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New Artist: Mar 

 

Words and Photos by Amiyah Golden 

 

Dynamism, inclination, proficiency and soul all come together and embrace the talent that oozes out of local Jacksonville singer Mar. 

 

His name alone precedes him as I’ve heard it circulate through various artist circles — always met with great acclaim — but I finally was able to hear him for myself and was blown away. 

 

I was captured by a melodic and sincere spiel accompanied by Mar’s vocal propensity, turning me into an instant fan! I recently got to sit down with the singer to talk about his journey as an independent artist. 

 

Growing up in a household that nurtured art and attending performing arts schools — such as LaVilla and Douglas Anderson — Mar unearthed his creativity abilities early on. Mar focused on visual art during much of his schooling with his preteen aspirations being to create a video game, write a manga or animate a show. His interests weren’t limited to visual arts, though, as he taught himself piano at a young age — and snuck his way into advanced violin in third grade as he never played before but taught himself and “stretched the truth” just a little. Definitely no harm done as his ability to learn music by ear (an insane feat in itself) further equipped him with additional musical skills. 

 

“I would hear a song on a show, an anime or a video game, and I would think, ‘I can recreate this,’” said Mar. 

 

His mom vouching for its accuracy, shocked that he was able to recreate these sounds off of just listening to the original.  

 

“OK, Shazam,” Mar quotes his mother. 

 

His exploration of instruments naturally led him to singing, previously a hidden talent that wasn’t uncovered until highschool. 

 

“Going into high school one day I was like you know what, I want to sing,” said Mar.

 

Revealing this to his mom came with slight astonishment but support nonetheless. 

 

Singing was just another skill added to the never ending toolbox of this multifaceted artist. His additional abilities to produce his own music, write, draw, and sing continue to reinforce his starpower. 

 

A natural keen sense to understand musical molecularly has aided to his artistry, as well as his vast appreciation for fellow artists such as Willow, Cleo Sol and India Shawn, among others.

 

Growing up, his musical exploration was self described as a “mixed bag” with his mom fostering a strict listening environment of gospel music with artists such as Kierra Sheard and Mali Music and his dad listening to Eminem, Jay-Z, and Kanye with some alternative nods to bands such as Panic at the Disco and Paramore. These genres like gospel and alternative rock would serve as some present-day inspiration. As well as, Paramore specifically being a current source of influence. 

 

Mar’s sound can be described as “new alternative R&B.” 

 

With soul being at the forefront, it doesn’t limit Mar’s creative facility that many R&B artists are often confined under rigid constraints of what they’re expected to produce. 

 

Many artists are beginning to break the binary when it comes to upholding the involuntary illusioned structure of expectation when it comes to genre. With Mar still championing R&B, it paves way for potential unexpectant production, time signatures, and alternative influence.

 

“If you listen to my past two projects, it might be a mixed bag of tricks. You might describe it as pop, you might describe it as alt,” he explained. 

 

With Mar being the author, the character and the witness of his music, the change is inevitable as he continues to evolve and greet the escapades of life. 

 

“I started producing music and putting it out my senior year of high school,” he recalled. “It wasn’t like I really knew what I wanted to make, whereas now it’s been this rediscovery.” 

 

Whatever the classification, the common denominator seems to be romance, as a self-proclaimed lover boy, his songs are translated tales of his own continuance, which is one reason why he resonates with the R&B genre so well. 

 

“My songs are my stories,” he said. “I prefer to write from my own experience.” 

 

His songs like “I Can’t” and “Juke” were both written from streams of consciousness, fueled by fervor that needed to be released.

 

Not finite to love, Mar also recognizes the value in wiring songs based in introspection. The song “Here” being birthed from that awareness. 

 

His conciseness in his projects, not only musically but visually, further demonstrate his passion, each executed perfectly to appeal to his listeners while produced out of pure motivation to share his art. 

 

Everything that Mar touches is gold. With attention to every detail and the time taken to craft a masterpiece that’s held in such high esteem, it shows in his music, his performances and in the energy that radiates from within him. 

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