Sunday, July 19, 2015
Q&A with Aries Marquis
Louisianian singer-songwriter Aries Marquis creates music with a soul. Says Marquis about his debut album, Imperfection, "If you love music that tells true experiences, is passionate and has substance, then you will love the album!"
Favorite artist? Although I do have a list of artists that inspire me, my favorite artist is Eric Benet. I feel that Eric and I have many similarities in vocal skills, lyricism, and musical arrangement. One of my favorite albums by Eric is True to Myself, which he sets the tone by letting listeners know to just be yourself and change for no one. If you have something, go forth with it, and do not follow what others do. That is how I have positioned myself in my personal music journey.
Favorite genre of music? My favorite genre of music at this present moment is pop. Today everything has shifted to such a crossover, eclectic feel, and I feel that pop has the greatest impact on reaching audiences on a large scale. I’ve incorporated a lot of pop and soul into my music. Pop can have a variety of different sounds, and that's what I look for in order to express myself through my music.
Favorite song? I have a ton of great songs that I wish I could mention, but my favorite uptempo song is "You’re The Only One" by Eric Benet from his Love and Life album. That song introduced me to Eric in 2008, and it was the epitome of how I envision songs should be: great production and arrangements that are not trendy but still appeal to the listener, mature lyricism, very groovy sound, and a soulful delivery. That song has yet to bore me.
What is your earliest music memory? My earliest music memories consist of me singing in church choirs as a child. Surprisingly, I didn’t do anything worth talking about, musically speaking, until the second semester of my senior year in high school. I had no clue that I would dive into music like I have, which is the funniest part. I had no clue that I would be writing, performing and making music that people would actually love!
What was the first LP or CD you bought? The first album that I purchased and listened to until it was destroyed was The Five Heartbeats soundtrack. Before that I just listened to Gospel music, R&B music, and a few other genres. I didn’t realize what type of music I actually liked at the time, so I couldn’t pinpoint why I actually loved that soundtrack so much. Now I can tell you that it was because of the soulfulness! My favorite song on that album was “Are You Ready For Me?” My family used to laugh at me when I played that song, but I couldn’t help it! The song was on point!
What was the first artist you saw in concert? The first artist I saw in concert was the person that I WANTED to be the first person I saw in concert - Eric Benet! I was given some tickets to see Eric Benet at the River Center in downtown Baton Rouge, and my brother and I went. It was everything I expected, plus more! Great showmanship, a lot of energy, and Benet singing my favorite songs. If I could repeat that concert again, I would!
What hobbies and interests do you have? Outside of music, my second love is politics. I love talking about issues that impact people. I want to impact the lives of people in a positive way, and two of the most certain ways to do that is through music and politics.
Do you have a nickname? When I was in my military unit, my fellow soldiers used to call me “Choir Boy," ironically from The Five Heartbeats. Some of the ladies that thought I was stuck up called me “Pretty Boy," which is actually my favorite. I actually use that one from time to time. The women of my family call me "Reesee," and the men of my family call me "Rese."
Where have you traveled? Favorite destination? I honestly do not have a favorite destination, because I just love to travel. Long road trips are one of the greatest things on earth! You get to see new things, feel new atmospheres, and just get out. It’s a real stress reliever to know you’re not just boxed up in one location all of the time.
If you could hang out with anyone who would you pick and why? If I could hang with anyone, of course, I would pick Eric Benet. I would also pick D’Angelo and Jamar Rogers from The Voice. It would be fun to pick their brains on how they create their sound and what drives them.
Favorite food? My favorite food is seafood. LOVE seafood to the max. Nothing can top seafood! Fried catfish, shrimp, crabs, red snapper, salmon...I can go on and on!
Favorite book? Almost any book that is informative. I love to learn, and I'm a huge fan of history. I can’t waste my time reading things that are made up just for entertainment or are irrelevant to my existence when I can be educating myself.
Favorite movie? At this present moment, my favorite movie is The Pursuit of Happiness. It shows that many people that became successful had to struggle before the big break came around. I can easily relate to the things the main character went through. Like him, I strive to reach the day it all pays off.
Favorite holiday and why? My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday, in my opinion. It’s all about family gatherings and there is lots of food! I've never had a bad Thanksgiving!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? If I could have any superpower in the world, it would probably be telekinetic powers. To be able to move whatever I want would make me basically unstoppable!
If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be? I definitely want to go to Israel. I would love to check out the many locations and artifacts that were discovered from one of the most historical countries in existence, especially the Biblical history.
What would people be surprised to know about you? I think people would be most surprised about my musical journey up to this point. The things that I’ve had to deal with, as I said before, will take you right to my favorite movie, The Pursuit of Happiness. I’ve done a lot yet I still feel like I have a long ways to go, which I am just fine with!
What three words would best describe you? Ambitious, determined, and focused.
What three words would your friends use to describe you? Gifted, intelligent, and hard working.
Any special talents? I am a great public speaker, which I taught myself how to do. I have pretty decent mechanic skills, which my best friend, and I learned on our own. I taught myself how to write, produce, and perform. I think maybe my greatest gift is the ability to teach myself whatever I want to know!
Best compliment ever received? The best compliment that I’ve ever received would have to be a compliment that I received a week after I won a showcase at Southern University in 2011. I was told, “Man, you are the greatest singer in the world." I just chuckled but stopped short after I realized that this guy was serious. Although I've received some really great comments, that is ranked number one!
Who has inspired you? Eric Benet, Luke James, and D’Angelo are among those who inspire my artistry. Tyler Perry is a great inspiration due to the struggles that he faced in order to fulfill his vision, Will Smith for his inspiring movie, but he also came from lowly circumstances. I mainly relate to those who’ve been down the road of tribulation in order to reach the pinnacle of success.
Any funny stories about you? One of the funniest things that ever happened to me was in the 8th grade. It was time to leave class when out of nowhere, my reading teacher football kicked someone’s science project across the room. I laughed so hard that my homies pushed me into the wall, and I was still laughing!
What did you plan to be when you grew up? When I grew up, I actually planned to be a computer technician, a computer programmer, or a computer engineer. I'm good at computers, and I'm self-taught. My best friend always calls me up when he has problems with any computer he has, and I tell him how to fix the issue. Music never crossed my mind.
Biggest misconception about you? The biggest misconception about me is that I'm arrogant. In actuality, I’m a very humble and very caring person. I do have confidence in what I do and who I am, but I don't put myself above anyone else.
Are there any issues you feel passionate about? I do have quite a few issues that I am very passionate about, especially pertaining to American society. I have a strong issue with violence and crime in America, with the judicial system of America, and about the domestic situations of citizens in America. I feel that this country needs an overhaul As far as the music industry, I feel substance has taken a backseat to kiddie lyricism, and originality has been replaced with follow-the-leader sound. There are a lot of music fans that feel that this is leading to the decrease in album sales and music quality overall.
Visit Aries Marguis's website here! Marquis is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. He promises to follow you back if you follow him and mention Imperfection!