Musician Mark Johns Is Not a Dude
I’m sure you’ve heard people say that once you hit a certain age, you shouldn’t start pursuing a new dream, especially a creative one like being a musician. But really, this is just a crazy ass myth, and artist Mark Johns has proven it for us.
How, you say?
Well, even her name — which would make you think she was a dude — goes against the grain, and after admittedly not being that interested in music when she was younger, she started doing covers and learning to write music by exchanging tracks with a friend on Twitter.
She then chose her name in honor of her favorite visual artist, Marc Johns. And then.. one day, she did a completely sick reimagined cover of a Kanye and Jay Z song, “N***** In Paris,” which turned heads at EDM label giant, OWSLA, and was flown out to LA to start recording and writing. If you know the original tune, it’s pretty heavy and hard hitting and Johns took her magic to it, and morphed it into a smooth, groovy jam that sounds like a completely different track.
Her debut EP with lead single “Molino” now has over 4 Million spins, which means, people are into it. And even though the OWSLA label, made famous by Skrillex, has primarily signed EDM artists, Mark Johns is one of the only females on the label and is working on her own non-EDM style.
Check out her newest single, “Mommy Issues,” and then peep our Q&A below.
You grew up sort of not being into music — at what point did you decide you were actually into it and wanted to start trying to record/write your own stuff?
Honestly, I didn’t start out as a writer. I was just doing covers and would have friends help me with lyrics when necessary. Then this dude Clayton hit me up on twitter and started sending me instrumentals to write over and send back. He would tell me what was good, what was not so good- he encouraged me and that kickstarted my motivation to write. I’ll always love him for that.
A lot of people say that once you hit a certain age, it’s too late to start attempting to be a musician, actress, etc. What do you have to say about that?
It’s only too late once u dead.
How does it feel to be signed to OWSLA as one of few females signed to the label?
I’m one of the only female artists, but there are so many awesome girls working at the label itself that it’s all kinda balanced out.
Would you say your music doesn’t fit into the type of straight EDM artists OWSLA is known for?
No, lol it definitely does not, but that’s kinda why I signed with them. I liked that they didn’t care about that.
How would you describe the type of music that you do?
This question gives me anxiety, I make different music every day depending on my mood. But overall the focus is on lyric stuff.
It’s been said that OWSLA has been working to sign and work with other types of artists who aren’t necessarily “EDM,” but more “sound innovators” — how do you feel about that?
Looking at the comments on your Soundcloud for your cover of “N***** In Paris” (Kanye/Jay Z) — Do you ever read the comments to see what fans are saying about your music? Or do you just do what you do and hope they like it?
I usually will read them for the first few days to suss out the general reaction and then just check in once a week-ish but after a while, it’s mostly SoundCloud bots or people commenting “HODOR!”
You decided to use a name after one of your fave visual artists — what was the thinking behind that? Do people ever confuse you to be male or someone else because of the name?
I didn’t want any of my family or friends to know I was making music but I also needed to post that shit on Facebook so I thought a boy’s name would work well and I just love Marc Johns. People sometimes think I’m a dude before meeting them but no one’s ever confused me to be someone else.
What is your favorite tune on your EP, “Molino”?
My favorite is “Wait Till Tmrw.” I like that it feels like a lullaby kinda.
What can we expect next from you?
Lots of new music, and a few lil things we been working on that I cannot tell you about yet lol but I’m very excited to show you !! 🙂
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