Hailing from Leicester and of Afro-Caribbean descent, Marcus Joseph started playing the clarinet at 7 years old. A brief stint in a hip-hop group as a DJ and MC resulted in airplay on BBC Radio 1Xtra, but after attending a jazz workshop in London, Marcus was inspired to pick up the saxophone full-time and studied in Leeds, London and New Orleans.
Marcus was selected for the New Voices programme in 2018. As a charity, we would not be able to deliver this unique opportunity without the generous help of our supporters.
Before embarking on the New Voices programme, Marcus was juggling performing at gigs, making music and teaching, and didn’t have the time nor the stability to be able to concentrate on one single area of his practise. He therefore used this artist development opportunity to focus on his music-making; specifically, to create and launch his debut album, which was released in 2021.
We chatted to him to find out more about his experience and the impact it had on his practise and career.
Did taking part in New Voices alter your perspective on making a career out of composing?
Taking part in New Voices focused my work and allowed me to concentrate on what I really wanted to do: composing and creating an album.
Would you recommend New Voices?
I would definitely recommend New Voices to anyone who is actively seeking to carve out their pathway, and to anyone who is hungry to learn more about the workings of the music industry, and take positive strides in their career.
How has New Voices helped you get to where you are now?
It helped me in terms of getting my album signed to a record label. It provided me with a mentor and a coach who supported me from the very start of my album journey right through to the end. It gave me the stability to be able to concentrate solely on my music, as well as the confidence to take it where I really wanted to.
Do you feel that as a result of New Voices, your work has reached a wider audience or helped to raise your profile as an artist?
My work has definitely reached a wider audience as a result of New Voices and has also raised my profile as an artist. It put me in places that I hadn’t been before and in front of people that I had never met; all of which hugely contributed to my journey.
Did the programme allow you to develop new practises, ideas, collaborations or concepts that you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise?
The New Voices programme broadened my horizons and opened up my mind to the concept of working with a producer, which is something I’d never particularly thought about before. I also had the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians that I wouldn’t have otherwise worked with – like string quartet players, which was amazing. It gave me the focussed opportunity to really work and develop my ideas into something tangible.
How would you describe your experience of New Voices, in just 3 words?
Beyond The Dome is Marcus Joseph’s debut album. This body of work explores themes of personal and external limitations, the idea of what binds us to who and where we are, and the transcendence of perceived obstacles to become our authentic selves.
To find out more about Marcus’s work, check out his website.
We need your help to continue supporting more composers like Marcus. With your kind contributions, we can enable more artists to benefit from our opportunities like New Voices.
If you feel passionate about the future of new music, then please consider supporting us today.
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