Has music always been a passion of yours and something you've wanted to pursue as a career?
Yes, music has definitely always been a passion of mine. I moved to the Caribbean when I was 9, but was already showing interest in music. My music teacher in St. Vincent taught me to play the steel pan from a very young age and that became my first interaction with music and the composition of music. I didn't dream that I could pursue it as a career right up until I got my first publishing deal, which is quite strange thinking about it. I was interested in the creative process in film and photography, but I didn't think I could make music work as much as I loved it but one thing led to another and the creation of Mattafix - my first band - and the success that we had steered the path for me.
Talk us through how you got the news of being signed to Syco Music.
Yes, Syco actually came up to my local pub near me to talk about the record. I had a couple of days in the UK, and they just got it, the creativity, the hard work I had put in to it, the promotion I had done across Europe, it was already a big hit there and they liked the record as it was, they didn't want to come in and stamp their creative mark on it, they really appreciated what I had done, and they had really listened to what I was trying to do, so for sure that was interesting. It was not the most obvious fit for me, but I definitely feel more comfortable, and as we've gone on through the campaign, I'm starting to realize how powerful they are as an entity, so I was quite excited.
How did it feel when you secured the deal with Syco?
Yeah, I'm obviously delighted to be signed to Syco and to have the deal and honored to be the second artist after Labrinth to sign with them outside their TV shows and productions which means they've definitely seen something in what I'm trying to create, and as I say, the early signs are really positive. It feels great to have a solid UK team behind me who get what I'm trying to put forward and who understand me. They let me go off and do my crazy acoustic 'When The Beat Drops out' with my steel band, they love that vibe, so, so far, so good.
You've seen huge success in Europe with 'When The Beat Drops Out' - why do you think the single is so well-received?
'When The Beat Drops Out' was #1 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It was an airplay #1, it's been incredible across Europe, and Australia as well, it's blown up, so I'm feeling very thankful for that. But I didn't know it was a big record when I was writing it, and that's the first time that's happened to me in my career. The other hits, I questioned or wondered about, but 'When The Beat Drops Out' just seemed like a no-brainer to me, and you know what I'm good at is melancholy pop music, or pop music with an undercurrent of meaning to it, so 'When The Beat Drops Out' fits that vibe and one of the first up-tempo tracks I've managed to finish, so that bodes well for the future.
It's going to be released in the UK later this year, what should those who haven't yet heard your music expect?
Those, who haven't heard my music in the UK, they should expect it to represent who I am and the very diverse upbringing that I've had. The Caribbean roots have played a huge role, but I make British records, I'm from here, I live here when I'm not working. The musicians I've collaborated on this one, most of them are from the UK as well. So, it's also quite an even representation of what I've gone through in my life, it's very, very mixed, and a rich experience in terms of having some success in the UK, but most of it outside, and coming back to the UK almost as an outsider at times, but falling back in love with the UK as my home town and travelling all over, appreciating London for all its amazing creativity and resources that it has. People can expect a well-rounded record that sounds like a great piece of music to me.
Who has you excited in the world of music today?
Hozier definitely excites me in the world of music today, I think what he's doing is brilliant. I think he's a poet and he's making some incredible records and his album really blew me away in places, so I would say Hozier, for sure.
If you could collaborate with anybody, who would you choose and why?
If I could collaborate with anyone... There's such a long list, whether it's the Brits like Sam Smith or Ed Sheeran who are doing really, really well. There's a French band called The Avener who have a great track called 'Fade Out Lines' at the moment that I'm loving. But I think any collaboration has to happen naturally, it can't be a 'my manager talks to your manager' kinda thing, it would have to be us bumping in to each other backstage and hitting it off and writing a song together. I think that would be the best angle for me.
Do you have a place in mind where you want to be with your career going forward, or is this very much an experience you're just happy to ride out?
In term of my future goals and where I want my career to be in the next few years, I've learnt to try and focus on the creative process daily. My career has definitely not gone in the direction I envisioned when I was 20-21, and you can enjoy the surprises so much more if you're not set in your ways, and I've learnt on song-writing and stage performances and everything, the rest just starts to snowball and that's what amazing about what I do.
What should we expect from you going forward?
Going forward I'm so determined to build on the hard work I've been doing. I wasn't happy to let things pass me by, in terms of getting a deal in the UK. So I went and worked the record out in Europe, I worked very hard at doing that and constantly looking at ways to get the music to more and more people, so my emphasis will always be to make great records and being creative in the live shows, and at some point I'd love to sit down collaborate with the younger artists coming through, if I have anything to offer them and just enjoy the ride. The lyrics to 'When The Beat Drops Out', the song will write you, you don't write it, there is a plan there, yeah enjoy the moment.
Marlon Roudette's single 'When The Beat Drops Out' is released in the UK on January 25.