- 27 May 20
Co. Down singer-songwriter Conor Marcus tells us about balancing his music career with school, being the youngest ever participant in the Oh Yeah Music Centre's prestigious 'Scratch My Progress', and his new single 'No More Broken Hearts'.
You first built up your following as a busker – how has that influenced your style and approach to your music?
Conor Marcus: Since I started busking when I was eleven, my music has been always fairly guitar-based. It had always been just me and my guitar. I really enjoy writing with my guitar – it gives all my songs the character they need.
Having saved the busking money to build up a small home studio, I have started writing with a keyboard, and have even got into the production aspect. But still, I always come back to my guitar.
Has it been tough, launching your music career while you’re still in school?
To an extent. Obviously having to juggle different things at once can be difficult, but we seem to have found that middle ground between my education and focusing on the thing I want to continue: my music.
Everyone around me, from my school to my family, has been so supportive, which really helps.
I have plans to study music production when I finish school while still writing and recording my own music.
What inspired ‘No More Broken Hearts’?
I wrote the song for people to relate to – as so many people nowadays have lost someone or something they wish they could have back. I’m 15 now, which is the age my mum lost her mum, and I basically put myself in her situation.
I tend to write songs in the perspective of other people, who have experienced things I haven’t experienced yet, and see how I would feel if I was in their shoes.
You’re the youngest ever participant in the Oh Yeah Music Centre’s 'Scratch My Progress’ – how has that programme helped you develop your sound?
Scratch My Progress has helped me in many ways, and has made me a better artist.
I really didn’t expect to get on the programme at just fourteen years of age. The programme has taught me about all aspects of the industry, and really helped me to get an understanding of how it works.
Through Scratch, I have met so many people, from other artists, to venue runners and radio presenters. It’s been really beneficial getting to know people who could help in the future. It’s opened doors to many people high up in the industry, that most artists would never get the chance to talk to.
Also, all of the mentors in the programme have been great, and have helped me so much.
What were the main things you took away from your experience on The Voice Kids?
When I was thirteen, I had only been performing for about a year and was fairly new to the game. I decided to put in an application for The Voice Kids UK, not really expecting anything to come of it – and then BOOM I’m in the semi finals!
I was the first kid to be allowed to play an original song at a blind audition.
The process has really helped with my confidence and performance, and Danny Jones, my coach, gave me loads of advice that has really helped me, so I’ve taken a lot from the experience of being on the show.
I’ve learned now to go into things like this with the right attitude, and see it as an experience, rather than a competition.
Obviously things are a bit up in the air at the moment – but what are your plans for the coming months?
Of course things are crazy for everyone right now, but I have a studio at home, and I am capitalising on this time as a writing period – so I can make better, and more enjoyable music for everyone to hear.
I have plans to release new music for the rest of the year and am working on developing my live shows.
I can’t wait to play for an audience again, even though I know it will be a while!
Listen to Conor Marcus' new single, 'No More Broken Hearts' below: