Posts filed under Artist Spotlights

Creating Space and Solace, ePP Drops "There’s a Place for People Like You"

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Marmoset artist, ePP cultivates community through his music — his latest album There’s a Place for People Like You carries a message of togetherness, to aspire for the best while hoping others make it too. Each song is magnetically intimate, a close up account of what makes him tick.

While his latest compilation can be categorized as hip hop and rap, his love and pursuit of rock music shouldn’t be minimized; it’s something he still invests his creative energy into, a part of the roadmap that defines his present arrival.

Stepping outside the boundaries of what others expect or require of him, ePP stays true to his message of authenticity. He doesn’t make music to fulfill what others envision for him — instead embracing hardships, channeling them into creative expression not merely for creative accolades but for others seeking solace or comforting resonation.

Sitting down to chat with us, we’re even bigger fans of ePP now than ever. Read on to learn more:


Marmoset: Hey ePP, thanks for sitting down to chat with us. With your latest record, There’s A Place for People Like You now on our roster, we wanted to dig a bit more into your background, influences and where you’re heading. Looking back at your origins, you moved to Portland from Georgia, right?

ePP: Yes, that's right. I always kind of dabbled in making music but I didn’t really start recording until I was in high school. It wasn’t until college when I was sitting down in class and I was like, “I don’t want to be here.” I don’t want to say it would have been a waste but in the long run, what I want to do and how I want to impact people’s lives and my own life has nothing to do with a piece of paper saying, ‘hey good job.’

Marmoset: Can you take us through what it looked like getting started in music?

ePP: I wrote my first song when I was 11 years old, I didn’t know what I was doing. I had like a Casio keyboard and was just playing some stuff. Fast forward to high school, there’s like a really close friend of mine, he made beats and then we met with some kids from Vancouver who were into skating. So we had that in common. It started with meeting up with another crew of kids and it’w how I got started writing rock music, because it was my favorite genre. So 16, 17, I was straight up writing alternative rock stuff, maybe what you’d call hardcore stuff as well.

Marmoset: It’s like you realized you had something to directly offer back to your community through your own art.

ePP: Yeah, definitely. I agree with that. That’s kind of where my head was at. When you’re young especially — I don’t come from a family that says, oh you need to go to college in order to do something — it’s more about finding the route you want to go and my family still saying, ‘ we support you.’ Needless to say, I came from a very supportive family — kind of confused, like ‘eh is this really what you want to do — but still definitely had the support that led me down the road to doing what I want to do.

Marmoset: Were there other people in your family that were involved in music?

ePP: No, nobody. My 16 year old cousin who’s going to school in France right now is the only other person who’s musically inclined. I mean, growing up music was always playing, it was always around. But no one in my family really liked to play music.

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Marmoset: With your new album, There’s a Place for People Like You being hip hop and rap orientated, could you share more about your interest in rock music? What attracts you to that genre specifically?

ePP: Rock music in general I’ve just always connected with it. And there was a time where a black kid coming up, it was frowned up pretty much; like ‘you’re trying to be a white boy etc. etc.’. But no that’s not it, it’s just what I like, it’s just music at the end of the day. And it’s what I connected with.

Marmoset: It sounds like you really have a good circle of friends but always looking ahead and trying to connect with your community. How does staying connected with people and being open to collaboration mean to you?

ePP: You know, people will hit me up through a DM on Instagram like, ‘hey man, I’m in this band or I play this instrument and would love to meet up’ — and I think, why not? Because there’s going to be a time when no one’s going to want to do shit with me. That’s just the progression of life. There’s going to come a time when your friends no longer hit you up because they’re parents now and they don’t have the same time. So while I have the opportunity to be part of cool stuff, I’m going to be a part of as much music related situations as I can.

