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Let’s have a talk with Marques Toliver

Door Koen op 16.04.2013

Diesel opende zijn deuren opnieuw in de Brusselse Nieuwstraat en dat is natuurlijk een belangrijke reden om feest te vieren. Met de nodige toeters en bellen, lots of fashion én natuurlijk een stevige dosis muziek. Listen up you girls & guys!

Tijdens de feestelijke heropening konden we kennismaken met de gloednieuwe Edun collectie van Diesel, compleet geïnspireerd op Afrika. Een avondje gevuld met aangepaste hapjes als sprinkhanen en meelwormen. Voor muziek zorgde de Afro-Amerikaan Marques Toliver. Deze artiest combineert zang en viool. Een uitgekiende combinatie die Toliver met verve weet te vervullen.

Hij haalde zijn hoogste noten en meest uitbundige danspasjes naar boven om voor een schitterende show te zorgen. Onze favoriete nummer is ongetwijfeld Control. Belmodo trok op onderzoek en had een chit chat met Marques Toliver. 

You’re currently on tour for your newest album, ‘Land of CanAan’, how is everything going?

"It feels crazy now because I am on tour, but I had to leave the tour bus to come here to perform at this private gig, so it puts everything back into perspective. It's a little bit weird, like Narnia. I guess the closet is like my tour bus. When you step out of it, you end up somewhere else."

You really gave us your best shot during your performance. Are you always like that?

"You have to be, you have to commit. It's like being an actor or an astronaut. When you're in space, you can't say: "Oh, I want to quit". It's the same for any musicician."

When did you start playing the violin?

"I started playing the violin at school when I was about 10. When I went to middle school, I chose to stick to that instrument and it went all the way up until college. That's when I took private violin lessons and performed in an orchestra. I was always singing ever since I was 5. That's also when I stepped into a music choir. Now I'm able to bring the singing and the violin together."

"I already knew what I wanted to become when I was 10. At first, I wanted to become a fireman, but then I thought 'no, I want to become a music teacher'. It led to the thought of wanting to become a violin professor, but now I turned out to be a recording artist. I think I've always wanted to become a recording artist, but the safe thing to become is a teacher."

"I went to New York City and I met people from television and radio over there. I moved to the UK after that and I stayed there for 4 years and met Adele & Florence and The Machine. Everything just happened. I've always wanted to become a recording artist and now it's all reality."

How did your parents feel about the fact that you wanted to become a recording artist?

"My mom was really supportive. She said: "Yeah, stay in New York City. That's where you need to be!". So once I had her blessing, I just went with it. Then all those big things happened and I called my mom to tell her: "Mom... I'm not coming back next week", but she was totally fine with it."

You've performed with Lianne La Havas, the singer of the catchy song 'Is Your Love Big Enough?'. How did you meet her?

"It's a funny story. We both performed at an event called 'Blue Flowers'. She actually opened the show for me and now she's a climbing superstar. We performed together last March and that's when she was writing all the thank you notes for her album."

What's your biggest goal in life?

"I've been working towards a few goals. I want to have a music school, own a production company and make my own movies... I basically want to become like Oprah. It'd be cool if my music made me rich, because then I could accomplish all of my goals, which is the main goal. But to do all of that, I need money. I'll just do what I can, just like Tyra Banks. She started out as a model and she ended up having her own television show. Did you see that coming? I didn't. So yeah, I just want to be an entrepeneur."

You currently live in Antwerp. Do you like it there?

"I moved to Antwerp in November last year. The main things I own are over there, but I kind of live everywhere: in New York, the UK, Antwerp and sometimes in Cologne as well. I like Antwerp because it is small, but that makes it chique. It's also mysterious like Batman... because no one knows where it is. To me, there's not really a difference between Antwerp and the other cities I live in because I'm involved in this network of people wherever I'm at. I live with Klaas (Janzoons, red.) from the band dEUS. He owns an apartment building that has a bar, Plaza Real, on the bottom floor. So whenever I go out, I just hang out there. It sounds lame, but it's pretty cool because I'm never there for a long time."

How do you write a song?

"Songs are written in different ways. I was writing songs on the guitar at first. I just didn't want to carry around a guitar in New York City, so that's when I started writing songs on the violin. Everything inspires me in my music writing. When a bird flies down and makes a chirping sound, I try to imitate that on the violin. I also take things from Bach, such as his 3 sonata's for solo violin and I incorporate them in my own songs such as those on my newest album."

Where does the name of your album Land of CanAan come from?

"The title comes from a lot of things. It's the name of an autobiography of Frederick Douglass, in which he talks about his grandmother telling him a story about a song slaves sung when they worked. It went 'Oh Canaan, sweet Canaan, I am bound to the land of Canaan'. I grew up in the South of Florida and Christianity was a big religion over there, so I also learned about Canaan at school. The title of my album is an upbringing of lessons taught at school and literature I came across to when studying."

You've performed at Diesel tonight. How important is fashion to you?

"Fashion, j'adore! At the end of the day, it's something that contributes to the whole esthetic. I'm also editor-in-chief of a magazine that I co-created with my partner, called Love Is The Law Magazine. It incorperates fashion, poems and literature. I've also been modeling for All Saints. The fashion world is a world I'm familiar with. I describe my style as urban chique/bohemian noir. I don't really shop anymore though. I'm at a stage in my life in which I don't even know what sizes I have anymore. People just buy me things. I'm currently wearing a blazer of Essentiel and a hat I bought in Portugal. The rest of my outfit is Diesel. I don't have a favorite fashion designer though."

Is there a designer item you really have to have?

"I'm really into bags because I have a 17" laptop and I'm into nice looking bags where I can fit my laptop into. I actually really like the Diesel bags... I need them!"

What's next after your tour?

"I'll be playing shows with the full band at Botanique in Brussels, but I'll also be in Amsterdam, Berlin and the UK starting May."

Voilà! Wil je meer informatie over Marques Toliver, dan surf je best naar zijn officiële website. Hou deze artiest zeker in de gaten, want het is een blijver. Enjoy Belmodo lovers!

Met medewerking van Michael Chin.

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