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Boyishly handsome, towering with a strut accented by that indisputable New York swagger, and boasting a baritone dipped in the gravel and gravy of Southern soul, Marquis is one of the streets and the steeple. A committed man of dedicated faith and community service, Marquis is the anti-thesis of today’s R&B bad boys. Like his inspirations, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, Marquis started his stage life in front of the pews. Deriving from a rich family legacy of performers that includes blood ties to Phyllis Hyman, Debbie Allen, and Phylicia Rashad, Marquis traveled up and down the East Coast with family as a child performer in the “Family & Friends” gospel troupe. From age four to pre-adolescence when basketball dreams beckoned, Marquis rocked the church with his preternaturally grown vocals. After a love affair with the ball, a star-turning performance at a college show returned Marquis to music’s fold, quickly leading to two craft honing years as a member of the R&B quartet, Mass Appeal. Garnering the attention of Babyface’s production team, Marquis refined his music and engineering skills even further both in front of and behind the studio boards, meeting and working with future Finding My Way producer Jeremy “Cochise” Ball (Rhymefest, Notorious B.I.G.), Thank You producer Angelo Ray (Keyvon Edmonds, Pieces of a Dream) Joe Little and the Rude Boys, the production team of legendary Gerald Levert. In the midst of these refinement years, a much sought-after Marquis mixtape, All Love, All the Time, was released in 2006, opening more doors. Signed to a production company, it wasn’t long before Marquis was releasing his 2007 debut LP, Finding My Way, with the independent production company, Quiet As Kept. Breaking through the New York airwaves with the regional R&B hit, “Radio,” Marquis suddenly found himself a multiple guest on both BET’s 106 & Park and Showtime at the Apollo, in addition to an appearance on Apollo Live. Named Soul Singer of the Year by 106 & Park, Marquis booked the Soul Summer Tour and later the Budweiser Superfest where he traveled the country as the stable opening act for vets like Jaheim, Tamia, India.Arie, Blue Magic, Frankie Beverly & Maze and fellow newcomers Gordon Chambers, Hal Linton and Kameron Corvet. Marquis also had toured for six months as “Adam” in Oscar Brown Jr’s musical fable, ‘In De Beginnin’. More than an in-demand vocal talent, Marquis was also starring in videos and writing music for artists in New Zealand where Finding My Way and “Radio” had found a serious following. Marquis lyrical prowess soon scored song placement on international projects by Styles P, Ethical, Young Sid, and a forthcoming compilation by Super Producers Sly and Robbie, amongst others. Following Finding My Way, Marquis went on to release two additional independent projects. The 2009 mixtape, FMW2.5, was partially comprised of unreleased material from the uncensored Finding My Way sessions. While his debut told the aftermath of Marquis’s broken engagement, its 2011 follow-up, Authentic, was an introspective view of a man struggling to find himself artistically and personally. Marked by moody blues and torchy ballads, Authentic, was a raw, transparent portrait of a man making hard decisions at life’s crossroads. While Authentic doubled Finding My Way’s sales and whetted fans’ appetite for the new, the experience of singing about broken families, lost love, and the roughness of the climb opened something up in Marquis. Following Authentic, Marquis took a hiatus to make peace with his family history, study the industry, and re-discover his spirituality and the church.
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