The beauty of good artistry comes from an ever evolving style, from those who are constantly pushing themselves to find their latest and greatest identity. For writers, they say to start out and "write what you know," and with musicians, you could say the same principle works just as well. We've come across a new artist whose brand is impressively well-articulated for his early career, and whose influences have inspired him to bring soul and his own experiences to his music.
Mars Today grew up in San Francisco and now resides in music hub Los Angeles. He's a vocalist and producer who plays a multitude of instruments, and he's worked with a range of artists, including some associated with the prominent label Soulection. Now, he's gearing up to release a major EP entitled Tropical Fruit. Out October 23rd through Mixto Music, put in the simplest terms: this EP is a must listen. Each of the seven tracks has its own identity, but a real laid back summertime jam brand throughout that make Mars Today's music some to pay attention to.
The fourth track on the release is entitled "73 Degrees" and is a journey through electronica, reggae, world music, pop and hip hop. Featuring Masego on vocals, the track is infectious, and a modern universal take on Caribbean music that features everything from familiar basslines to a smooth jazz horn feature. We got to have a first listen to the EP and chat with Mars on his love for music. Check both out below.
EARMILK: Tell us a bit about your background - how did you get interested in making music?
Mars Today: I was lucky enough to have an amazing music teacher at the elementary school I went to, so I got exposed to a lot of different types of music, and instruments very early in life. I took piano lessons for a while as a kid, then guitar, then drums. I tend to be a little A.D.D musically, and always wanted to play a little of everything… I started producing music for fun in high school just to get my ideas out and have fun with my friends. I didn't start taking it seriously until I was 23, and I am almost 33 now. So basically I have spent the last 10 years of my life in a room staring at a screen with speakers blaring attempting to master this craft.
EARMILK: What artists inspired you growing up? What about now?
Mars Today: This is a really hard question for me to answer, my musical tastes have shifted so much over time, and every phase I went through affected me and influenced my sound in it's own way. I think you can hear it in my work, it's obvious from my catalog that I love soul, r&b, funk, hip-hop, reggae, latin (salsa/bossa/son/reggaeton), as well as heavy beat/electronic/R&Bass music…
That being said, lately I have been super inspired by artists like Mura Masa, BJ The Chicago Kid, Robin Hannibal, Hiatus Kaiyote, Alabama Shakes, Anderson .Paak, SPZRKT, Elhae, Iamnobodi, Jordan Rakei, Nick Hakim, Esta, Jahkoy, Sir, and a whole bunch more. I am constantly inspired by the amazing music being created around me.
EARMILK: Can you tell us about this new EP and the making of it? What did you want to accomplish?
Mars Today: Tropical Fruit is a concept project intended to take the listener on a sonic vacation. It's supposed to make you feel like you are on a tropical beach somewhere, sipping a cool beverage, gazing off at the sunset. Or something like that.
I have always been infatuated with/inspired by the African based rhythms that came out of Cuba, Brazil, and the Caribbean. So I guess this was my attempt to channel some equatorial vibes and see what came out. I teamed up with some of my favorite producer homies (Teeko, Mikos Da Gawd, Gyrefunk), and some of my crazy talented musician homies (Adam Theis, Rafa Postel, Bob Menacho) to pull it off.
EARMILK: Tell us a little bit about what you've got in store for the future.
Mars Today: Big Tings! (insert dancehall air horn). Ha, no just a lot more music coming really. I moved to LA a few months ago, and have just been grinding away trying to establish myself as a producer, writer, & artist down here. I recently finished production on an EP for an incredible singer/songwriter named Emily Mclean that will be dropping early next year (indie-pop/soul vibes). Also I am finishing up a R&B/Soul EP with me singing entitled "As You Wish". That should also be done in the early part of next year. Plus working regularly in the studio with Los Rakas, Rich Iyala (sayknowledge), & Jahkoy, supporting them to the best of my sonic abilities. Basically from here out my goal is to create as much timeless music as possible, and have a good time doing it.