Marcus Machado delivers a stunning new interpretation of the color purple.

Marcus Machado is no stranger to the I SPY SOUL platform. Five years ago we shined a light on the virtuosic guitarist who since being acknowledged as a bonafide prodigy as a child, had been wowing audiences and notable artists alike. A suggested look back at that feature HERE will reveal why more high profile looks were likely on the horizon or have in fact, come to fruition. Before and leading up to the pandemic, the sought-after Machado was in addition to performing and recording as a lead artist, successfully juggling a dizzying schedule of work and performances with artists like vocalist Jose James, iconic DJ/Producer, Pete Rock, standout drummer, Daru Jones, Grammy-winning artist, Anderson.Paak, and with sibling, burgeoning producer Vicky Casis as part of their production team, Mach 7 Muzik to name just a few.

He’d also scored the music for the critically acclaimed hip hop documentary, Contact High as well as worked with Grammy-winning artist, Robert Glasper on the score for the Emmy-winning HBO documentary, The Apollo about the historic Harlem theater. He also worked with Glasper and Grammy-winning vocalist Lalah Hathaway on the NAACP Award winning documentary Mr.Soul which made it to the Academy Awards shortlist. 

So when the pandemic arrived and brought everything to a sobering, screeching halt, Marcus Machado had no choice but to … seemingly be as busy as if nothing were stopped at all.  The Mach 7 Muzik duo released two hip hop laced EPs, Black Summer Again, and Black Summer Vol.2As part of the supergroup Th1rt3en he joined rapper phenomenon, Pharoahe Monch, and the Grammy- winning, Daru Jones to release the trenchant, rock/hip hop gem,  A Magnificent Day For An Exorcism. The project, widely acclaimed, encouraged performances on the Stephen Colbert show and NPR’s popular Tiny Desk series along with several epic visuals. He performed live streams with Jose James and Pete Rock & The Soul Brothers whose project, Petestrumentals 3, on which he also appears, dropped late 2020. He and sister, Vicky Casis even created QSTV, a hip and innovative, bi – weekly program streaming live on YouTube that features a spectrum of accomplished creatives via live and recorded performances, DJ sets, music videos, interviews and more. 

Oh and one more thing, Marcus Machado released his long anticipated, debut album, Aquarius Purple, on vinyl in late February of this year and just recently on all other platforms. It is a triumphant and comprehensive display of not only the consummate guitar skills for which he is known, but as a producer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist as well. Featuring frequent collaborators, Daru Jones, Grammy-winning vocalists, Jermaine Holmes and Ahrel Lumzy, accomplished rap artist, JSWISS as well as producer and multi-instrumentalist, TFOX, it is being considered one of the best releases of the year thus far.  

On the I SPY SOUL podcast edition interview, we talk to Marcus Machado about the new album, his near experience meeting Prince that inspired, “Her” and much more. BC

Featured Photo: Robert Adam Mayer

The following tracks were played during the course of the interview:

Opening and closing music: Dillafornia 6 by Daniel Crawford

“New Thangz” featuring DJ Spinna from the EP, 29 by Marcus Machado

“Let’s Play”, “AQ Intro” (Night Owl Child), “Black Psychedelic Funk” and “Her”

all from the new album, Aquarius Purple by Marcus Machado

For more on Marcus Machado go to www.officialmarcusmachado.com/ or follow him on Instagram

@ https://www.instagram.com/officialmarcusmachado/

And to check out Mach 7 Muzik go to https://mach-7muzik.bandcamp.com/

Video Interview: Saxophonist/Producer Samir Zarif

Saxophonist/Producer Samir Zarif aka FKAjazz represents a hefty number of young, talented artists and musicians whose palettes, influences and paths, although heavily draped by the imperial musical idiom that is Jazz, also count Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop and more as pivotal to their overall stylistic outlook.

Jazz cats being moved by popular music of the day is not a new thing – Think Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Donald Byrd or Grant Green, just to name a few. The irony? Well there are many but here are just a couple- Jazz was America’s first “Pop” music ( a fact definitely not lost on Zarif) – The music that was once the influencer and incredibly cool to be known as one of the genre’s practitioners. Another irony refers to the last point – that for many both in and out of Jazz circles, that swag-filled cred of entertaining, popular, and infectious musical exploration has been stamped by a narrow stereotype only covering a facet of the genre and quite frankly, the makeup of its audience. As a result, the new breed that may have gotten their starts under the label of Jazz, but now dart throughout the musical landscape of their upbringing often get pigeonholed as well – Another reality Zarif is well aware of.

Zarif, an accomplished saxophonist who has studied, performed and worked with the likes of Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, and Jason Marsalis as well as Jill Scott and Chrisette Michele is also a skilled producer who built his chops as one half of the electronic music production duo Pax Humana and beyond.  Now years removed from his acclaimed “Jazz” release Starting Point in 2010, Zarif as FKAjazz and with his upcoming anticipated release, musically and literally through the title confirms he’s one of the many on the scene like Robert Glasper, José James or Terrace Martin who challenge the label “Jazz” artist.

Stereotype Threat is what its aptly called and Samir Zarif explains the catalyst and concept as well as what FKAjazz means in our video interview on ISPYSOUL! 

DBC

For more about Samir Zarif aka FKAjazz go to fkajazz.com

Video Interview: Guitarist/Producer Marcus Machado

Marcus Machado Armed and dangerously good!

Sure, many have come to know talented, Brooklyn-based guitarist, Marcus Machado by way of his winning Rolling Stone Magazine and D’Addario’s Next Young Gun competition in 2014, beating out scores of young players. But truth be told, he was actually and aptly stamped with the prodigy tag long before that. As a young teenager he was ripping the stage and turning heads with outstanding play that belied his age and in the years since, gaining praise and valuable opportunity from veteran performers like soul/R&B luminaries, The Family Stand, bassist extraordinaire Victor Bailey, and acclaimed MC Pharaohe Monch to name a few, along the way. Now with loads of experience and industry buzz Marcus is poised for a formal breakout. His EP 29released on the Purpose Music Group imprint, opened more eyes to his musical brew of rock, soul, jazz, blues, and funk and serves as the perfect appetizer for a full scale project planned for later this year. Check out the interview below and others on the I SPY SOUL YouTube Channel

Be sure to check out Marcus Machado’s EP 29 by clicking link.

In the midst of a super busy schedule touring, recording and performing with the likes of Pete Rock, Robert Glasper and Nas to name a few, Marcus Machado has recently produced the soulful soundtrack for the award – winning comedy film-short Blue Diamonds. Check out the first single from the soundtrack, “I Can’t Lose” by clicking here  and find out more about the hilarious Blue Diamonds in our interview with the film’s creator, Patrick House by clicking here