Mar­lon Wil­liams’ year in mu­sic

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

Tony Nielsen catches up with award-win­ning Kiwi singer­song­writer Mar­lon Wil­liams.

Over the years mus­ing about the mu­sic I love I have won­dered what it would’ve been like to have been in the au­di­ence at Liver­pool’s Cav­ern night­club or at the In­dra Club in Ham­burg and ex­pe­ri­ence the fledg­ling Bea­tles in ac­tion.

That idea came to mind as I was about to talk to Mar­lon Wil­liams be­cause I had the good for­tune to check him out in 2014 when he was the sup­port act for Justin Townes Earle.

Truth is, the venue at Christchurch Polytech wasn’t the best but any reser­va­tions I may have had were blown away when Mar­lon be­gan singing.

From not know­ing much about him I in­stantly be­came an ad­vo­cate, and his re­lent­less growth as an artist comes as no sur­prise. Be­ing in on the ground floor, so to speak, is some­thing I have come to trea­sure.

That was then, this is now, and it’s Mar­lon on the phone.

■ T: 2018 seems to have been a crazy year for you what were the high­lights?

M: No doubt that it’s been a busy one — four tours around Europe, two to the States, bit parts in two movies, A Star is Born, and a film ver­sion of Pe­ter Carey’s novel The True His­tory of the Kelly Gang. Plus of course my lat­est al­bum Make Way for Love

was re­leased in Jan­uary. Lots of travel and many high­lights to look back on with some sat­is­fac­tion.

■ T: You must feel pretty good about how the record has gone, es­pe­cially Awards — the Apra Sil­ver Scroll for No­body Gets What they want any­more, along with best video, best solo artist and best al­bum at the NZ Mu­sic Awards.

M: Yes, its been a break­through year for me, and I’m very grate­ful. ■ T: Is there one thing that stands out for you ahead of these achieve­ments, maybe song-writ­ing?

M: You’ve hit the nail on the head there, be­cause I have felt that I have made a ma­jor break­through on the song­writ­ing front. I don’t think that you are ever to­tally com­fort­able writ­ing songs but just re­cently some­thing has seemed to click and my song-writ­ing feels more nat­u­ral and the process is less for­mi­da­ble than it was. I have a lot more faith in my­self which helps enor­mously.

■ T: What’s next on the agenda for you?

M: This Sun­day I head to Canada for three weeks of record­ing, which I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to. I am not sure whether we may re­lease an EP or save the ma­te­rial for my next al­bum. We’ll see. In the New Year of course I’ll be tour­ing New Zealand and Aus­tralia.

■ T: What about new record­ings?

M: We’ve got a live al­bum which we recorded in the Auck­land Town Hall which will be my next re­lease early in 2019.

And later next year, all go­ing well, a fol­low-up stu­dio record to

Make Way for Love.

■ T: You’ve named your up­com­ing tour Tu­ran­gawae­wae — what’s that about?>

M: My in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Ma¯ ori con­cept of Tu­ran­gawae­wae is that it means “home,” so it made sense to em­bark on my big­gest head­line tour of New Zealand un­der that name, my home-com­ing after a year mostly away tour­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally.

■ T: One fi­nal ques­tion: What made your par­ents, David and Jenny, set­tle on the name Mar­lon? Is it the ob­vi­ous con­nec­tion with Mar­lon Brando?

M: Now there’s a re­ally in­ter­est­ing back story to this.

My mother had a dream when she was car­ry­ing me, and as a re­sult she wanted to call me Kahu.

I think they wres­tled with that for quite awhile but in the end they com­pro­mised and they went for Mar­lon in­stead.

Mar­lon Wil­liams — "I have felt that I have made a ma­jor break­through on the song-writ­ing front."Black Barn Vine­yards, Have­lock North, Satur­day 23 Fe­bru­ary

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