Charles Lovett, the artist and songwriter otherwise known as Marshall Love, recently released his supremely well received EP Ind Of True. After exploring the music we were blessed with the opportunity to interview him to find out a little more about his creative journey so far and his plans for the future. Here’s the interview in full.
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Hi Charles, so great to chat with you – thanks for your time, and congrats on the new release. What does Ind Of True mean to you?
Hey there, Rebecca. Thank you so much, and I’m very grateful that you’ve taken the time to talk with me today. IND OF TRUE, is in essence, me. Each track represents a piece of my personality, or a piece from my personal life. What I’ve always loved about writing music, is the honest emotional release it has allowed me. Writing and performing my songs has become a form of self-therapy, but also a way for me to reach out to others who may have similar experiences or feelings.
When did your passion for hip hop begin, and what made you decide to pursue it creatively?
Well, my first passion was really, R&B, after I discovered Brian McKnight’s, Anytime, album. That was the first album I purchased with my own money when I was 11, and I just continued down the rabbit hole from there. Back in the day, we had an awesome local HipHop/R&B radio station that I’d stay up late and record my favorite songs on to cassettes. That’s how my love began, but it wasn’t until an older cousin introduced me to Dr. Dre’s, 2001, that my love of HipHop really took off. He burned a copy for me, and I would jam out to it on my Discman, and try like hell to hide it from my folks, who were pretty liberal, but still would not have approved of it at the age I was. My cousin continued to be my HipHop guru, from everyone like Dre, Eminem, Missy Elliot, Nas, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Nelly. I would rap along to every burnt CD I had, and every mixtape cassette, trying to emulate the sounds and rhythms as best I could.
I began writing R&B songs at first because that was my first love, but that quickly transformed to rap lyrics as time and my tastes evolved. Most of this creating happened from behind the closed door of my bedroom, and would never see the light of day. It wouldn’t be until the passing of a close college friend, in 2012, that I would decide to actually share my passions for HipHop with the world. I just finally realized that this life is too short to worry about what people will think of you or your art. If you have something to say, and are passionate about what you’re saying, say it while you have the chance.
How did you craft the music for the tracks on the album?
This was a long process, but not because I was creating the backing tracks myself. Although, track production is something I would one day like to venture into. I majored in Music Theory and Composition in college, and even though I had no experience in the process of producing tracks, I knew what I wanted each one to sound and feel like to not only fit each song, but to fit cohesively with the flow of the project. Lyrically, each song was written between 2012-2013, except for some minor tweaks, and were written using tracks I found on SoundClick. Not one of the backing tracks for the final EP, however, are the same as the ones they were written with. It took a lot of searching for producers whose styles I liked, and combing through their vast collections of tracks, but I was finally able to settle on tracks by JCaspersan, Flawless Tracks, and NateRhoadsBeats. I owe much of the success of this EP to these three very talented producers.
Which of the songs on the project do you think most clearly expresses who you are as an artist?
I think if I had to choose one song on the EP to represent me as an artist, it would have to be, Make It Right. It’s a song about hope, and about realizing the importance in everyone regardless of race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. I want to be an artist who focuses on changing the social consciousness through music, even if my message only reaches my surrounding community. Real change is incremental, and small movements can have big impacts.
How important is live music in independent hip hop, and will you be playing shows to promote your sound?
Living in the age of the internet, I think live performances have taken a back seat to outlets such as live video streaming, for sure, but those things just aren’t enough in my opinion. Music is personal, but it is also connective and social. As an artist I want to see my audience connecting with my lyrics, or the vibe from the instrumentals. Likewise, fans want to express their emotional connections to artists face to face.
I do plan on making live shows a part of my push for promoting the EP, and myself as an artist. In fact, I am appearing for the first time this year on March 10th, in a local art showcase, in my hometown, North Manchester, IN, and will performing the EP tracks, along with some older singles I’ve released. This is just the start, however, of what I hope to accomplish this year, and I’m always looking to book shows, so (shameless plug to follow), if any reader is interested, please contact me through my Facebook page, or my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are your thoughts on mainstream hip hop at the moment?
I mean it’s easy to sit around and shit on what we don’t like about ‘mainstream’ HipHop, but I think that has more to do with jealousy in a lot of cases or even just subjectivity. HipHop is about self expression, and personal truth. Most of the music I like comes from artists like JCole, Logic, Joey Bada$$, Eminem, and The Game; artists who rap about more than just bitches, money, and drugs. Every artist is going to have some fluff for the entertainment value, but being able to find the balance and to make a statement with your music is what I find grabs my attention and leaves a lasting effect on my mind.
What are your hopes musically throughout 2018?
My goals for 2018 are to continue to promote the EP, begin to build relationships with venues and promoters, network with other underground artist, and continue to write and begin to structure my next project. Continually moving forward is the game plan.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I would just like to thank you again for your amazing review of IND OF TRUE, and for agreeing to take the time to hear what I had to say. It’s been a pleasure interacting with you and Stereo Stickman, and I look forward to doing it again soon!
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