Marlon Craft Talks The Making of His Debut Album, 'Funhouse Mirror'
Marlon Craft has had one hell of a year. Since flying in his producer Arbus Beats from Sweden in the summer of 2018, Craft has been hard at work writing and recording the tracks that would eventually make up his debut album, Funhouse Mirror. Out yesterday, June 18, the album topped the iTunes Hip Hop charts at #1 — it’s simply that fucking good. We played ball with the New York native in Milk’s neighborhood, then sat down to talk about progress since his last release (that’s 2017’s The Tunnel’s End for the uninitiated), how it feels to finally have the funds to make the album he’s always wanted, and what’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2019.
Funhouse Mirror is finally here! How are you feeling?
It’s a weird feeling when you work so hard on something for so long and then the day actually comes to share it with the world. I’m excited, trepidatious, confident, insecure, all that. But it’s a great feeling knowing it’s finally time and that this music is gonna make some people’s lives a little better. So I hope it resonates but I’m confident it will. Ready for the freedom of having this out in the world.
Can you talk about your creative process in putting this album together?
Well it all started with this two week period at the end of last summer — I flew my homie Arbus Beats in from Sweden — I met him on Youtube three years ago and we been working ever since but had never met in person. We set up shop in my homies brownstone in Bed-Stuy and were just working all day, then hitting the studio at night to bring the musicians in and build on top of Arbus’ ideas. It was a really free creative environment and it was just mad fun. Then I went to LA for a week and got a lot of the vocal stuff done for some other things. Those two weeks were the bulk of the conceptualization of the album. From there it was filling in the pieces, more musicians, arrangements, etc. Took an extremely long time to get everything perfect. But we had some amazing sessions that were some of the best times of my life.
The Tunnel’s End came out in 2017 — how do you feel like your musical style has evolved since then, if at all?
I’ve grown so much as an artist and man since then, my perspectives and my musical ability have grown and I just feel more like a musician than ever rather than a rapper. But also, this the album I always knew I could make if I had the resources. I always wanted to get all my musician homies in the studio to play on my stuff but I never had the budget before. I was able to work with some legendary producers I been a fan of for years, and I was able to fly my main producer Arbus in from Sweden.
Favorite song on Funhouse Mirror?
“Family” is just always gonna mean something a little more to me because of the love I have for my family. I’m so lucky to have the family I do and none of this would be possible without their support. That song turned into its own project. I had so many different people on it doing so many different things. It’s my little masterpiece. But every song has a special place in my heart to be honest. My favorites change a lot.
Favorite venue to play at in NYC?
I haven’t played ’em all yet but it’s hard to say. Each show I’ve done in NYC has had its own special feel and vibe.
What’s in the pipeline for the rest of the summer?
Firstly we got this album release headline show at SOBs, gotta sell that joint out and make it legendary. Got some cool content coming all related to the album. Funhouse Mirror is just getting started. Then going to hit the road hopefully to follow. And then i’m just super excited to start creating again with a free mind. This a new chapter and I’m hype to take everything to the next level.
Nike Clothing supplied by: BX Sports; Tracksuit supplied by: SOLTAU
Stay tuned to Milk for more artists we love.