video is the social aspect. I know now, gaining trust from my homie Daniel takes more than just liking the same things. It takes time to really figure out the purpose. A lot of trial and error. A lot of touchy conversations that we have to put our pride aside for in order to get to our creative destination.
You are given the chance to record with any artist (dead or alive), who do you choose?
If I had the chance to record a song with anyone dead or alive, I would definitely want to record with Roberta Flack. To be timeless beyond the sampling of your music is so amazing to me. I feel she was so in tune with how she articulated her feelings that she could speak for generations. Some of my all time favorite artists sample her music. She is both niche and easily digestible.
What comes next?
What’s next is an album and more live shows. I’m always creating and connecting with my team so that engine is still going.
Talent Marcus Yates @marcusyatesmusic
Photographer Markel Randle @markelrandle
Director of photography Daniel Christopher Blackwell @prores.danie
Directors Skyler Brown @skylerisbrown
Reagan Petrehn @reagan.kind
Stylist Savanah Rojas @sav.ro
Groomer Waylon Wallace
Interview Alexandra Bonnet @alexbonnetwrites
PR Initiative PR @initiativepr