Orlando’s own, Otown Marco has been paving his own lane over the past four years with multiple projects and a high variety of catchy singles and music videos. Marco has been making a statement in the city of Orlando and around Florida by building a devoted fan base, plus working and performing with some of the best acts in the game. From just thinking rapping was a hobby to actually taking it serious and going full-time with it, Marco has came a long way. I had the pleasure to talk too Marco at the studio and on the phone several times, so check out the summed up conversation.
Pretty obvious where you are from, Otown Marco? But for people who don’t know, where are you originally from and reside?
Orlando, Florida. West Orlando, Pine Hills to be exact.
What are some early influences that you listened to growing up?
Kanye, A$AP Rocky, early Drake, Pharrell, a lot of different artists to be real. Lil Wayne the goat. My dad put me on heavy metal or at least he tried, *laughs* oh and also Tyler the Creator.
It was a hobby at first because I was deadass 14-15 when I dropped those tracks. I was just 15, chillin’. As far as Weirdos Forever, we were coming up off that Odd Future wave. We weren’t on that super gang shit, just some kids who can spit and make music. When XVI dropped, it was still a hobby but also kind of identified me and making music solo as well.
What did it feel like to have your song, “Flowcaine” blow up like it did? Are you still planning to shoot a video for that?
It was dope to me. Cause I was spittin’ on that track. It was dope to get snaps from kids and shit bumpin the song. I remember when I dropped it and one of my homies just tweeted “this is the one” even before it blew up. Video is also coming, but it has to be perfect cause it’s a whole story behind the record.
So being Orlando’s staple artist with a few others, how has that impacted you and your music? What does it feel like to really be going from local to global?
There’s so many different cultures in Orlando. The O has everything. You can go to the beach, the colleges to party, the hood, everything. So taking all my experiences and influences to manifest “local to global”. It’s literally speaking things into existence, manifestation.
So after your initial first project and singles, you followed up with the project(s) Studio Nights and Blue December. What was life like during that time and the process of making both tapes?
I was making hella music during school. I dropped Studio Nights either in March or May, before I graduated high school. I did one semester later at Seminole State while making Blue December. I dropped that and dropped out of school after. The track “Money Man” ended up being the big hit off that tape and was another turning point for me.
So there’s a video linked above in the article with you spitting “Flowcaine” to Joey BadA$$. Tell me a little more about the interaction and how that came about.
Joey was cool as fuck. We were just chilling outside the venue after the show and my homie was like you need to go rap for Joey. I was like nahhh chill. As Joey walked by, my homie yelled out “Yo Joey this n**** next to blow!” Joey came up to me and was like oh you rap? A circle started forming around me so I had to do it. I started spitting Flowcaine and after that he fucked with us and gave us advice. It was dope.
2017 came and you exceeded expectations, releasing your album Marco SZN along with sold-out headliners and performing all over Florida and other states. How has the come up been for you these past several years?
It was a lot of ground work coming up and still more to accomplish. On the topic of Marco SZN, it took time and patience. It took a little to finish but I was finding myself with Darian. When Marco SZN finally dropped, people fell in love with the music. It was timeless and ever since, it’s been going up.
I know it hasn’t been a easy road to success. With the lost of two close homies, Piff and recently The Shade who was your main producer, RIP. How has this affected you and your music?
Life happens, a lot of stuff you can’t explain. You go through the motions. When Piff passed it hurt a lot of us, same with Shade. These things make you who you are. They can either break you or overcome it have them live on through you.
So over the course of the year, we’ve seen you linked up with Key!, BigBabyScumbag, Oliver Francis, and many more. What is it like to work with some of those guys? What can we expect from the collaborations?
BigBaby and I got a song called “Mansions” cause I was out there in Texas with him for SXSW, s/o BigBaby. KEY! is dope, bro be doing him. Our song was just us doing us in the studio. I’m going on a tour with Oliver and BigBaby this fall so that’s going to be tight.
I know you’ve told me a funny story on how you and Big Baby had a wild experience in Dallas and made the song, “Mansions” that you just mentioned.. Tell me about that story again.
Dallas off the shits. Me and Baby went to a party that a promoter threw for Baby. We went up to the third floor on some vibing shit and I’m just coolin’ with baby, having a good time. Then we just hear gunshots firing off and people were like, “you hear that?” and then more shots went off. Now people start running and shit, people hiding. Shit was wild. But yeah that’s how the song “Mansions” came about later.
With 2018 halfway done, you’ve managed to release multiple singles, perform with the likes of Yung Pinch, performing for your first time in Cali and also landed on the Miami Rolling Loud. How does it feel to accomplish all these things early on in the year?
I’m proud to be doing what I love. Just have to keep working and stay on the grind. Nationwide tour and Rolling Loud Los Angeles next!
All photos taken by Alex Grill.