Interview // Marques Toliver

Marques Toliver is prolific to say the least, although only releasing his debut album ‘Land of CanAan’ now, he’s been on our radar for years, having worked with the likes of TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear and Lianne La Havas, whilst modelling, setting up his very own magazine, not to mention going on tour with some of the world’s best acts. Our editor Jess Partridge caught up with him whilst out on tour with Beach House.

How’s the tour going?

It’s been great, we started in Italy and now we’re in Shepherds Bush but in between we’ve been to Spain, Portugal and stopped in France. It’s been going well, gathering lots of fans along the way.

How does it differ from headlining your own shows?

With headlining shows you have more liberty, I’m able to have a band too, well from this point on there will be a band. It makes it easier to replicate the sounds from the album, as it has so many layered strings and heavy percussion. There’s some electronic beats on top, but it’s somewhat disguised, you can hear them in songs like ‘Magic Look’ right away.

On the album you’ve worked with producer Eg White (Adele, Will Young etc.) on a few tracks, how do you feel working with him shaped your music?

He’s a fan of the violin, so we had that common bond, he filled in the gaps and created a golden thread to tie the tracks together. We approached the songs as just songs, not necessarily songs for an album, that came later.

Obviously you’ve worked with so many people, the likes of TV on the Radio and Grizzly Bear, who did you find inspired you to create the most?

That’s a tricky one. I wouldn’t say that there was a specific favourite, because we all have that same passion for music. I can say, though, that each experience has lead to the other…

So do you feel your album replicates that journey?

You could put it that way, for instance when I met Kip (TV on the Radio) he was really into Dolly Parton, which then put me onto her too. Meeting each individual helped created new and different sounds within my work.

What are your favourite places in London?

Right now, Shoreditch. Today I was waiting in Fix 126 and looking at all the different things everything everyone was wearing and listening to conversations. It’s nice to see everyone in their own little world, it’s a very inspiring place.

‘Land of CanAan’ comes out on Bella Union on May 13th.