FAULT Future: Max Marshall

Baltimore born and raised, Max Marshall has experience that belies her tender age of 22. Having already forged a name for herself in the world of fashion, working most notably for French Couture designer Charlie Le Mindu, she’s now based in London, turning her creative mind to her first love: music.

Her first mixtape, Forgive Me, won her universal praise, attracting the attention and praise of musical tastemakers such as MTV and BBC Radio 1. With comparisons to the likes of Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott and Erykah Bardu, her talent is unquestionable; but now she’s looking forward.

Hot off the release of her latest track, Pressure, via Fudge Records, she caught up with FAULT to see where she’s heading next:

FAULT: How are you finding living in London?

Max: I really love London. I came here at 18 and everything about it is really me.


You’ve always been reluctant to categorise yourself as an artist. Does East London facilitate your individuality?

I think it definitely does because everybody has their own perspective on things. Some people are good at a lot of things and don’t want to be put in a shell. East London definitely suits that.


Do you find comparisons to great artists like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Bardu flattering or frustrating?

I think that it’s amazing that someone would categorise me in that category. I wouldn’t put myself there but it’s great that someone else would because they’re a huge part of my inspiration.



You’ve said that you don’t want to be considered as just an R’n’B or Hip Hop artist as you have other interests. How do you go about keeping your sound new and fresh?

Well I just try and bring in all the elements that I loved and listened to growing up. I grew up in the country with a few black people in my town so country music, along with gospel, is my favourite genre of music, as well as Rock and Roll and indie. I grew up listening to that so I try and mix everything into my music when I can.


Do your Baltimore roots remain a major influence on your work?

I’d say it’s a huge influence. Being from Baltimore and America in general, it just helps me to do better. People think my background is quite interesting and I think it is just what it is, but it’s definitely in everything that I do. It’s a good asset.


You’ve received praise from critics, fellow performers and fans; which of these means the most to you?

At the moment, I’d definitely say the fans, people that didn’t know that I did music but knew me. It’s definitely fans.


You’ve had a career in fashion; does this influence your music?

Definitely. I think music and fashion go hand in hand. Making a garment is quite like making a song, in the whole process of it. There’s definitely a connection there. I’m trying to work on a line at the moment but it’s a slow process so nothing definite at the moment.


Do you miss being part of the fashion world?

I do. It’s a lot of work but the end result of seeing your designs come down the catwalk is definitely a feeling I could feel again.


At what point in your musical career could you consider yourself to be a successful artist?

At the moment I’d say I’m a successful artist. I’m following my dreams and I’m doing what I feel I should be doing so I’m winning by being able to do this every day. I’m quite chilled and laid back so people don’t always see my excitement. I don’t get excited like most people do. I think the time for me would be on a stage somewhere with a ceremony and me receiving my first reward. I believe that is when I would feel the emotional side and say “I think I’m successful now.”



Are there any particular awards you’ve always dreamed of winning?

To be honest, all of them look nice, whatever category!


Your debut EP is expected to drop in early 2014. Do you look way ahead of that or focus on the here and now?

Well I’m concentrating on it 50% and 50% on new things, because I’m having to bring these songs to life during my live performances. I have to be in the mood for these songs so definitely 50/50.


How’s it been working with Fudge Records?

Fudge Records? Amazing! It’s the continuation of a collaboration. I hope it continues.


What’s your FAULT?

Well… I like to give suggestions of combinations of food to people. I don’t like to taste food by itself. I like combinations of jelly beans to make a certain flavour or anything like that.


Max Marshall’s track ‘Pressure’ was released on 4th November on Fudge Records. Her EP of the same name is expected early 2014.


Interview by Tim Higgins