There’s certainly no denying that we could easily sit and spill local music tea all day about Philly’s rich local music history–Will Smith, McFadden & Whitehead! David Bowie’s Young Americans, Questlove..the list truly, truly goes on and on.
Another local music act who’s striving–and succeeding–in heading into that classic Philly realm are, Samantha Gongol and Jeremy Lloyd, otherwise known as the City of Brotherly Love’s own, Marian Hill.
After meeting each other at Haverford High School (by the way…their group name comes from the two lead characters in Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man–Marian Paroo and Harold Hill) Lloyd went on to study music theatre at Yale University, and Ms. Samantha went on to dive into music business at New York University and also Drexel University.
With Gongol’s soft, yet lioness infused vocals at the forefront and Lloyd’s bodacious beats and brassed up prowess owning the background, their first three singles, “Whisky’, “Lips” and Got It” caught everyone‘s attention with their sleek flows and weirdly delightful melodies. Plus, they’re all sax-ed up and ready, which is always a good thing.
The fine-tuned local pairing even crossed over onto the dance floors of life, thanks to Romanian pop diva INNA’s “Diggy Down,” which deliciously samples the irresistible hook of “Got It,” and would also make their first show at Boot & Saddle (there we go, guys!) the perfect jumping point for…it all.
These days, Marian Hill is busier than ever, with a current tour in promotion of their fresgman record, Act One (go here…now), which will see them take over the stage (and that they most certainly will…so go) at Union Transfer tonight.
But perhaps the show will be extra special for these two crazy music kids because Philly will be their last stop before they jet off on a fancy overseas trek of their tour, which will include stops in Amsterdam, Mexico City and London.
Before they add even more werk to their already action packed schedule, they were gracious enough to stop by Philly Mixtape to spill some good ol’ fashioned music tea where they spilled about it all, including, well, just read it because you should always support local music, especially when it comes to Philly’s own Marian Hill.
Hey, guys! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your crazy schedule with me. Okay, let’s get down to some local music business. Everyone knows that making a full length album is no easy task, what would both of you say was the biggest challenge in getting Act One ready for release was? J: The push to keep surprising ourselves. We were working on writing the record for a little over a year, and in that amount of time it’s very easy to fall into patterns and repeat yourself or get fatigued and lose creativity – there were several moments where we weren’t sure we’d surprise ourselves again but we always managed to one way or another.
It’s no secret that you two have such an incredible dynamic……..but what do you do on the days when the dynamic might be a little off? If any, of course...J: I think takings breaks and having fun are crucial. If things aren’t going well, it’s important to relax and remember why we enjoy each other – sometimes that means taking a walk, or watching a show, or listening to music that has nothing to do with us, or just writing something with no goal in mind, no album purpose, just for fun because it feels good in that moment. S- what he said 🙂
Here’s a spill that stumps them all.… If each of you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your lives….which ones would they be and why? J: This is an impossible, impossible decision. But if I HAD to choose, I would go with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy...I’ve had a few periods of time where I’ve been in creative ruts and no music has sounded good to me except this album – listening to it got me through these times and I’ve always loved it, front to back.
I seem to ask everyone this question when they stop by…but since life and the fact that you guys are from Philly…..thoughts on Wawa? Do you miss it while you’re on tour…because I know I would. J: LOVE WAWA. There is one walking distance from the house I grew up in and it will always have a very special place in my heart. I still try to stop in there every time I’m back in town – there’s no where else like it. S: I love everyone’s obsession with Wawa! I had family from Seattle come into town once and of all the great places to eat they demanded we go to Wawa which was awe-inspiring. I certainly don’t miss it while I’m on the road but it’s always nice to know you’re not too far from home when you find one.
You kids have any fun plans while you’re back in town? J: Looking forward to some quality time with my family and my dog Mayzie.S: Yea, just gonna chill for a few days, hang with family and friends and my dog and honestly sleep for maybe 24 hours!!
If each of you had to give some words of advice to someone who decided to jump into this cray music business right this second, what would it be? J: Surround yourself with good people you can trust. And always be looking for new drum sounds. S: find good people you can trust, and somewhere in the process learn to trust yourself.
For much more Marian Hill music truth, groove on here.