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Location: London, United Kingdom
Fields of operation: Entertainment, Entertainment
With "Big City Life" he wrote one of the most important tracks of the 21st century. He toured the world with his Band Mattafix, performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people and moved millions - from Berlin to Darfur. Now the London based singer Marlon Roudette is back on the scene with his first solo record "Matter Fixed". This is his story. If the image of music being an inborn talent has ever been appropriate, than it applies for Marlon Roudette. He was born 28 years ago in London to a British music producer for a father and artist/designer for a mother. He spent his formative years between music studios and art studios. A little later he moved to St.Vincent and the Grenadines in the Eastern Carribean with his mother, the designer Vonnie Roudette, and there he also found: Music. Everywhere. In the bumpy mini busses, the Rum shops and bars on every corner, in the energy loaded clubs of Kingstown... when Marlon moved back to London at the age of 17 his destiny was in some ways set in stone." Having just arrived in his native city he met his future band mate of Mattafix, Preetesh Hirji. From the first moment the chemistry was amazingly good between the Beat smith of Indian descent and the worldly Marlon who had thousands of musical ideas on his mind. Despite or maybe because of the obvious differences they decided to work with each other. Soon afterwards, the local independent label Buddhist punk records signed them and with only their second single they landed a worldwide hit which remains a lifelong dream for most artists. Without musical compromises and with their own sound and enthusiasm, their careers quickly gathered momentum in a way that was extraordinary even by London's standards. The success of "Big City Life" in 2005 even surprised Mattafix themselves. Marlon wrote this hit as all of his songs on his guitar in just a few hours and even the bulky hip hop beat with his charismatic falsetto was quite simple. Despite this, the impact was enormous. "Big City Life" debuted at number 1 in the single charts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as in the distant New Zealand. This song became one of the soundtracks of the 2006 "Sommermärchen" in Germany and was platinum certified. Even more than just the commercial success , "Big City Life" was a piece of music which expressed the innermost thoughts of the people of the world. A catchy and haunting appeal for love and tolerance during times of globalisation. Roudette sang: "Don't you wanna know me, be a friend of mine? I'll share some wisdom with you". And millions wanted to. "Thank you" E-Mails from prisoners of war and leaders of freedom movements reached Mattafix , they even became ambassadors for "Save Darfur", toured through the Middle East and swathes of Africa. "Because of my family background, I saw so many artists come and go, therefore I always knew that there has to be a deeper meaning for what I am doing beyond the music. Travelling a lot has enforced this desire since you grow up because of it. Suddenly you see that cultural problems aren't that black and white. Ultimately we human beings are all the same: We all have the same dreams, fears, desires and mistakes. I also wanted to express this with my music. Musically, Mattafix was clearly influenced by Roudette's favourite records such as Gregory Isaacs' Reggae classic "Night Nurse" or Massive Attack's "Protection". Edgy beats met hypnotising loops and massive dub bass lines. And above all that floating 21st century pop melodies. However Roudette also had a different side, a weakness for classic song writing, for the ageless songs of Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and Sade. This softer side of him is now explicitly coming through on "Matter Fixed". The harmonies are smoother, the arrangements more sophisticated and the lyrics are more personal and thus also even more universal. "When I started working on this album, I went through a lot. Relationship problems, death, love. I had to canalise all these feelings. I began to write more personal, honest and more classic songs, which was a very emotional process for me." Marlon Roudette worked on his album for two years and the result is worth every single second in the studio. On "The Loss" Roudette is touchingly processing the death of his beloved grandma. "Riding Home" shows his personal point of view on the Mattafix story: from St. Vincent out into the world. "Many people do not know that originally I am from the Caribbean, maybe since I do not look like it at first sight. But it was very important for me to clarify this aspect of my life." And not only because of that is "Matter Fixed" such a big and brave step. "Brotherhood Of The Broken" or the opener "Story Line" are the best example for his songwriter-talent., also the new single "New Age" , which Marlon describes as a "huge break" in his new album. "I had no idea which sound the album was supposed to have . I have always been in bands and crews, all my life. But suddenly I only had me, my guitar and the story, which wanted to be told. So I went on searching." As a british immigrant from the Caribbean and a traveling musician he always felt home in the world. Neverless- London was always his spiritual home. The fact, that nobody noticed him- the superstar- gave him shelter and protection in this large city. "Mattafix was a london-project. With my solo-album I wanted to prove, that I can do whatever I want- around the world. " He lived in New York, wrote in ST. Vincent and recorded in Los Angeles with Brian West (Nelly Furtado), Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams), Vada Nobles (Rihanna, Lauren Hill), Paul O'Duffy (Amy Winehouse), Kwamé Holland (Mary J. Blige) as well as Craigie Dodds (Sugababes, Gorillaz). To get the respect as a composer and artist from those people gave him the confidence to carry out his plans. "I never posed with a hairbrush in front of the mirror . I never wanted to be a star, I like to be in a team. The only reason I became some kind of frontman is because that on one day our singer didn't show up. But the moment I stood in the studio in Los Angeles, with Brian West, hearing "Storyline" out of the speakers I knew it: this is it!" But you don`t have to be in a studio in Los Angeles to share that feeling. Marlon Roudettes music works on an i-pod in Kreuzberg, on a London radio or in a mini bus in St Vincent. Just universal music, which comes straight from the heart and embraced the world.