Music is a global expression. Though different cultures define and weight the importance of music differently, rhythms, melodies and sounds are used all over the world to connect people to each other. David Marston is using this fact to create a genre-crossing and culture-merging fusion of contemporary sounds and Caribbean and South American rhythms and melodies. “Jamaicalia EP” is the firstborn of the 24-year-old producer born in Jamaica and currently based in Philadelphia. It is soothingly tropical yet tantalizingly fresh, and it took him years to finish. Here it finally is! HMWL also took the chance of getting to know David Marston better. Give “Jamaicalia” a listen and then we´ll let him talk for himself below.
HMWL: Where do Jamaicalia come from?
David Marston: Jamaicalia is a marriage of Jamaica and Tropicalia. I am from Jamaica, and I think that my Caribbean upbringing has had a significant impact on the way I think about music. “Tropicalia” signifies an Avant-garde movement that arose in Brazil in the 1960s. The movement represented an artistic counter-culture in which disparate foreign influences and elements were combined with native and traditional Brazilian art forms. During the time that I was writing the songs for the EP, I was listening to quite a lot of Brazilian music; this influence shows in the songs. For instance, the song “I Don’t Want” was inspired by samba rhythms and Bossa Nova chords. I wanted the name of the album to represent my music and me as accurately as possible. By fusing the two terms, I was able to come up with an interesting word that captures the nature of my musical style.
You merge contemporary sounds with native Caribbean: why?
I like the idea of staying musically ‘current’ while also drawing from and reinterpreting sounds of the past. Like almost everything, sound and music are dynamic and continually evolving and it is important to be mindful of this process. I tend to find that music is more captivating when there has been a blending of styles and sounds. Fusion adds new dimensions to music.
Is there a scene for this music in Jamaica?
At the moment, there is not really much of a scene for this music in Jamaica. I don’t currently live in Jamaica, but I still go back home quite a lot. The impression that I have is that there is a small, loyal dance music following, but the genre definitely has not caught on in the mainstream. There is a growing appeal for dance music, but reggae and dancehall dominate the islands music scene. That being said, there are Jamaican artists who are experimenting with other styles – alternative, rock, dance, dubstep – and doing interesting things with their music. I think that people in Jamaica can appreciate the music that I make, and I hope that the interest in it increases.
What is up next for you?
Right now, I am trying to focus on writing more music. I am also working on some exciting collaborations with friends who are producers and vocalists. In regard to performance, I am in the process of getting a couple of shows lined up for the summer. I am excited about what is to come!