Marmoset: Living in Portland, Oregon, there’s a lot of change on the music front end. How do you see your music contributing to the community?

ePP: I’ve definitely seen that change happen firsthand. You know, 10 years ago I wasn’t in a group or anything at the time but I was still kind of doing music, you know I was young so I was just working a regular job. The way it was then, if you were better than other people, others were kind of jaded, jealous and weird. And I think it helped me and the group of people I was working with to make us better, because we knew there were only a handful of people who would help other artists answer questions.

I have a very open phone policy, like if you have questions or if there’s anything I can do to help, I wanna be that person. I don’t want to be closed off. Any artist who comes in and asks questions, I’m always willing to listen and do all I can to help. And it’s never ‘oh I did this and I did that’ for me. I check in, I go to shows. Because I really want to be there and I really believe in the people that are performing, I just want to help as much as I can really.

Marmoset: We love your spirit in that kind of coming together, sticking together.

ePP: Well, that’s the only way. I had like that conversation recently. It was just about how the only way that things will get better, the only reason why this is community has gotten better is because people realize, ‘ let’s get off this ego shit, let’s work together, let’s progress.’

It’s about saying, ‘cool, this person’s a lesson learned in how they got to their spot’ instead of being jealous. No one wants to deal with a jealous person, you can come up together and there’s enough money for everyone to get. You know, if you don’t like someone that’s fine, I know some people don’t like me, I don’t care. You know, I’m out for everyone. But the people who do appreciate me and rock with me, that’s what it is.

You can form and build community by being inclusive, not trying to act like gatekeepers — that’s how things should be at least in my eyes.

Marmoset: We agree, it’s a good thing to practice, just applying it day to day. It’s kind of humbling in a way to remember we all share a space.

ePP: It’s really humbling. You look at bigger cities like LA — so many people I know directly who are rivals but they all work together because they realize we can all grow from this if we stop trying to segregate. Portland’s already a really white city, you don’t need me to tell you that, you already know that. But regardless, I’m going to get mine so if I can help people get there too, that to me means way more.

It’s never been about the money. I don’t care about that shit, it’s all about making good music and adding to the community — not taking away. It’s like a real cultural thing.

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Marmoset: What’s the story behind the title of your new album There’s a Place for People Like You?

ePP: I’m going through a lot, some of my closest friends have also been through some really tragic and tumultuous things. I pretty much scrapped two iterations of the album that I had; I really want to write from an honest, transparent place and I wanted the beats to match that. We all have days where we feel like shit and then we have days ‘I’m a bad bitch’ you can’t tell me anything. And I think I wanted to encompass that in the album — to make it feel and sound like a movie. Even though the songs are different, I wanted everything to blend and be cohesive at the same time.

Because I feel like the stuff that I went through, if I can be honest and talk about it, I know that someone else is going to relate to it too. And it’s never been about ‘what are my listeners going to like’. The people who like my music already will like my music — because it’s honest music. And I think we’re in a time where making honest music is at an all time high.

Also when you get older, you realize ‘hey this is what I’m good at’ I should stick to it and write it out, regardless of the hardships and everything that comes with it. But that’s just life and what is life without experiences and a story to tell.


ePP was announced #7 Best New Band by Willamette Weekly.

Discover the Best Undiscovered Music for Commercial Use: Bells Atlas

Marmoset presents miniature music concerts — a new series where we invite talented, touring and local artists into our space to capture a stripped down performance of their music.

Cultivating a floating landscape of sounds, surrealism guides Bells Atlas; their latest album The Mystic offers layer upon layer of abstract electronic textures and charismatic lyrics, an open exploration of pace and rhythms, likened to jazz’s uninhibited perimeters. Front singer, Sandra Lawson-Ndu’s vocals help define the band’s cosmic DNA, aesthetically blurring the lines between psychedelic rock, electronic pop and soulful R&B.

In Bells Atlas’ mini concert performance here at Marmoset, the group expresses creative agility throughout their performances of “First Gen Pisces” and “The Khamsa” — it’s an imaginative range between ebbing, alluring energy to great emotional force.

