Embedded with the spirit of the Caribbean, International Recording Super Star Marcus Antonio began to create music that falls in a lane of itself. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Marcus shares his memories of the many musical influences, including Shaggy, Sean Paul, and Baby Cham. He also credits his love for music to the church, like many in the music industry. We were honored that he joined our CEO and answered a few questions for the Coffea family.
Were you born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica?
“Definitely, I was born and raised in Kingston Duhaney Park. Growing up, it was pretty cool. Because like where I’m from there were a lot of artists that came from there. I was less than a 30 second walk from Baby Cham. I’ve always been around the music. Differently. Konshens was another guy that made it from Duhaney Park as well. So growing up it’s been a lot of musical inspiration.
So I know that you have been making music for a long time.
What actually inspired you even to start?
“Well, really what inspired me was my dad. I grew up hearing him play the sound system over the years and that’s what brought me a little closer to music.
Really. You know going to church…deciding to get in the choir and listening to other artists as well like Shaggy at the time…Sean Paul, you know what I mean, Jamaicans making such an impact in the world. So I was just like…that could me one day. And I have never eased up since.”
I know that you play a lot of instruments. What instrument did you start playing first?
“That would the drum and a little bit of the keyboard which the keyboard is now my favorite.”
Were you influenced by other artists before you actually found your sound?
“Not really. It’s just that I used to listen to a lot of music every genre, and I would just listen and pick sounds that best suit my voice at the same time, but then I was like how can I create my own sound? If I take a piece of this sound, that sound, you know what I mean a bunch of different vibes and bring it into one to create my own style. You know?”
How do you describe the sound that you do have?
“The word that I would use is “Unique”. And the reason why I say that is because I mix things pretty much R&B, Pop, and County and a little bit of Hip Hop as well into one to create a whole new vibe, a whole new movement in the music industry.”
Do you have a favorite one out of each of those genres like a favorite country singer, do you have a hip hop artist?
“I would say that I have a favorite Pop Artist. The Weekend.”
What do you like the most about The Weekend?
“It’s his style, really, and overall his content, you know it’s different. A lot of people are not doing what he does in terms of the topics that he talks about like Starboy. The Weekend is where it’s at. For Real, For Real.”
Would you consider yourself to be shy?
Back then, yea, I was. Like I would never sing for somebody until I got in the choir. The first time I sung, it’s the reaction from the members of the church that really let me know like, this is what you need to do. Music. A lot of people came to me. ‘Like your voice, there’s an anointing in your voice that helps people.’ That kind of motivates me, really. My Grandma, growing up, my Grandma would take us to church Sunday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday… Every day that she’d get the time to. That was the life.”
Did you think that you were going to make Gospel Music?
What made you go straight to dance and vibe, R&B, and Reggae?
“You know, honestly, I still do Gospel. You know, I’m not going to stray away from that. I just recognized that I’m a musician that pretty much just wants to do everything. You know, once it sounds good and it’s connecting the way I want it to connect to people then I’ll definitely do it. But Gospel, is still going to be one of my choices of music that I’m not straying from. Because I know who God is, you know, and I won’t stray from that, and having a mom as an apostle, I don’t think that I can really get too far from the church."
You went out on a limb, and you started and decided to go on American Idol.
How was that journey?
“It was pretty much fun. I messed up. I messed up badly cause when I went through the first two rounds, I was so happy about it. You know, we decided that we should celebrate. We went, we drank, and the alcohol took my voice away, so I didn’t even go back. I just never showed up, honestly.”
Did you learn anything from the other artists that were there or the panel?
“Actually, I did. That’s really the key, to stay motivated, you know. I heard so much different songs. Incredible songs, you know, and there were guys there telling me that they have been trying forever, who were signed, and it didn’t work out. People told them to stop singing; it was not for them, and guys that actually made it through, that I actually watched in the competition. I actually voted because I was like, you could have been there and messed up. Why not still, you know, support who’s on there chasing their dream as well. Not that I gave up on mine. It’s just that what I know now, I wish I would have known then.”
What keeps you motivated now? What inspires you to start again?
“Definitely friends. Friends, family, you know just good people around. Choose accordingly. They really gave me back hope, honestly. I’ve always been in music. There were times that I really felt like giving up.
So you have a new single out called Trouble.
What do you want your audience to feel when they hear this song?
“Well, with TROUBLE, I did Trouble as a reminder to anyone that is in a relationship to never get too comfortable and take the one that you love for granted. Meaning, paying attention to the needs of the one that you are with, because if you don’t, then they will find it in someone else. And that’s where trouble comes in.”
Did you personally experience it?
“Yes, a couple of times.” (laughter)
A couple of times?! When you wrote this song did you kind of learn your lesson? Did it open your eyes on what you needed to do next?
“Somewhat. The issue when it comes to me was just me being me, honestly. Sometimes, I become a little bit nonchalant with stuff which creates the issue. Not that I don’t care. It’s just that I don’t really show a lot at times, and that’s where that trouble comes in. For Real, For Real. It happened to me so I’m trying to pass that little advice on.”
What would you like your fans to know about you as an artist?
Well, what I want them to know is that Marcus Antonio is a very talented individual, a great person, great personality, just definitely somebody people can be around to have a good time, have a good vibe. Very positive.”
We are excited about the new things Marcus Antonio has in store for us. Make sure you check out his new single Trouble and follow him all social media platforms, @MARCUSANTONIOOFFICIAL .