R&B music takes note of the sweet melodies of Bluegrass songbirds.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Inside the Mercury Ballroom on a June summer night, Louisville’s newest sensation Marzz can’t wait to put on a show for the fans.
As music fills the streets of South Fourth Street, crowds begin to line up with tickets in hand, ready to see the up-and-coming R&B singer return to the Ballroom.
“I think it’s the atmosphere that makes it so different,” they said.
Marzz, who is signed to Keep Cool/RCA Records, is back on stage for the second time where others like fellow Louisville bandmates Bryson Tiller and Jack Harlow also graced the stage.
“I just wanted to connect and vibe with you all, this is my home,” they said.
Tonight is different. It’s the first time since the release of their full album “Love Letters” to fans – Martians as they call them, across the country.
“Baby, that’s my heartbeat. It made me search — go crazy,” they said.
The journey to Marzz began in Louisville for Laria McCormick, a graduate of Fairdale High School. Humble beginnings put the singer on the path to reaching for the stars.
They started singing in church at an early age, where both their mother and grandmother were heavily involved in leading the church.
“Ever since I was a kid, I grew up in church. Singing in the children’s choir, I feel like that had a lot of influence too. Literally being a pk, my aunts and them have always done solo singing in the choir, I hated it because it’s like all eyes are on me,” Marzz said.
Marzz said their non-binary sonic and gender identity drove them away from the church and towards the R&B billboard charts.
Marzz prefers the pronouns “they, their and them” – not “she”.
“I feel like in the church there were a lot of people who were judgmental. You know what I’m saying, it’s kind of weird moving on from that, but it felt good to transition to a place where I felt welcome – where I knew no one would judge me,” they wrote. declared.
Drawing from personal experiences of hardship and heartache, Marzz expressed his feelings on notebook pages – each with different colors – which would eventually become the inspiration for their first outing.
“I feel like I didn’t really start writing songs in my music until I was 11. You know what I mean, that’s when my mom and my dad were going through a divorce. I just went to the notebooks. You know, just to express myself, I wasn’t a real verbal kid growing up. I have different colored notebooks that I write in “, they said.
It was just an Instagram post, departing from the typical scroll, that caught the attention of super producer Timbaland. The stars began to align for the young artist.
“Usually I get around 300 views but the day I posted this Jhené Aiko freestyle I believe. I had gone into my phone, woke up and see my phone wouldn’t stop to turn off – what’s up with my phone and I’m looking on my Instagram – I saw Timbaland reposting it and I was like waiting – I was like waiting I started screaming, I was crying. I was like it was really him? they said.
The social media post, along with their connection with Timbaland and several recordings in tow, brought them past RCA Records.
The songs of love and heartbreak would be released as a six-track EP that would take on a deeper meaning.
“Just me exploring, you know, discovering myself, loving myself and understanding who I am as a person, you know what I’m saying.”
The standout single, “Countless Times”, dives right into their world.
The Mercury Ballroom would seem as far away as the moon, which Marzz was heading towards.
They captured national attention at the Soul Train Awards on the BET Amplified stage, earning kudos from JaRule.
From that moment, Marzz soared into the stratosphere. They were named “Future Five Artist” by SiriusXM and “R&B Rookie Artist” by Billboard magazine in April.
“It was a super humbling moment for me. I was like dang, ‘this is so amazing’, you know what I mean? I was like, speechless, I was like they really didn’t care about me. I appreciate all the love because what can I say other than thank you for hearing from me,” they said.
The young artist’s career comes at a time when the tide is changing in the music industry. Social media plays a huge role in how hits are determined.
Their meaningful melodic vibe separates them from the rest, pushing the realm of R&B music beyond its limits.
“I think I’m off the beaten path, like I don’t think I’m just doing R&B music. I do everything, like, whatever it is. I don’t even know if it has a name. The genre or type of – whatever the beat or wherever the beat takes me, that’s where I’m going,” they said.
The music and the way hits are made may be changing, but it’s not about topping the charts for the young artist.
“I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I’d get that far – you know what I mean? I still have a lot to do, but I’m very grateful to be where I am,” they said.
It’s the emotions of breaking up and finding new love that give Marzz and their The Martians a world of their own.
Marzz plays a round robin game with the WHAS11 News team.