How did you come by your stage name?
I grew up listening to the greats, I was raised by grandparents for the first half of my childhood and I established my musical values then. Listening to the likes of Al Green, Frank Sinatra Jr., Bobby Womack, Marvin Gaye, Denise Williams, just to name a few. But two artists stood out to me and they were Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley and James “Jimi” Marshall Hendrix.
The way the stay stood out and went about things their way stuck with me. They were transcendent in the way they touched different people and their music felt timeless. So in 2008, sitting in my 9th-grade pre-algebra class I created the moniker Marley Hendrix as a homage to my biggest music idols. After a while, it seems my personality matches my moniker more than my government name lol. More often than not people assume that’s my real name which is humbling to me.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
Music has always been apart of my family. I think every woman on my mom’s side was in the choir at some point and my grandfather has played piano since he was a kid. It wasn’t till later that I discovered my dad’s brother also sang with Keith Sweat which just seemed to put the stamp on my musical background.
I also have 3 siblings who are musically talented as well, melodies seem to run in the family. At the age of 5, I learned I was gifted with words, performing my first freestyle in a family cipher among the older males in my family. I was nicknamed Snoop by my uncle because I was so precise when I recited his verses and cadences. But it wasn’t until the passing of my grandmother that I truly latched on to music. The music seemed to be my get away from the harsh reality and it gave me a way to vent when I felt uncomfortable with voicing the anguish I was enduring from her death.
I began to write for the first time and it felt so natural and fluid and I began to rap and sing and tinker with my vocals. I always loved to sing whether I was good at it or not due to all the r&b I was influenced by so that became my inspiration to write hip hop as weird as it sounds. The emotion and stories told in r&b seemed to resonate with my own troubles and feelings which drives my writing to this day.
Then one day I went to my mom to ask what she would think about becoming a musician. She then asked what I think my grandmother would’ve told me and I replied with telling her that grandma always told me I was meant for greatness and I’ll know what that is when it’s time. I felt music was the greatness she spoke of for me. My mom responded saying she believes my grandmother would love that but I must promise to pursue it without fail and to always respect women in my lyrics( she was raising a gentleman of course).
I gave her my word then that I would honor her wishes and that conversation sticks with me now. Just knowing my number one lady has my back fully reminds me to stay focused and drives me to reach my goals.-
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
My mom and my uncle were fashion risk-takers. I grew watching them wear clothes that no one else had or would think of putting together to create an outfit. The way you could clash colors to create visual dissonance, or how you could make trends instead of conforming to them. It’s original to stand out that’s what creates memorability. I use this same tactic in my music.
My style is considered unorthodox, I stem from Southern Hip Hop which you can catch from my delivery but you get a glimpse of my West Coast vibes, my Midwest demeanor, and my lyrical approach from Uptop in my music. I’m influenced and respect so many artists that I feel I’m a blend of multiple flavors, and I can write for any genre. When it comes to music I want the entire road, not just one lane.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
The W33k3nd is actually a depiction of all the phases I went through over 3 eventful, life-changing days back in July 2019. The situations triggered old issues and memories that were lingering and brought light to my current ones. Being that music has always been my go process for ventilation I created the project as a means of therapy for myself. The fact that I was able to do it in a format that resonates so much with me is a blessing in itself.
Every song has a story and links to the rest of my music in some form or fashion. I’ve been told that you have to listen to my songs multiple times before you understand half of what I’m depicting, which I believe will lead to more understanding and a greater sense of relatability to my listeners and fans. Sometimes putting your life on wax can be risky but I believe real music stems from real emotion and life experiences.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
My biggest challenge which I feel is also one of my positive attributes is my humbleness. I’ve just now gotten to a point where I feel comfortable with putting myself out there so to speak. So at first in my journey, I would be standoffish at gigs and I didn’t do much networking or word of mouth to people about my musical talents.
