Marlon James
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Marlon James

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Alternative R&B

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Sep
25
Marlon James @ Steam Whistle Brewing

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Press


Remember Jai Paul? After having what may-or-may-not be his album leak early and accidentally closing out the summer of 2013 on a soulfully airy note, very little has been heard from Paul's camp. This leak was one of the few "moments" we've had in post-internet music history where you had to be online when the leak happened to understand its gravity, and the fact that the project was never given an official title or track listing just furthers the mystique. Fortunately, artists like Marlon James are keeping the magic alive by breathing new life into Paul's clandestine offerings. With "Mumbai," James covers "Str8 Outta Mumbai" (also known as "Track 2") while wrapping the track in an upbeat electronic blanket and slapping a guitar solo on the tail end of it.
The track comes as the first release for Marlon James off his self-titled album coming out this summer, and it conjures a mental scene involving half-pineapples and tiki torches. Hopefully the original songs on the album can rise above the high bar he's set with this Jai Paul cover. - Noisey


For those of us who are sorely missing the stank face inspiring sounds of Jai Paul, Marlon James has come to our rescue. Punchy and sharp, Marlon James’ cover of “Mumbai” makes you feel like your dancing through the funkiest video game ever created.
Fortunately, it won’t stop here, Marlon is planning to release his self-titled debut LP in July. In addition to his solo material, James is well known as the leader of the Juice Money Collective, a band that has backed artists Iman Omari, Rich Kidd, Tona, and Junia-T, to name a few. He also works closely with Birthday Boy, Toronto DJ and producer on the rise. - Earmilk


Remember that guy from Rayners Lane? Jai Paul? He caused some serious waves a few years ago with the down-tempo funk of “Jasmine”, then in 2013, an apparent album surfaced on Bandcamp, but it was quickly dismissed by Paul himself, urging fans not to buy it, that it wasn’t uploaded by him, and it disappeared as fast as it appeared. Hearts sank. Nothing’s been heard of him since.

But fear not, because Toronto-native Marlon James is here and he’s just served up a delicious remix of Paul’s “Str8 Outta Mumbai”. He’s given it a Western make-over: it’s now propelled by a synthy pulse and a smacking snare, with dirty guitar licks that culminate in a shredding solo, that replace the original’s percussive Bangra rhythm and high-pitched Indian vocals. Two days ago, he tweeted that his album’s done. Let’s hope that the rest of the material follows in the same vein. - Conversations About Her


Many people might consider Jai Paul to be one of the most important singer-songwriter auteurs of our generation. Mixing an unorthodox blend of funk, soul, R&B, and southern Indian music into a sound collage of experimental R&B. The mystery of samples and instruments used in Paul’s leaked debut EP are equally as cryptic as he is.’ Str8 Outta Mumbai,’ aka ‘Mumbai’ is Track 2 off the leaked Bandcamp EP, which samples Vani Jairam’s Bala Main Bairagan Hoongi and is a fiery example of Paul’s excellence. However, Paul’s music has both a positive and negative connotation to it. The gloominess that is Paul’s sudden absence form the music industry is an unfortunate example of an introverted genius however; it is great having people reincarnate the magic that is Paul’s music.

Marlon James an emerging r&b artist from Toronto manages to emulate Paul’s crystal cut R&B vision while simultaneously accentuating it. As we are slowly drawing closer to another muggy, wet, and humid Toronto summer, Marlon James sets the perfect tone by covering the equally sultry ‘Mumbai’ by Jai Paul. James is a bubbling R&B contortionist from Toronto; whether it be twisting Mac Demarco’s Ode to Viceroy into a sweet distorted lullaby, or covering the enigmatic Jai Paul, Marlon manages to put his own stream of consciousness’s to songs already filled with emotional depth. Mumbai is the first release off of James’ self-titled debut album arriving this summer. - IX Daily


Every once in a while something comes across our plate here at Flea Market Funk, and you say: “This is an artist to watch out for.” Today was another one of those days. Marlon James is one of those artists. The artist formerly known as Guzo Lou, James takes his R & B influenced Soul from the T dot O out for a drive on this Princeish side “Wonder Why”. A slick combination of Eighties drums, flangy vocals, and falsetto choruses, this tune is a hit waiting to happen. Usually, since we lived through the decade, we don’t want to revisit these sounds, but we have to tell you, this tune is damn catchy. Pleasantly surprised at this funky little nugget of Soul, it’s on repeat in the offices and is the anthem for the day. I was hoping to get a little more info on this artist, but his site is pretty sparse, maybe he’s surrounding this track in mystery? Very Prince of him as well. Whatever the case is, Marlon James is on his way, and it looks to be rising. So if you’re in Toronto, Canada, make sure you look the dude up and see where he’s performing. This is the street cred a guy like Robin Thicke wish he had (and he had Pharrell in his corner). Gritty, edgy, and making you move out of your seat, you’ll wonder why this dude hasn’t got more coverage. In fact, his Guzo Lou stuff is hot fire as well. Guzo Lou or Marlon James, this is some music you may have to dig for. But let me ask this? Isn’t it much sweeter when you’ve dug harder to get a payoff like this? Don’t stop at “Wonder Why”, dig into his other music as well. It’s definitely dope. You heard it here first. Believe it. - Flea Market Funk


Been looking for new music from Van Hunt or some retro Prince to get your “boogie on” to? Toronto producer/singer, Marlon James has the sound you’ve been seeking. This treat leaves us to “wonder why” we’ve never heard of him before and optimistic that there are more gems to discover from this brother. - Bama Love Soul


Marlon James, currently relaunching his career under this new moniker, has began experimenting with new sounds that are not necessarily hip hop, but do sit in a current R&B style. Representing the Juice Money Collective, Marlon’s new approach to music is innovative to say the least. “Wonder Why”, Marlon’s latest self produced single, is a funky track to bump on a nice summer day like this. Hit the jump, and let us know what you think. - The Come-Up Show


Directed by Marco Baldonado, the video represents the lingering feelings of a past relationship gone sour, represented by whispy smoke projections of James himself. His role as a creative catalyst to some of Toronto's most prominent creatives (Tanika Charles, Birthday Boy, Junia-T) has solidified his place as one of the city's freshest new voices and sounds to look out for in 2015. - IX Daily


Discography

  • Away [Single] - 18 March 2014
  • Wonder Why [Single] - 5 May 2014 
  • Ode To Viceroy [Single] - 9 December 2014
  • Mumbai [Single] - 7 May 2015

Photos

Bio

Every once in a while something comes across our plate here at Flea Market Funk, and you say: “This is an artist to watch out for.” Today was another one of those days. Marlon James is one of those artists. 

- Flea Market Funk

Marlon James is Toronto’s best kept secret. As a collaborator and friend to some of the city’s most prominent creatives, he has garnered a reputation as a real force to be reckoned with. Fitting somewhere between D’Angelo, Jai Paul, Feist and The Talking Heads, James’ sound is new and refreshing, yet classic and familiar. Heavy hitting drums, larger than life bass lines, guitars-from-mars, and a bone chilling falsetto make Marlon James a one man band that cannot be stopped.

Band Members