EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: MARLEY WATERS 'WYLIN'

Marley Waters, the former dance crew member of ABDC's Status Quo and producer of hit songs such as Tinashe and Schoolboy Q's '2 On', talks about his humble beginnings in Boston, the music industry hustle and the true meaning of 'Wylin', his 8th track on his debut album, 'Transitions'. 

When did you know you wanted to be work in this industry and how did you go about it? 

I knew I wanted to work in the industry was as a freshman in college. I was born an entertainer and always performed, but I never cared about being signed or dealing with a label. I had the opportunity to work with Grand Hustle and Konvict Musik during college at Clark Atlanta. That helped me understand how the game works, how to hustle and get royalty checks. Then I figured it all out and dove into the industry head first! Now we here!

 

'Wylin' is the 8th track off your new album 'Transitions.' Can you tell us a little bit about the song? 

"Wylin" is a representation of how we are as youth growing up in Boston. There isn't much opportunity. The cops profile us and treat us like animals. We have high energy and we release it through the art; Rap battles, street dance battles and more. Since we don't get the light to shine, we make noise until we get the respect we deserve. That's "Wylin"

 

What's your creative process like in terms of creating a song like 'Wylin' and the visuals of your upcoming music video that go along with it? Is there anything in particular that sparks your creative process? 

I wanted to capture the grimey ambience of my city. A raw, uncut, unfiltered song with dark, energetic visuals. We shot in London, UK with my director, George Harkness. The idea came while we were out roaming the London streets at 5:30am. The city seemed like the perfect stage for us to set and shoot. We watched out for local cops and the CCTV surveillance to make sure we didn't get caught shooting and blasting the music in the early hours. 

 

I watched a video on your YouTube channel that was posted a few years ago. You really let viewers into your personal life, including the telling of moments of loss in your life. You ended the video saying "...we are all born in this world to die. We can die trying, or we can die a legend." -- this is an extremely powerful, inspiring statement. How do your past and current experiences with life contribute to who you are as a musician today? 

My life is the story. Everything that happens in my life, becomes the narrator of a new chapter, or album. I'm inspired to make music about the things that make my heart feel some type of way.  From all the trials and tribulations in my life, I find it extremely necessary to be purposeful and fearless. Say what you mean and do what you say. I want to be legend when it's all said in done. In honor of my best friend DJ Henry, who was murdered by police. I want to uplift his name and rep his legacy until I die. 

 

If you could give any advice to aspiring musicians, or creatives in general, what would it be?

The advice I would give to aspiring artists is to keep your eyes and ears open to learning. Learning is how you evolve. Study the game. Study what you like and figure out how it's done. Then master your craft and do you the best you can! If you don't, who else will?

Listen to Marley Waters' latest album in full:

Interview by Kyle Stuart. Intro by Morgan T. Stuart. Photo by Christopher Parsons.