Leicester’s Marcus Joseph, saxophonist turned spoken word artist, is a man who transcends musical boundaries and genres to produce inspiring, optimistic and life-affirming songs that are perfectly encapsulated in his new E.P, Real Talk, an ambitious fusion of Jazz and hip-hop, with a little reggae thrown in for good measure.
The E.P even has a certain punk feel about it – the D.I.Y ethos of Strummer, Jones, Lydon et al appears to be living strong in Joseph, with his vision to create a unique sound and scene of his own through hard-work and pioneering musicianship.
The opening track, ‘Anything in Life’, is a reminder that attaining your dreams isn’t easy. Joseph’s mature lyrics, including “Anything in life worth having is worth working for” and “If you’re not reading and gaining knowledge then you might as well be sleeping” convey a powerful message, relevant to errant schoolchildren, disenfranchised students and over-pressured career types alike, while his impassioned words juxtapose perfectly against the mellower sound of his saxophone.
‘My Wish/Sifiso’ features the excellent Mellow Baku on vocals, whose melodic voice helps to bring a touch of soul to proceedings, while the E.P’s third track, ‘Love One Love’, featuring Peter Joseph, is an uplifting number that samples the late, great Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ and implores us to appreciate and respect life.
The instrumental ‘Lola’s Lullaby’, further highlights Joseph’s ambition and composition skills as it perfectly blends together a myriad of genres, including reggae and RnB that become more obvious with the absence of his lyrics.
The E.P limps to a close with a couple of remixes of the its first two tracks, but fails to detract from the many merits of those tracks that preceded them. Judging by this E.P, Joseph is a man going places, and quickly, although you get the feeling that he is in no rush to get to them. For the time being, he seems to be enjoying his voyage on the journey of life and musical discovery.