Marlon Roudette was born in London, but until recently, he’d seen most of his musical success in other places like Germany and Austria. With a UK top 10 hit under his belt now as well as a slot on Simon Cowell’s record label, we picked his brain a bit about the important stuff. Like man buns and The X Factor.
‘When The Beat Drops Out’ was a massive song this summer and sold over 360,000 copies! How did that feel? Did you expect it to do so well in the UK and all across Europe?
I had a good feeling about it. I’ve had a bit of a strange history with the UK, and so I feel like it’s a bit of a chip off my shoulder. It was really, really satisfying to get that. I called my mum to say, “I’ve finally got a top 10 hit in the UK!”
You’re signed to Syco in the UK, which we know is Simon Cowell’s record label and the one One Direction is currently signed to. What’s the creative process like working with those teams?
It’s been amazing. They get that big, old One Direction digital team working, getting behind you, and you can really, really feel the difference. I can honestly say it’s one of the few times in my career I’ve been signed to a label, and it really, really helped and improved things straight away.
Speaking of Simon Cowell, The X Factor is taking a bit of a bashing with ratings this year. What’s your opinion on shows like that?
To be honest, I couldn’t even tell you who won it last year!
You don’t watch the show at all?
I don’t I’m afraid. I’m not painting a very glamorous picture of being signed to a major label.
Well, you should be too busy to sit around and watch TV, so it’s okay.
There’s all kinds of catch up!
Your dad’s very well known in the music industry and has produced some great pop hits. Did he influence you growing up?
Yeah, I mean, I grew up with my mum, so I would only see that side of things in brief glimpses, but of course having my step mum, his wife Neneh Cherry, around was a huge lesson to me in sort of navigating the music business. She’s incredible still, such a star, and my old man’s made some really important records, some life-changing records, and so I think having someone in the family sort of make that work and providing for the family as well was hugely important. And now I’ve sort of gone about things as well.
We had a little Twitter stalk and noticed that caffeine affects you the same as it does us on a Monday morning. Is that how you gear yourself up for a day of writing music in the studio?
Yeah, that’s basically what I’m doing as we speak! I get very excited when I hear a new record. You know, I grew up in the Caribbean from the age of 9 till 17, so uptempo music or African dance music has a huge effect on my body movements in general. And you add caffeine to that mix, and it gets quite interesting on a Monday in the studio!
Lots of people say your music reminds them of the sunshine. What do you suggest we do to get the sun to come back out in London?
Leave the UK! Actually I think, you know, from a creative standpoint, that’s one of the things that I’ve definitely benefitted from. It’s very difficult to write records in Jamaica—I’ve tried to do it—just because it’s gorgeous outside 24/7. I think that London is such an amazing, creative space at the moment, and the weather is just a good excuse to stay in the studio,
‘Everybody Feeling Something‘ is the next single to be taken from your album – we want to know which of the following you’re feeling. Socks and sandals – yes or no?
Man buns – yes or no?
Ooh, well that actually depends. Well, this is ‘yes or no’ isn’t it? My drummer has a man bun, and if he reads this he’s going to be offended, and he’ll speed everything up by 5 beats, but I’m still going to say no!
Most used emoji?
I like the fist, you know? Like a fist bump. But I usually use it a few shades darker because I think of myself as more tan that I actually am.
Mexican or Chinese food?
One Direction or Little Mix?
Louis Walsh or Nick Grimshaw as X Factor judges? I don’t know if this question is applicable if you don’t watch!
Louis Walsh sent me a tweet, so I’m going to go with Louis Walsh.
Marlon will be back performing in the UK soon, and he’s super grateful to all of his UK fans for making ‘When the Beat Drops Out’ such a big hit. You can check out the video for his newest single ‘Everybody Feeling Something’ right here, and we bet it’ll help bring some sunshine into your day.