Click play above to watch/listen their performance of “The Khamsa”, then head over here for an exclusive mini concert look at their performance of “First Gen Pisces”. Read on to discover the subtextual meaning behind their two songs.


The meaning of “First Gen Pisces” in the words of Doug Stuart:

First Gen Pisces

In short this is about a mind inundated by expectations of how to exist in this world, and woven into that is a pool of fear, memory and fantasy. And then there’s sleep, a temporary path to peace of mind.

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The meaning of “The Khamsa” in the words of Sandra Lawson-Ndu:

The Khamsa 

This drifts between images of dreams, spirituality, and imagination, and the space they share in connection with the intangible. The song is about making space for each other's beliefs and being open to varied lenses of experience.

"People like you enrich the dreams of the world, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are the unknowing transformers of things". — Ben Okri, Nigerian poet and novelist.

The word Khamsa translates to five” or “five fingers” in Arabic—this is probably a symbol that you’ve seen many times of an open right hand often with an eye in the center. In many faiths this symbol is seen to bring about happiness and peace while protecting from the evil eye/ negative influence.

A Mini Concert ft. Bells Atlas: the Cosmically Soulful Band to Know

Marmoset presents miniature music concerts — a new series where we invite talented, touring and local artists into our space to capture a stripped down performance of their music.

Bells Atlas’ sound is a combo of mystic charm and soulful, experimental pop. They get you moving through creating a space that feels wandering, inquisitively open and exploratory.

As big fans of their music, when the touring stars aligned, we leaped at the opportunity to host Bells Atlas at Marmoset headquarters; hanging out in the space, they have a natural ease about them. In their stripped down performance they completely make the space their own, singer Sandra Lawson-Ndu’ vocals rule over everything else.

Check out Part One of their mini concert above, then dig into our conversation with the band below:


Marmoset: If you had to pitch Bells Atlas' sound in a sentence, what would it be? 

Derek: The rhythm of orange creamsicle earthquakes and melody of melted lava astrological comet-chords. 

M: If you could attend any musical event in history, what would it be?

Doug: Miles Davis at the Cellar Door in 1970. 

M: Who are some filmmakers, artists and other musicians you look to for inspiration? Do you guys ever pay homage to anyone with your work? 

Sandra: Speaking on this album (The Mystic),  I was very much inspired by authors and other creatives that use sci-fi fantasy or even surrealism to observe our own realities. 

For me, the best ones somehow have the potential to spark inspiration for how to interact with each other and create a sense of openness to what is possible, drifting further from an idea of acceptable norms. Ursula Le Guin, Phillip Pullman, and Sharon Shinn are authors that inspired me early on. More recently I’ve been inspired by amazing  shows like Atlanta and Random Acts of Flyness, or authors like Octavia Butler and Akwaeke Emezi who present surreal and fantastical work in which black and brown folks are often central characters. 

M: What would you say is "the heart" of your new album, The Mystic?

Sandra: The main heart of the album is really the fact that we get this opportunity to write together as a band and this music is a reflection of how we've grown in that process and also how much we love it.

Thematically this is very much inspired by a connection to someone in my life who sparked my love for storytelling and my interest in both the mystical and the fantastical. In my eyes they have alway embraced and embodied intangible realities. When they began to struggle with their mental health they still held that magic as a truth-seer and a storyteller. This narrative exists in some of the songs in the album but it’s really the questions that resulted that are the basis of many of the stories here :  what expressions needed a diagnosis? what caused pain versus what was the result of a different way of interpreting life and offering new paths of seeing? what was clinical vs mystical? How do we make space for each other's beliefs and varied lenses of experience.

M: There's something refreshingly experimental and kind of psychedelic with your music + visual work — how does the band try out new ideas? What does a creative session look like when writing new music or making a music video?

Geneva: Trying out new ideas is perhaps one of the binding qualities between all of us.  I think this creative collaboration is, in some part for all of us, an arena to do that.  

