There seems to be a very common perception of hip-hop culture in today’s society - hard drugs, gun violence and misogyny are a few terms that spring to mind. Although it’s not my responsibility to change that perception, our second featured artist is one of the most genuine, kind-hearted and passionate artists I have had the pleasure of working with – and it’s this character that is personified throughout his music.
Introducing Marcqui Blvck
From Hartford, Connecticut to the streets of Los Angeles, Marcqui has been grinding it out this year to really progress his music career. With his latest album Shinin’, we really see major artist development and unparalleled passion - more on Shinin’ a little later.
At AV, the artist and music always comes first! We love an artist that not only creates good music, but an artist that utilises their true feelings, emotions, beliefs and convictions to shape their music and identity. In an exclusive interview Marcqui told us:
“I think that in order for you to be the best all around person, you have to be influenced by everything around you. As an artist and a creative, I take bits and pieces from everyone’s stories and create a narrative to share with the world.”
… I couldn’t have put it better myself. This mentality for me is what distinguishes Marcqui as an artist. Music was always an instrumental part of Marcqui’s life, growing up with everything from Marvin Gaye to the Ying Yang Twins. Genre was of little importance... if his mom liked the sound, she’d play it (just how we like it). This allowed Marcqui to personalise his music around various stylings, as well as drawing inspiration more recently from the likes of Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Pharrel, Missy Elliot, Timberland, and Young Thug.
Now let's talk some Shinin'! Shinin' was released worldwide on July 12th on all major music platforms. With 8 tracks and a running time of 25 minutes, Shinin' is a short album, however this in no way limits the album - in fact, I believe this album perfectly illustrates the 'less is more' approach. In just 8 tracks, Marcqui has revealed his narrative with a really smooth flow and provides a great follow-up to Tears, released in 2017. Shinin' for me is really captivating, easy to listen to and is a refreshing break from the current trend of bloated album releases.
I would definitely recommend listening to the whole album, but my top tracks are Hit'em Up, D.O.A, Up Next and O'lawd. Each song is distinct and could easily feature as a standalone single - an important trademark of any modern album. If you're looking for a break away from the standardised sound of top 100 chart music, Shinin' really showcases Marcqui Blvck as an up-and-coming talent, pushing for greatness in the form of creativity and ingenuity - there's no ego to satisfy here.
"I don't want to be a household name as such, more like an artist that stands for integrity, talent and pushes for more people to do great" - Marcqui Blvck
At AV we want to make sure music lovers aren't missing out on artists like Marcqui Blvck, who represent what the music industry should be about...the music, the passion and the creativity. Show your support to Marcqui by listening to Shinin' and keeping updated with his music career! Follow @marcquiblvck