Interview with Marcus C Dolan
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I started playing the piano at 8 years old. I went through the formal grades, but would always prefer composing my own pieces and songs. If I wasn’t a musician, then I would probably still be working in the family construction business. So I’ve replaced hitting a hammer with striking the keys!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to go on walks with my family and dog. I find being outside in all weathers helps with clearing my mind and having productive conversations. I often come up with some of my best ideas and thoughts this way.
How long have you been making music?
I started piano at an early age and also took up drums, production and singing later on. I have fond memories of my first 4 track recorder which was made by Amstrad. It was this amazing all in one box with knobs, faders and meters with a turntable on top. I definitely made good use of it and learnt about the basics of multi tracking and production.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I work from a home studio in West Sussex in the UK. I relocated with my family from London during the lockdown in 2021. It was a leap of faith for us and has without doubt provided lots of inspiration. In fact, the song ‘Ready to Believe’ was written and produced here.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
One of my most memorable shows was getting the opportunity to sing at The Royal Albert Hall in London in a gospel choir. It was also televised by the BBC. We were all a bit nervous, but the performance went really well and was a great experience.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Asides from The Royal Albert Hall, I played at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in a classical music capacity. I would love to perform there again as a singer-songwriter.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Ooh that’s a tough one! There’s so many greats! It would be cool to play or be on the bill with Bruce Hornsby, Sting or John Mayer.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
If you are just starting out, it is to go wherever inspiration takes you. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting and crossing musical genres. Having some knowledge of music production is very helpful, whether you are producing yourself, or conveying your ideas to a producer. Similarly, collaboration is a great way to lighten the load and you also benefit from someone else’s creative perspective. There’s always challenges along the way and goals to achieve, but always make sure you are making music for the right reasons. This would all be advice I would give to myself if I went back in a time machine!
of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I would say at the moment ‘Ready to Believe’ as it signifies a new chapter in my life and the opportunities that may follow.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I usually start my set with ‘Where I Call Home’ from the 2017 album Ker St. Roch. It’s always a good one to warm up on and blow out the cobwebs! One of my sons also likes ‘Tired Eyes’ from the same album and it was the first of mine to go onto his Spotify playlist and he’s 11, so that’s nice!
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I can draw inspiration in different ways. There may be a subject, or something on my mind that I want to explore. In terms of the music, if I have some new sounds or equipment it also inspires me to start something and then I will take my time to craft and develop. Once I came up with a song while waiting for my car at the garage!
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
My songs are mainly autobiographical and they convey what life throws at me and how I process and learn. My move to West Sussex is definitely reflected in the songs I write now. I was always known as a Pianist, Drummer and producer and now I’m making people aware that I am also a singer-songwriter. I think I have surprised a few who were unaware of this!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I have quite a few things in the pipeline. I am presently promoting ‘Ready to Believe’ and will be playing some dates later on this year. I have an instrumental album due to be released in December and an EP due early next year which I am really excited about
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
I am on all of the usuals. My website , Instagram and I also have a You tube channel where I regularly upload live studio performances and videos of my songs.