Something with The Mystic in particular, for example, was approaching a new writing technique which involved creating more from a studio production approach.  It was less about being behind our instruments and satisfying the performative aspect, and more about crafting songs and thinking about the listening perspective; compounding elements and sections of each song one at a time.  It kept things fresh and offered a new perspective on creating together, which is something we've never really been adverse to.

When it comes to visual elements for the band, there are usually a series of ideas thrown around, or perhaps just one, and then we dig deep into that world.  So the fuzzy masks in “Be Brave” started with a photo shoot we did years ago.  We honestly wanted to try getting away from having to photograph our faces together 'cause we all felt like we photograph and facially express so differently that maybe nullifying our faces would help execute something simply and quickly.

Kinda funny thinking about it in retrospect.  But the cool thing was, we were able to insert something psychedelic and fantastical instead and sort of recreate our identities. Or perhaps give some deeper meaning to our identities.  Anywho, the director took that that fantastical idea and ran with it, which we supported fully along the way.

M: We loved having you here at Marmoset, your music is so immersive — whether listening to it with your headphones on or witnessing it performed in person. How do you guys get in the right mindset before a show or wind down afterward?

Geneva: This varies depending on who you talk to.  I think there's inevitably some kind of socializing happening, but as the set time approaches, some of us zone out in the green room and do vocal warm-ups or stretch. 

Some people get some fresh air or take a walk before or after the set before greeting people. There's almost always food involved somewhere in there between soundcheck and showtime.  It definitely helps to get grounded and clear the mind in some way!  Our music is fairly involved and requires some kind of "zen" state for each of us in some way, whether that means channeling focus or just letting yourself open up your intuition and feel your way through all the nooks and crannies the music takes you to .


Check back on Monday when we dig more into Bells Atlas’ song meanings and another release of their exclusive performance.

Posted on June 14, 2019 and filed under Artist Spotlights, Music, Media Coverage, Music Licensing, Marmoset.

Marmoset Presents a Mini Concert with Ceschi

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Marmoset presents miniature music concerts — a new series where we invite talented, touring and local artists into our space to capture a stripped down performance of their music.

Currently on tour, Ceschi and his 7 Piece Band came through Marmoset headquarters following their Portland performance at Bit House Saloon. Their springtime jam-packed tour means coast to coast performances, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine (and so much in-between).

When we started this mini concert series, we knew here lied an inherent opportunity to feature the gems within the Marmoset music roster through a live performance medium. Kicking off the series with the endlessly talented Mree, we looked to Ceschi for a kinetic shift, a drastic contrast and variation to Mree’s floating vocals.

The Connecticut based artist is widely known for utilizing rap styled lyrics with acoustic instrumentals—the artist’s miniature concert is truly a voluminous showcase, the video a glimpse into artistic exuberance that can only be fully absorbed when witnessed in real life.

Watch his performance of “Daybreak” and “Ojala” below, then scroll down for a one to one interview with Ceschi.


Marmoset: Hi Ceschi! Can you share with us how you got into making music?

Ceschi: I’ve been making music since I was a child. A free school program when I was seven got me started on violin. Within the next year I was messing around with raps. Eventually went onto guitar & beat-making. 

The kind of music I make is simply the product of a lot of my influences, everything from experimental underground hip hop to ‘90s indie rock & hardcore punk to Latin American folk. I create because it’s my therapy, one of my reasons for existence & because of the many beautiful personal connections that music has brought me.

M: Your style of rap is really engaging in how you incorporate a lot of acoustics. How would you describe your approach toward experimenting with your music and do you have any advice for artists trying to be more genre fluid?

Ceschi: I feel like I have the unique privilege of studying with some of the masters of freestyle & jazz rap in my youth. Elders from that world taught me techniques, styles and tools since my teen years that essentially brought my skill level beyond amateur. Still, I never felt like just a rapper. I’m a songwriter first & foremost. My goals were never to be the best rapper nor best guitarist or whatever. Since an early age I’ve only wanted to present an honest version of myself. 

