Hailing from Louisville, KY, rising singer/songwriter Marzz is resolute about making her refreshingly authentic imprint on today’s ever-evolving landscape of R&B.
Growing up in the church, she discovered her vocal prowess at the tender age of four years old. Inspired by an eclectic mixture of gospel and secular artists, Marzz cultivated her own unique sound. Some of her inspirations include Beyonce, Lauryn Hill, Kim Burrell, Kirk Franklin, and the Clark Sisters to name a few.
Despite having to overcome her innate shyness along with having to suppress her queer sexuality from the pressures that sometimes accompany growing up Christian, Marzz now embraces her complete self and passion for R&B with unapologetic zeal.
After discovering the inner courage to showcase her talent in HS and developing a schoolwide fanbase, she built the inner confidence to pursue her career as an R&B singer full-time.
Keeping the momentum going, she began uploading original R&B freestyles and covers of popular tracks from artists like Teyana Taylor and Ella Mai on Instagram. In late 2019, her life was forever changed when she was discovered by iconic producer Timbaland on social media.
The legendary hitmaker reached out to record some tracks and shared her talents on his Instagram page, which elevated her exposure and skyrocketed her brand almost instantaneously.
Since then, she’s been focused and locked in on becoming a vibrant star among R&B’s next generation. Some of her recent singles consist of the ultra-melodic, sultry hit: “So Frequently” and “Cleopatra,” which features an all-star production lineup of Timbaland, Justin Mosley, Jordan Mosley and NES.
With the release of her newest single “Countless Times,” a swaying ballad grappling with the pain and realization of moving on from a broken relationship, Marzz is ready to propel her brand to the next level.
Dubbed a “future urban and rhythmic radio success” by Rated R&B, Marzz’s three releases of striking, vocal-led R&B creations offers a healthy sample of what is yet to come.
As a precursor to the release of her debut EP: ‘Love Letterz,’ which is slated to release on Thursday, June 17th via Keep Cool/RCA Records, Marzz took some time out of her hectic schedule to speak with The Knockturnal about where how she discovered her love for music, her journey of self-discovery, the best advice she’s received in her career so far, future plans and much, much more.
Here is how the conversation panned out:
The Knockturnal: For those who are just now getting introduced to Marzz, when did you discover your love for music?
Marzz: I really discovered my love for music when I was trying to figure out who I wanted to define myself as. I wasn’t really confident in myself as far as learning my sexuality and things like that. I’ve always been different, very unique—I never fit in with people, I can make friends with anybody. I also never had much personal time, but when I did, I would just go listen to music. Any Kehlani, especially ”SweetSexySavage,” really put me on to my love of music. The way that she made me feel while listening to that album made me reflect on myself and ask “is this really something that I want to put my heart into?” I grew up in the church, so music has always been around me, but that particular album made me have a love for music and influenced my artistry and the way that I express my music.
It wasn’t until high school that I decided that music was going to be my career. I will say that when I was younger, I was always watching Disney Channel and any singing shows like “Shake It Up” and “Ant Farm” would make me go “oh, that’s me! I’m going to be that one day—on the big screen!” That was around 11 years old. I was going crazy, like “I’m going to be the biggest superstar in the world!”
The Knockturnal: Coming from Louisville, KY, how have your origins shaped your music, if at all?
Marzz: It’s definitely shaped me just to have a community and support system back home. It’s growing like crazy now, but at first, I didn’t realize my city messed with me like that. Now, they’re going crazy back home, and I’m around people who genuinely want to see me succeed, people who I’ll always have in my corner and know will always root for me. They see something that I may not see right now but will in the future, so just being around loving people really shaped me into who I am today.
The Knockturnal: Since revealing your identity as queer, how has your journey of empowerment influenced your career?