Also, I’ve never been big into social media or picture taking so it seemed awkward for me to Go Life or do selfies lol, but I’ve learned to embrace the camera and the platform social media can be for musicians such as myself. My biggest attribute though would have to be my ability to retain information and my people skills. I can relate to people from different aspects and be comfortable in myself which I feel opens more doors then it closes. Adaptability or evolution is a natural process for us to endure.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
That’s a great question when it comes to the title of best I think that lies in the confidence you have in yourself. I respect the musicians that have laid the ground for me to travel upon and will never disrespect the ones I look up to as I learned from them, to begin with.
With that said I feel I am one of the best new lyricists coming up and I won’t place anyone over me no matter how much respect I have for them. I think that the greats will respect me more that, rap, in particular, has always been an unspoken competition with the judges being heavily opinionated. Everyone should feel they are the best at their craft it’s what fuels us to be great.
What are your plans for the near future?
I’m currently in works on my debut album “Magnum Opus” which I’m planning to release in the fall, I plan to sneak a single or two in between to keep my fans and myself musically fed till I drop my next full project. I’m also practicing my acting skills for a few film projects and some music videos I’ll be starring and featuring in.
I’ve also accumulated quite a number of collaborations with some pretty popular and very talented artists that everyone should be on the lookout for. I’m pretty vocal on my upcoming projects so anyone who follows me will definitely be kept up to date on all I do entertainment-wise and sometimes things just to show that I’m a human being just like them a well.
I have a few interviews upcoming that will also help to give more insight into who I am as a person and what I value. Be on the lookout for those, I’m not your traditional person so I plan to go in-depth in ways some artists aren’t comfortable too.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
I ultimately give thanks to the Man above for blessing me with the talent, people placed around me, and the opportunities provided. My family for always supporting me and shaping me to be the man I am today. I want to thank Lijah J for pointing me to Lady A the best promoter in the 757 area. That jump-started my career in VA and I hold them responsible for my momentum today.
My engineers Bless The Genius(Soundscape Studios) and Kado for taking my sound to a new level and truly appreciating my art and what I want to accomplish. I’ve grown so much as an artist under their care and tutelage. I want to shout out Gabe Schillinger( Legion Beats), Tracer Music, Zach Polen aka Nonrated, and Keyz Kartel for providing me top quality beats to create my art. I’m only half as good without them in my corner. Another big up to Gabe for all the knowledge and insight he’s provided me during this journey.
My Mom who gave me her blessing and remains my biggest fan to this day and my Uncle Jamal Johnson who made me take my talents seriously. Last but not least thanks to my team, who from your loyalty made us family.
So to my brothers and sisters, Jimmy Gladney, Ariel Terrell, Patrick Greenlee, Danny Erazo, Mayteana Colon, Ahreanna Laxa, LaMar Halls, Deandre Greyer, Jasmine Norris, Kinte Hill, Emmanuel Spellman, Alexis Fulton, and Tatyana Knibbs for your love, support, and memories you’ve given me during my journey and I know time will only bring us greater blessings but I’m thankful for the blessing you are to my life.
How can fans find you?
If anyone would like to view more of my content or find links listen to my music they can visit my website @ www.marleyvision.com. It has all the links to my social media, booking information, pictures, and videos of my performances. In case anyone is in a rush lol you find me on Instagram @MarleyHendrix11 or Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarleyHendrix11.
I’m getting back into Twitter so if there anyone who wants to help me get better acclimated to the 2020 Bird Age can add me @Marleyhendrix74. I’ve also recently dropped a music video to my song Circles Ft. YaYa on YouTube if you would like to get more insight on the story I tell or just want some eye candy for the day lol. Sorry, I believe laughter is key in life but it’s truly a concept you’ve never seen before.
What suggestions do you have for other artist like yourself?
My biggest advice to any other independent artist would be to learn as much as you can about your craft. Study ways to properly promote yourself, research the outlets or opportunities that come before you to ensure you aren’t being taken advantage of. There are so many people and websites promising you quick fame or money but the truth is there is no easy way to reach financial success in this industry.
But trust the process, invest in yourself efficiently but live within\ your means. Our goals won’t come overnight so build off the small wins and keep the momentum flowing. The 2nd biggest thing I’ve learned is networking is key, in the entertainment business who you know can take you a long way and you never know what opportunities could present themselves by putting yourself out there. Be flexible but remain true to yourself at all times that will attract the right people to your cause.