I don’t think anyone should fight to try to be genre fluid or whatever—if it doesn’t come naturally to you—don’t force it. That’s my advice. 

M: Who would be your dream collaborator—dead or alive?

Ceschi: At the moment I have to say Andre Benjamin of OutKast. Frank Ocean Or Joanna Newsom. I’m picking living people that excite me musically & lyrically. 

M: How would you like your music to evolve or what do you envision for your music a few years down the road? 

Ceschi: I plan on focusing on non-rap based music, instrumental composition and more acoustic work in the upcoming years. I envision myself playing quieter shows, haha.

M: Do you have anything in the works right now that you'd like us to be loud about? 

Ceschi: Yes! I’m wrapping up a trilogy of Ceschi albums all coming out this year. I believe it’s my best work yet. Sad, Fat Luck came out in April. Sans Soleil will come out summer. Bring Us The Head of Francisco False comes out in the late Fall. 


Ceschi’s music available on Marmoset’s music roster. Discover more of his music here and reach out to us if we can help you license music for your next video.

Sound of Surreal — a Look into Pure Bathing Culture's Latest Record

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Night Pass is Pure Bathing Culture’s third and highly anticipated album. Vocalist Sarah Versprille and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Hindman mark their resplendent return with a body of work exemplifying free-floating, energetic renewal. Night Pass’ lyrical skeleton wouldn’t be complete without the menagerie of earthy and astral imagery; the album is surreal romanticism at its finest — from flora, ocean to land, and ornamental crystals, Pure Bathing Culture portrays wandering prose that’s tender and meditative without sacrifice to being electrifyingly rhythmic.

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The album’s overarching message aligns with persevering and championing love of all varying degrees — whether this be toward one another, one’s work, or an introspective gratitude and self-care. This palpable energy comes from the duo’s approach to their creative work, Hindman embracing his instruments as companions. He explains, “I don’t plan, I just think of each part as a different person. I'll name them, think of the clothes they're wearing, where they're from... this helps me feel like we’re creating our own world.”

In between their second album, Pray for Rain and the upcoming release of Night Pass, the indie pop duo embarked on an array of tours with Death Cab For Cutie, Chvrches, Lucius and The Shins. This soon led them to team up with producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, REM, Spoon) for the creation of this record. Bold collaborators within the realm of indie music, Pure Bathing Culture resiliently upholds their defining musical traits and DNA: alluring synthy guitar pop framing Versprille’s dynamic voice which radiates earnest depth and strength — the album is telling of just what Pure Bathing Culture represents, affirmation of how deep their waters run.

Night Pass is a mesmerizing voyage from start to finish — rooted in a patient, nurturing kind of devotion (“Devotion”) and through facing doubts, burgeoning out of resiliency (“Joyous Lake”). Finally, the sun sets on ultimate transcendence, celebrating one’s ability to overcome when accepting life’s new offerings, whether positive, negative and everything in-between.

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Pure Bathing Culture’s weighty symbolism and conceptualization feeds into the meditative quest of Night Pass; at closing with “Violet A Voyager,” everything suddenly feels transcendent and lighter. Melodically cohesive, the music’s arcs and rhythmic qualities are like a tide rolling up and retreating in perfectly timed succession — it’s entrancing to fixate and relish one’s attention on. “Black Starling” embodies this very essence, steady synth-pop with reverbing moments, Versprille’s guiding voice echoing in and out.

Whether diving into the subtextual layers of Night Pass or swaying back and forth between its sterling pop rock riffs, this record beams of good vibes and expressions. Vacillating between the album’s dreamy nature and its deeply observant undertones, Pure Bathing Culture cultivates a musical experience that feels uniquely personal. There’s an element of empowering discovery that feels open and welcoming — in passing, it’s encouragement to look closer at what we hold onto, and what we let go.  

