David Marston is a producer, DJ, musician, and guitarist hailing from the vibrant Caribbean island of Jamaica. His approach to music is multifaceted: in his own productions, David works to achieve a sound that is a fusion of various genres, including house, soul, disco, jazz, as well as reggae and dub.
I sat down with David to learn more about his journey through music.
Tell us about your musical journey?
For as long as I can remember, music has resonated with me. I think this connection is true of most people. I started playing guitar when I was about 11 years old. The guitar was quite formative in my exploration of the world of music. To a great extent, my playing guitar has shaped how I process music, and it has also influenced my musical tastes and preferences…
I had a band with friends in High School in Jamaica. We were known as the “High School Rock Band.” We played at assemblies and some other school events and functions. We were not very good, but we had a lot of fun playing together. I began dabbling in music production during this period as well. A schoolmate and close friend of mine decided to set up a make-shift studio in his bedroom. A group of my friends and I would all gather at his house after school to make music and just jam out.
When I went away to boarding school, I got my own production software (mainly to record my guitar ideas), but it was not until I went to college that I started taking production more seriously. As a freshman, I quickly became fascinated with electronic music, and that also motivated me to focus on honing my production and recording skills. Around the same time, I started to DJ parties at my University.
I kept working on music, and within a year or two, I recognized that my music was sounding quite good and I felt compelled to send my songs to professionals in the industry. I sent my music to labels and taste makers who I respected. One group, Soul Clap, responded positively to my music and started mentoring me and helping me to develop my music further. It took a couple of years to get my first release together for their label, but that was the start of my professional music career. I have since released music on various labels and I continue to work with Soul Clap and their Crew Love collective. I am extremely excited to play with them at the Crew Love Showcase at Tmrw.Tday.
Describe the reactions you get from onlookers when you’re performing? How does it make you feel?
Generally, the reactions of my audiences are, for the most part, positive and enthusiastic. My music is pretty and has a feel good vibe about it, so I think people usually feel quite happy listening to it. I hope…
Can you share your most memorable busking experience with us?
I have never busked, but a close friend of mine used to busk in Washington DC when we lived there together. His go-to song was “Smooth” by Carlos Santana. He would play the guitar parts to a backing track and once in a while I would film him doing his thing. He’s an excellent guitar player, and he would attract a pretty sizeable crowd! It was a funny sight to behold.
At Tmrw.Tday, we aim to promote conscious living. For you, what does it mean to live consciously?
I think that there are numerous components to conscious living. These include, but are not limited to:
1) being mindful, thoughtful, and empathetic
2) being generous and giving
3) promoting peace, tolerance, and understanding
4) treating all things (people, animals, plants, objects) with respect and deference
5) taking a stand against oppression, prejudice and subjugation of all forms
Do you believe music has the power to inspire change? If so, how?
Yes. Music is an incredibly powerful medium of expression. It is a universal art form and many people feel and relate to music on a deep, emotional level. In that way it has the power to shape how people think about various subject matter, ranging from love to global politics. Music is basically just one manifestation of human creativity and communication, and because people easily connect to it, it is an essential means of transmitting ideas and modes of thinking.
How has travelling influenced you?
Traveling has been constructive for me as it has exposed me to things, people, ideas, and world views to which I probably would not normally have been exposed. It has allowed me to gain new perspectives on life and relationships. At the same time, it has reaffirmed to me the basic idea that no matter where you are in the world, people are much the same in their basic wants and needs. There are obviously cultural nuisances and environmental differences that distinguish humans from one another. Nonetheless, I think that we are all pretty similar.
What are you hoping to get out of your time at Tmrw.Tday?
Well, for one thing, I am really looking forward to being back in Jamaica. I grew up on the Island and have lots of friends and family there. Since moving away, I have not been able to return home as much as I would like, so Tmrw.Tday affords me the perfect opportunity to experience something novel while returning to a place with which I am familiar. I hope to put on a great show and to absorb and enjoy all the great elements and opportunities this festival has to offer.