Marcus Smith: Creator of the Month

Art Form- Music and 2D Art

Grade- 12

Written by: Angelica Reyes

The Echo: What art forms do you find yourself gravitating towards?

Marcus Smith: I used to do a lot of 2D art like painting and sketching when I was younger but I find myself gravitating more towards music now.

TE: What made you want to deviate from visual art?IMG_7420

MS: Right before middle school, I pigeonholed myself to only focusing on portraits and taking an image and trying to draw it out as realistically as possible which was really frustrating to achieve; so around middle school I went into this phase of not liking my art and ended up deviating away from it when I discovered music.

TE: Are you currently more passionate about art or music? 

MS: I’m more passionate about music. Art is more of a hobby and something I like learning about.

TE: What instruments do you play?

MS: I’ve been playing guitar since around 7th grade along with play ukulele, piano. I also play trombone in the band and I’m currently learning the mandolin for the school musical.


TE: What’s your creative process for music?

I usually start with my piano. First, I start with finding a synthesizer setting that I like and try to find a chord progression that I can build upon from there. It’s difficult to deviate from the four basic chords of pop so most of the beginner stages of making a song is attempting to step away from those. After I find a unique chord progression, I start to play with tempos and different instruments to see what genres I want to gear toward. Once I get that chord progression, it’s much easier to make stylistic decisions and lyrics.IMG_7343

TE: Have you submitted to competitions?

MS: When I was in elementary school I submitted art pieces and got honorable mentions and for the band, I have won superior for solo, ensemble and marching competitions.

TE: Do you write any of your own music?

MS: I’ve co-written a few worship songs with the worship team at my church but I tend to find myself losing the message or the essence of a song when I attempt to write lyrics. I have written my own instrumental music to relieve stress and for fun on Garage Band.

TE: Have you shared this music?

MS: Not all of it but I’ve had musicians on Soundcloud use a beat or an instrumental that I’ve created.IMG_4091(1)


TE: Do you have any artistic or musical inspirations?

MS: For the art that I do for fun, I mostly draw from street artists like Shepherds Fairy. A lot of my doodles reflect Mr. Doodle’s art. For music, I always try to get myself to listen to something new every month but a genre I always gravitate back to is alternative and classic rock mostly because I grew listening to it with my dad. Bayroot, Matt and Kim, and Phoenix are artists who I consistently listen to and enjoy.

TE: What are your future plans?

MS: I plan on going to USF for a marketing and graphic design major and be a part of the process that designs and creates the advertisements that you see in your daily life. I like how so many details are put into it and these details usually consist of the arts that I’m really passionate about.

Marcus is currently leading the advertising team in The Echo and has performed multiple times at Poetry Cafe. He is also currently a drum major and has been seen leading the marching band at football games while also performing trombone at solo and ensemble competitions. Seeing how multi-talented and hungry Marcus is to learn more about his crafts is a unique quality that will no doubt drive him to many future successes. 


Check out some of his music!

                                                          All photos taken by Lexi Velte

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