Going through Hip hop Portals with Perth MC Marksman

Perth MC Marksman Lloyd is climbing up the hip hop ladder here in Australia, 2017 saw him share the stage with hip hop heavyweights Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Drapht, Thundamentals and joining Seth Sentry on his 'Play It Safe' tour.  Marksman just dropped a new single dubbed ‘NOMO,’ a no bullshit jam that takes aim at our need for recognition and the psychological and substance issues we are plagued by as a result. 

He’s currently on tour promoting his EP “Portals’ and we catch up with him ahead of his Sydney show at The Brighton Up Bar on the 21st September to chat about why ‘NOMO’ is a song about anxiety, why he never eats before he hits the stage and why his fans are so loyal. 

You’ve shared the stage with some pretty big names, what would be your most memorable moment?

I'd have to say Atmosphere and Brother Ali. They were huge inspirations for me coming up as a young emcee so to share a show with them was a dream come true. That or jumping on stage with Peking Duk at Stereosonic. 15,000 people. Knees shaking like crazy. Awesome vibes though. 

You just released ‘NOMO,’ could you tell us what the track is about?

Put simply it's about anxiety. "Annie" in the chorus represents anxiety and I've personified it saying, "I ain't dancing with you" I'm not gonna be a slave to substance to get a hold of it. On another level it's about how that need for recognition that we're obsessed with in our generation is a big cause of that anxiety. In the second verse I'm talking to a girl who's trying to be an actor but it's killing her slowly because of her need for fame. I think a lot of people can get stuck in a pretty vicious cycle of that on a quest for validation. 

Your new EP ‘Portals’, could you tell us about it?

Yeah it's just an amalgamation of everything I've been inspired by over the past two years. It varies a lot sonically but so does my taste in music so it jumps around quite a bit. That's just us having fun with it I think. 'Gene Simmons' is probably the first "happy love song" I've ever written. 'Sugarman' is probably the realist thing I've written. I just wanted to lay myself bare without thinking too much about how things fitted together or what's popping off in the current music landscape. 

Favourite dish before heading on stage and why?

Never before heading on stage. Always after. Makes you look forward to the show more because eating is the best thing we as humans get to do, so looking forward to the meal afterwards is like the reward. My girl is Indonesian and cooks killer rendang. Got to go with that. 

How do you find the support for hip hop with your audiences and peers?

I feel like the peeps who support my music and come to my shows are the most loyal and loving crew around. I'm blessed in that regard. In the age of disposable music and dwindling attention spans I feel like I'm supported by fam that will still listen to a song that is over four minutes. Hip hop in this country is expanding and it's incredible to see the wave that is currently coming through. Exciting times for sure. Cats are no longer scared to experiment and be different. 

What can people expect at your upcoming tour? Any surprises?

At the launch in Perth we have an acapella group called ‘Daring’ joining us on stage for a few songs. I'm going to get up everyone I collaborated with and make it something really special for the hometown.  Then for the rest of the tour I have my band with me. We are fam before we are a band so it's just a good time. I'm contending for the most energetic live set on the planet so crew will have to come through to see if that's true or not. 

After the EP, what’s next?

Continuing to grind. If I've learned any lesson doing this independently it's that you don't slow down or rest on your laurels. We are already working on new material and I feel like any creative who does it because deep down they know they have to will tell you that it doesn't stop. It can't. We have a new song we are working on with a gospel choir that is probably my favourite thing I've written to date. We just keep moving. 

What stimulates your soul?

My girl runs a charity in Bali called ‘Love Thread Project’ so we are there quite a bit. It's like a second home. I'd say cruising along the coast in Uluwatu on a rented old school motorbike with Rodriguez in the headphones comes pretty close for me.

'Portals' EP is out now via Firestarter Distribution feat. 'NOMO', 'Seven Laps' and 'Pause'

Listen to NOMO on Spotify and Apple Music

Pre-order the ’Portals’ EP now via iTunes