Sky's the Limit - Marcus Woods
FAC Focus: Marcus Woods is garnering rave reviews for his new EP, 'Demo’. We discussed his rapid rise in the Irish scene and some exciting plans for the future alongside the release of his video single ‘Somni’.
From singing in a band with his mates, to jumping onstage with Pharrell at Electric Picnic, Marcus Woods has had a crazy two years. A barely legal producer, with an arthouse style, Marcus has been garnering rave reviews for his new EP ‘Demo’. FAC caught up with Marcus to see how he was prepared for his first headline show and to pick his brains over his music, his future and secrets.
Marcus Woods has an interesting sound, combining elements of multiple genres to create his own unique signature. After being exposed to a huge variety of music over the last two years, Marcus has demonstrated flair and ingenuity in crafting his sound.
“James Blake and the Minecraft soundtrack influenced me a lot, as nerdy as that sounds. People didn’t want to just listen to ambient music, but that’s what I like to do. I think I really found my sound when I started to fuse trap elements into this down tempo style.”
Still being in the education system, time to get projects off the ground and running is sparse. Studying to complete his Leaving Certificate and creating music is a struggle but Marcus takes it in his stride. “Having something to go home to that I was proud to create and proud to share was something new. I didn’t feel like I had that on the last two tapes but this one is different. Some people play sports to blow off steam, but I chose to make Demo as a stress relief.”
Mentally draining as the Leaving Cert is, music allowed Marcus to detach from everyday life and relax. Finding time to make Demo was easy as the project has been in the pipeline for over a year and came naturally to Woods.
“Demo happened organically, the time I took off from school to dedicate myself to this project was all natural. All the track listings were a natural progression, Crystals and Somni were made one after the other. It was all conducive of a no pressure environment, I had no deadline and I had the chance to really work on this tape.”
After the Leaving Cert, Marcus will have more freedom to express himself and develop his sound even further. The Leaving Cert is a stressful time for every student, your whole future depends on the result you get. Woods’ music is reflective of the stress, calming sounds are juxtaposed brilliantly with punctuated with trap beats. The fact that Demo is largely relaxing is indicative of Woods’ style, but one that he is keen to push to higher ground.
“Once the Leaving is done I’ll have more time to reflect and go in a more avant-garde direction. I think if I made Demo too avant-garde, it wouldn’t have been received well enough. Also, it was a stress relief thing so that would have been disingenuous.”
Getting attention and getting booked to play gigs are very difficult as a breakthrough artist. However, Marcus Woods has a bright future and a devout following outside of Dublin.
“The guys from ANOMALY have been trying to book me for ages and I finally went down to Waterford and played the gig. There was like 250 to 300 young people jammed into a room and it was mad, I didn’t think I’d have so many people here for me. Mosh pits were going on and people were climbing on speakers. It was crazy and doing that gig in Waterford was a turning point and gave me the confidence to continue in music.”
As his launch for Demo approaches, the Waterford experience has been huge for his confidence and his energy at shows.
“Not to sound pretentious, but early on I thought I would mess up, now I know I won’t. The energy I give off is something that I want to be given back to me. Mosh pits and going mad are far more enjoyable than having someone looking back at you through the lens of a phone. If I go wild then hopefully it’ll be reciprocated.”
Marcus’s ‘Carpe Diem’ attitude personifies him as an artist and a person. At Electric Picnic this summer he was lucky enough to vibe out with Pharrell on stage, being picked out of the crowd while NERD performed.
“Man, I was just out there going mad. Another girl got brought up with me and I told her to put her phone away, we’re never going to get this feeling again and you just had to grab it with both hands and appreciate it!”
Progressing as an artist is important, there are certain steps that need to be taken to get a new following or to make a name for yourself. As a young creative, Marcus, along with other like-minded individuals are taking their own career trajectories and futures into their own hands.
“Myself, FYNCH, Sick Nanley, Local Boy and ARBU are joining together to set up a label named BURNER, after FYNCH’s magnum opus. It made sense as we were all going to each other’s shows and supporting each other so it was logical. The lads are all taking it seriously, FYNCH has made a video and Sick Nanley has a video dropping soon so we’re gonna keep on this and try get things moving. We’ll have BURNER DJ nights and things like that to help each other as artists but to help the label grow as well.”
Marcus has been received well on Demo with major players in the Irish music scene recommending him. He was recently added to ‘A Breath of Fresh Éire’ Spotify playlist that highlights new Irish music, alongside a glowing review by Nialler9. When asked who he wanted to get noticed by, he had one name in mind.
“Man, if Anthony Fantano was to even slate me I’d be happy. As long as he had a plaid shirt on, he can say anything he wants about Demo and I’d be happy. If Nardwuar was to get on me I don’t know what kind of secrets he’d dig up on me, I can tell you one thing though I’m going to have a Demo remix album with some of the boys jumping on it. Watch out for that because it’ll be huge.”
Marcus Woods faces a bright future and challenges that come with being a young artist in Ireland. His drive, determination and motivation are inspiring and his raw energy when he performs is something many haven’t seen before. Demo is a demonstration of the prowess that Woods possesses. If people enjoy his music he will only continue to grow and adapt in the Irish music scene.
You can catch Marcus in the Soundhouse, Friday 2nd of November for the official 'Demo' release party. Marcus is the strongest young talent in Dublin at the moment and truly not one to miss.