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With Culture Fest Vol. 3 upon us, I wanted to find out more about how this event came to fruition. After catching word that a debut single, “Head Nod,” would be dropping from event creator Marshall Hugh, and his band Marshall Law, I reached out to gain some insight as to how this band came to be, and the birth of this epic culturally inclusive event.

Marshall Hugh

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Evan a.k.a Thor

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Josh on Guitar

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Matt the Hospitality

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Metal Marty

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Zach ‘Mercy Lewis’ Olson

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Getting Insight From Marshall

RMR: When I think “Marshall,” I distinctly remember a picture of you holding up a piece of cardboard that said, “Will Rap 4 Love” while standing in front of a Mill Creek sign. How did you transition from a solo rapper into a six-piece band?

Marshall: I met Marty the sax player in 2012, he was my roommate. I jammed with the rest of the guys in late 2013. The other guys, they’re just crazy musicians. The thing about them is that they’re able to do whatever, like a lot of the show is improvised. Obviously, things are scheduled but, I can point to them at any time during a show and say, “Play some shit I’ve never heard before,” basically freestyle. They are able to play any genre.

They started off as a reggae band, some of them are in big ensembles. Some of them are in indie rock type situations, and pretty much all of them like heavy metal except for Matt. The musical influences are all over the board for these guys. I started exclusively performing with them, but it’s hard to coordinate with five other people.

I already had all of my beats selected for the Mill Creek album and I didn’t want to put it on the back burner. So I decided to do one last solo album and what I did was just feature them on the album. They came into Purple Door to record with Seth back in 2015, and that was like the first time Seth had ever tracked instruments. We tracked everything except drums and were selective for each individual song.

Once I dropped that I was like, this is sick but honestly I just need to re-assess and navigate the waters differently. I spent a year and a half reading and meeting up with the band weekly and just talking about what we want to do, and how we want to do it. Then we started hitting the ground hard this past September.

RMR: I actually remember when Seth was working there, I had met him through All Star Opera when he started working with them. It’s amazing to see both of you progress over the years.

Marshall: Man, the first time I went to Purple Door, I was so nervous. I was working a Kube 93 shift. A fellow intern was also Macklemore’s intern, so she like stuck her neck out on the line for me to even get into Purple Door. I was hella nervous, we recorded my first mixtape and I didn’t even have track outs, nothing. Seth was like, “You got track-outs?” I was like, “Uhh, what are track-outs?” It’s been wild. It’s crazy to see his progression, and knowing how much his progression has aided my progression is dope.

RMR: So even though you guys have been jamming together for a while, you just released your first single ever, “Head Nod.” Which when I listen, I hear spoken word poetry over a funky soulful jam.

Marshall: So “Head Nod” is about my family’s migration out of slavery, then going to Los Angeles, and now being in the Pacific Northwest. Trying to actualize that American Dream, that piece of the American pie that the slaves kind of thought was capable of achieving after slavery, while still dealing with the pain and scars that come with generations of oppression.

You hear it, but it doesn’t blare in your head too much where you’re like, “Damn, this is heavy cuz.” But once you’re hip to it, you hear the little things that I threw in there. The music really mellows out the message I feel like, it doesn’t dilute it but allows it to be soluble for people to easily digest.

Marshall Law – Head Nod

RMR: Marshall Law will be performing at Culture Fest on Saturday, March 24th at Dozer’s Warehouse. But I heard that Dozer’s was getting shut down. Is that still happening?

Marshall: It is, which is sad as shit. It was supposed to get shut down last time, so it was kind of a rush. The first one that we threw wasn’t even called Culture Fest. It was at the Vera and it was in August. Then I went to a Dozer thing in late September or like mid-September, and I was like, “Damn. This is where we need to have our next one.” That’s when I came up with the name, Culture Fest. That’s really what it is, and it kind of just blossomed. But, we had to turn it around in like six weeks or something. So it’s been nice having like three months to really plan it out this time around.

RMR: So who did you get involved in Culture Fest this time around?

Marshall: Some of the big names are like Nikkita Oliver [who just ran a mayoral campaign], and a big one that really shocks people; Keyboard Kid making live beats is just really wild even for me. That’s just one unique element. I had the idea, basically, my homie started making beats again, the guy I first started rapping with. It was my idea to be like, “Man we should have you come and make live beats.” Basically, my homie just chickened out. He was like, “I mean I don’t have a monitor, I don’t have this. I don’t have that.” So I was like, “Alright bro you’re bullshitting.” So I brought the idea to Seth and he was like “Man, I’m going to reach out to Keyboard.” And so Seth brought him in.

Even being able to perform alongside the likes of Jarv and Koga who’s got a buzz around the city, and I know Koga’s coming with a drummer too so I’m excited that he’s incorporating some live instruments as well. Having the Blow Up heavily involved, the Glow Up Podcast is going to be live broadcasting there. Doppler rocking with us, and then Megan Rapinoe is another really cool one to me because she’s dating Sue Bird and I trained with the Storm. So you know it’s tight cause I know Megan and I know how big time she is and how busy she is. So for her to do us a favor and lend her name to it is pretty fucking sick.

Marshall Law Releases Debut Single "Head Nod" In Time For Culture Fest

You can catch Marshall Law and many other talents at Culture Fest on March 24th. Tickets are still available, get yours now before this event sells out!

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