Following a move to Melbourne in 2013, Kiwi crooner Marlon Williams has taken significant steps in building a formidable solo career. The latest of these milestone moments for the 24-year-old being the release of his debut self-titled solo album, which he is currently touring all over Australia and New Zealand.
The journey to this moment certainly moulded Marlon into the musician he is now. Starting out as a 10-year-old boy in the choir (as a “way to get out of class”), Marlon quickly developed an appreciation and love for “the harmonies and the unity that a group of people singing brings.” From there he formed a band in high school which “somehow started playing country music” whilst continuing his choir singing. He describes having the two streams going simultaneously as “a pretty strange mix”.
Upon completing school Marlon recorded albums with his band and built a following in New Zealand, playing and touring there consistently for a couple of years. It was a big decision and a huge risk to make the move to Australia and essentially restart his career, however Marlon prefers to describe it as “exciting and necessary”. He elaborates: “Obviously there were the earthquakes in Christchurch and a few other catalysts for change, and I was only 22, so I felt like I needed to go and experience something new.”
During the recording process of his album however, Marlon returned home to Littleton (NZ). “I have such a solid base of musicians and the only producer I’ve ever worked with [in Littleton], so that was the way to go. It was also very loving and lovely to go back home after being in Melbourne for a year and a half,” he said.
Throughout his album Marlon explores a wide range of styles and sounds. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and nothing stuck out as an obvious direction,” he explained. “It also frees me up in the public to do whatever I want in the future releases.”
Marlon will be joined by Laura Jean for the tour, who he says he has wanted to work with (or at least play with) since he first heard her album: “It really is a masterpiece and I think it’s one of the finest albums to come out of Australia in some time.”
During the upcoming Sydney show Marlon plans on starting solo, “then slowly building a band around me until it turns into a full-fledged extravaganza.”
Jul 4, The Basement, 29 Reiby Place, Sydney, $20+b.f, thebasement.com.au