Marzz: I’d say that it shocked a lot of people because I don’t really put myself out there like that, but now that I have, there are a lot more people that are here for me than I thought. It’s good to have a platform to share that it’s okay to be unique, it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to express who you love no matter what race or gender. It’s a lot, but I’m glad that I have a platform to be able to give other young females, or even young males, that opportunity to know that they have somebody in their corner like me.
It also definitely plays a lot into my creative process, because most of the things that I write are either from personal experience or stuff that I’ve actually, physically seen in front of me. My music is for everybody to put in their own perspective, regardless if what I’m talking about is about a female.
The Knockturnal: What were the thoughts running through your mind after receiving a major co-sign from iconic producer Timbaland and since then, how has that impacted your career?
Marzz: Oh my god, don’t let me get started, man! It’s crazy! I would say that it makes me believe in myself a lot more. My confidence is getting way better being able to work with such an icon. Timbaland makes the most iconic beats in R&B, plus I’m such an Aaliyah fan and for him to be able to work with Aaliyah and then me…. Nobody can touch him in my eyes. It was an honor to be able to meet him.
All I listened to growing up was Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Aaliyah, Timbaland, Missy Elliot, so to be in a room with him really made me get more confident. I was like “damn, this can really happen. Dreams do come true.”
The Knockturnal: What was the inspiration behind the song and video for your latest single: “Countless Times?”
Marzz: I was in a bad place when I was writing this song. I was in a relationship where I felt that I literally had to teach them how to do this or how to do that when it should be me making myself happy, not teaching somebody else how to love me. I had to teach myself how to love first. That’s really what “Countless Times” is about: making sure it’s okay to put myself first. It’s okay to be selfish.
In the video, I’m in a trance, I was in a trap. I just wanted to let my viewers know that even though it looks like you’re still stuck in a trance, at the end of the day there’s always a way out. If you put yourself first and you focus, you’ll see that there’s always an out. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
The Knockturnal: What was your mindset going into the creation of your upcoming EP: ‘Love Letterz’ and what do you hope for your fans to gain from it?
Marzz: I honestly had a couple of songs prepared and had about 12 songs to pick through. Me and my team had to make a really hard decision about what I wanted my fans to hear. My team thought of this cool idea where it was kind of like me writing in my notebooks that I carry with me everywhere in my backpack. I have synesthesia where I can see colors when I’m creating; I’ll use my red notebook when I’m angry, yellow is for when I’m upset—like if something’s frustrating me at that moment, I’ll hurry up and go write in my yellow notebook—it’s kind of like that.
So we portrayed that in my songs and picked the different songs and called them ‘Love Letterz.’ It’s basically like a diary expressing my feelings, so hopefully my fans can feel where I’m coming from and what my love story is. Hopefully, they can relate and this project helps them in some type of way to spread the love and positivity. That’s really what ‘Love Letterz’ is about—loving yourself and staying positive through everything.
The Knockturnal: What is some of the best career advice you’ve been given so far?
Marzz: Stay grounded. Don’t get complacent. And it’s okay to take time for yourself. A lot of the time I feel like it is a lot that I have to do, but I’m glad that I have people around me to be like “you know, it’s okay to breathe for a second.” It is a lot of work just staying focused and working and going hard every single day. It’s important that I can take a few hours out of the day to have personal time. That’s something that I’m really big on right now, just making sure that, yeah, I’m working but my mental is good. You know what I’m saying? If my mental’s not straight, then I can’t work. So that’s the best advice: stay grounded, and it’s okay to take a break and it’s okay to focus on yourself for a second and to get right back to it.
The Knockturnal: What’s next for Marzz?
Marzz: Oh man, what’s next, man? So of course my EP comes out 6/17/2021. Right now I’m in maybe another possible project, but I’m not going to speak too much on that, but definitely looking forward to everything opening back up so that I can do live performances. Oh my god, I cannot wait to get inside of a room filled with people so I can just sing to them and have a moment. That will be next, what’s coming up, and just stay tuned for the new music. New music is going to be flooded. I’m gonna be flooding y’all, so I’m excited. I’m excited about that.