Life and Death in the Hidden Leaf‘ by Marquel is a completely new wave of music. The artist says, ‘When I was a kid I used to suffer from serious mental health issues and anxiety, I used to see demons in my room up until college. But then I found God and started learning how to trust and love myself. I grew up falling in love with anime and the “hidden leaf” is a reference to my favorite anime Naruto, and “Life and Death” is a reference to the bible, and the spiritual journey I’ve been on. When I first heard the beat all I wanted to do was simplify the lessons I’ve learned so far and yet express the intense nature of it all. So the eerie music is meant to express the energy and intensity of the power inside of us to invite love or hate in our lives, simply by choosing to believe there’s life or death inside of us and surrounding us’.

The artist’s musical influences are from all different spectrums, from Ariana Grande to Drake. However, for this track, he was channelling some of his favorite artists like JID, Tobe Nwigwe, Queen. The artist is currently listening to Pink Sweats, Tobe Nwigwe, Amy Winehouse, Billie Eilish. They each carry intentionality in their lyrics and music and song structure and writing. 

The songwriting process for the artist starts with freestyling. ‘I don’t need to come up with all the lyrics, just a few bars and phrases that strike a feeling in me when I hear the music, and then I structure the song from there. When it comes to melodies or flows though, I honestly don’t do much thinking, every flow and every melody I write comes with no thought, just feeling and seeing if I feel the color and energy of the track. If I can’t feel the color or the energy, and I have to try to write over it, it’s not the right beat’.

The artist gets inspired by everything, a Netflix show or title, an Instagram caption, a conversation. Sometimes he creates a story he has never experienced before but can feel the emotion of the person he is writing about. 

Marquel sends a warm message to his fans, ‘You didn’t have to consider me or my story valuable but the fact that you did and took your most valuable asset (time) and gave it to me is actually love fam, and I appreciate that because it’s rare. I don’t even deserve it high key.  We goin all the way and I’m gonna create mind blowing immersive experiences and opportunities for all of us, you can bet that!’

Marquel’s debut album ‘Love, Rage, & Enlightenment’ is coming out on June 30th 2021.  

Listen to ‘Life and Death in the Hidden Leaf’ on Spotify.

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