“Pure Bathing Culture make their triumphant return and continue to elegantly carry the Fleetwood Mac torch... glorious.”
— Gorilla Vs. Bear

Marmoset Presents a Mini Concert with Mree

Marmoset presents music miniature concerts — a new series where we invite talented, touring and local artists into our space to capture a stripped down performance of their music.

Our first video features Mree, her transcending vocals chillingly beautiful against a single acoustic guitar. Watch her performance of “Atmosphere” in the video above.

Stepping into Marmoset, Mree exudes tranquility even in the way she greets us — it melds and mirrors within her four minute performance. Masterful in drawing listeners through haunting and misty vocals, she has captured the attention of Grammy Award Winning Artist Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) and draws from her influences like Sigur Ros and Sufjan Stevens.

We asked her some questions to learn more about her journey as a musician and what new music she’s got in the works.


Marmoset: There are so many different ways someone can get into creating music, we’d love to know how you got started. What did those first chapters look like for you?

Mree: My parents have always been really supportive of me and my sibling’s creative endeavors, I’m so grateful for that. They saw my interest in piano at a pretty young age, around five years old, when I would create my own little tunes. It turns out I didn’t have much patience for theory but my parents found me a wonderful teacher, Todd Lanka, who taught me how to play by ear! He really encouraged me to keep composing. 

When I was about 11, I saw the movie Glitter starring Mariah Carey and I was transfixed by her voice. I bought all of her CDs and practiced her runs over and over again, which is when I think I kind of discovered this interesting part of my voice I never knew I could “train” or tap into. With this new ability I feel a strong pull to share it with people, which was very weird for me as an extremely shy and anxious person at the time.

I signed up for my middle school talent show and ended up winning with my rendition of “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada. It was really validating that I could share this part of myself, and that people might just see me as something other than the quiet girl. I just kept chasing that feeling and started posting covers on Youtube. Eventually I picked up the guitar and started writing my own lyrics. I started getting into production pretty soon afterwards. It was just all really fun to experiment with effects, vocal layers, and stuff like that. 

I guess I’ve just been doing that ever since! It feels really wonderful to self-produce and find success independently, especially since there’s currently an imbalance of women in the music production field. I feel like I can send a supportive message to other females who are interested in the industry but may be intimidated by taking part in a male-dominated scene. Imogen Heap was that person for me, and I am so grateful for her music and presence. 

Marmoset: What are some projects that you look back on and feel a sense of pride for accomplishing?

Mree: When I look back, I remember making my second album Winterwell with a lot of warmth and freeness.

It came out in 2013 and I was 19 at the time; I was really interested in exploring production and creating really grand moments with cool textures and instruments. This was all before college and before I exposed myself to too much popular music, “proper” writing techniques, “creativity guidelines,” and I guess before I got a bit disheartened by the industry.

The feeling was so pure and when I make music now, I want to get back to that genuine feeling. I want to do it because I love creating it and not because I think it’s what other people want me to create. 

Marmoset: With this new miniature concert series, we’re excited to showcase artists like yourself in this sort of casual atmosphere. You being on the other side, how do performances like this resonate with you especially when compared to the bigger shows you do?

Mree: I love performances like these. This is how I always used to perform — just me and my guitar or piano. I find it really freeing for a lot of reasons. When I’m by myself I can control everything about the performance. I can slow down if I feel that the moment needs it or play louder or quieter in sections when it feels just right.

In turn, I think I can let myself feel more present, reacting to things in the moment. But don’t get me wrong, playing with other people and getting a bigger sound is wonderful! I love that too. Especially since some of my songs call for a larger sound. I really enjoy both ways so it’s nice that I can mix it up in my live set. 


Catch Mree’s latest EP release, The Middle out now and get a behind the scenes look into Mree’s music making process here.