In an age where rappers pride themselves with provocative, materialistic lyricism, Marc Jones is doing music differently. His deeper vocal tones and staccato cadence fits the more visceral elements of rap, but the artist's wordplay and themes are driven by positivity - which everyone needs currently.
No Gravity, Jones' latest single, melts abrasive 808s with eery synths. Courtesy of G8FREQ, Lil Baby, M Huncho et cetera, the production hits powerfully with the rapper's aspirational and sensitive lyricism. Flying out to Iceland, the track's visuals see the Croydon native trundling through bitterly cold settings - delivering bars confidently in abandoned air ships.
Watch the video, listen to the latest single and read our interview with Marc Jones below.
To kick off the interview, introduce yourself. Get the people knowing about Marc Jones.
MJ: I’m a rapper from Croydon, South London. I’ve been releasing music for around 3 years but I’ve been making it for much longer. My music is a reflection of my life experiences, full of honesty and with the aim of encouraging people in their own situations.
How’s lockdown treating you? By what means have you adapted to the new way of living?
MJ: I’ve actually been enjoying it. I felt like I’ve been quite busy recently, so it’s given me a chance to slow down and spend some time with my wife. The most important thing for me has been getting into a routine of exercise and work. It’s also given me more time to be creative and think of new ideas.
Your new single No Gravity is out, and it’s a banger. You’ve taken elements from drill in the past but this song encompasses the genre a lot more. What made you want to experiment
with this sound?
MJ: Thanks - I think it’s just been an evolution in my sound. Like you said, there’s always been the elements, but I feel like my tone and cadence fit the genre quite well. I got sent the beat and knew it would suit me. I think being flexible enough to feel comfortable on all the
different tempos in rap is important, so it’s something I’ve worked on.
Tell us about the visuals. Was that the coldest you’ve ever been or can Croydon give Iceland a run for its money at the harshest of times?
MJ: Listen, it was cold! I’d never been to Iceland and when we got there we jumped straight in a car to the location. I thought it would be fine to shoot the video without wearing gloves and learned quickly that was not possible! The scene on the beach was surreal, we walked a long way to get there and when I say the wind was crazy... I’m struggling to compare it to anything, but basically you couldn’t look up. Thankfully, it stopped for 5mins and we got to do a full-take which was incredible – I genuinely feared for my life. In all seriousness though, it was nice to shoot the video in a different country. All my other videos had been around Croydon up to this point, so going somewhere completely different felt like the right move. I feel like the visuals fit the track really well and helped tell the story.
Compared to a lot of London-cenric music, your tunes bring an air of positivity. Why is that important to you as an artist?
MJ: My faith is a big part of what I do, not just in music but in all parts of my life. For me, that means trying to bring a good influence to the world, and I feel like music is a vehicle for that. People often feel like positive music needs to be happy, but I don’t think that’s the case. I want my music to reflect my life and what I’m going through, both the good and the bad. The most important thing I want to do in my music is be honest. However, where possible I’m always going to encourage people and that’s where the positive aspect comes into it.
In another interview you said your Dad surrounded you with a multiplicity of genres: reggae, funk etc, but what sound originally captivated you at this time?
MJ: I think Reggae was and will always be my favourite genre. Not only because of the musical element, but also the honesty in the lyrics; that’s one thing I feel music has lost over the years. When I listen to some of my favourite reggae songs, I’m able to place myself in their position and identify with the struggle. But then there’s other songs that can just celebrate culture. That’s why I love it.
Despite your music being inherently London, Spotify cites the US and Australia as your most listened to countries. Why do you think your music reaches people from so far away?
MJ: Spotify is extremely powerful! Nah to be honest, I’ve been shown a lot of love by Spotify
when it comes to playlists. I’ve been blessed to be placed on some playlists that have a very large audience around the world, and the people listening seem to enjoy my music. It’s a bit mad to see people in the Philippines listening to your songs, but if they can get something from it, I’m more than happy.
From your lyrics and song names it is evident you support Arsenal. What is your fondest memory of supporting the Gunners, and contrastingly your most heartbreaking memory of supporting them?
MJ: I make it a bit obvious, don’t I? I think my best memory of supporting Arsenal was Henry
returning and scoring against Leeds in the FA cup. It wasn’t to win a trophy or anything, but I can’t remember ever celebrating a goal that much. Most heart-breaking memory was the Champions League final in 2006. Let’s not even talk about it.
To wrap this up, what is next for Marc Jones?
MJ: More music! No Gravity is just the start of what we have for 2020. A lot more to come.