Chris Marquis is a singer from Charlotte NC with an amazing voice and has a passion you can hear and feel in his lyrics. When you listen to his music you can connect with the artist and feel the music and tell that he puts his heart and soul in his lyrics. I was introduced to Chris’s music while I was going through a dark time and life and his songs and lyrics got me through a period where I was going through a depression. And I soon became a fan and started listening to more and more of his music.
Chris said that his genre is a crossover between Gospel and R&B, bursting with contemporary inspiration. The 25-year-old crooner didn’t get serious about his music on a professional level until about 2010 when he was 19-years-old.
“I played basketball at Kennedy Charter, and that’s what I was doing before the music. But I really found my voice when I was in 6th grade. Back then I was doing all the talent shows in school as well as the ceremonies, but finding what I wanted to sing about, that happened almost 2 years ago.”
Marquis’s vocals are soulful, but with a soprano timbre, that’s often identified as smooth and melodic. So, with that southern flair, you’d think he’d be singing heartbreak music or something more provocative. Hardly. He confirmed that when it was time to get into the studio, he couldn’t sing mainstream compositions.
“I got in the studio, and the only thing that could come out is life situations and stuff that I had been through. I couldn’t sing about girls and stuff like that. It wasn’t my lane, so I just kept going. I didn’t change my style for anyone.”
Because of his strong convictions, Marquis is actually the voice of requiem. He’s performed at many candlelight vigils for the slain young people in the area, thanks to his partnership with “Mothers of Murded Offspring.” Starkly, he crooned at over 250 funerals and memorials of the slain from Charlotte, NC dating back to 2015. Although Marquis feels heartbroken each time that he’s called out, it’s important that he offers comfort to the family and friends of the young person who passed away.
“Everybody died in my family so I already knew how to adapt to it [death]. It doesn’t bother me in a way that I would be broken. I handle it. When I saw that the families were happy and they got something out of it, that made me happy.”
If he couldn’t sing, Marquis would like to become a community activist for the youth that need a representative, to help guide them through good times and bad, through all the tough decision making as well as the lesser events that shape a young person’s life.
“It was hard for us because we didn’t have nobody,” he said. “We were different from the other kids. Christmas was different, Thanksgiving, birthdays, donuts for dad– We did stuff like that on our own. My mom passed away from cancer, but she was on drugs, too. I was 14 when she died.” His mom’s addiction is the reason that Chris and his 4 siblings, lived with their grandparents. Their grandparents took care of their cousins as well. When their loving guardians died, they only had each other. It was them against the world.
“My grandma and granddad did what they needed to do. They did their thing,” declares the young vocalist, when asked about the values of traditional grandparents versus the new-age grandparents. Living the life that many urban kids identify with, Marquis adapted. Instead of turning to the vengeful streets, he turned to the music.
“We lost everything. Now, we are taking that and turning it into something better. That’s the reason we are making this music.”
When Marquis says, “we,” he’s talking about his oldest brother “Ncredible [Baxter Beckham].” Ncerdible manages and supports Marquis’s aspirations as a singer so that he isn’t going through the motions alone. Ncredible focuses on the business while Marquis does the music. Branding, album placement, getting into the right market, are other important points that the brothers are concentrating on.
“Our goal in the next 5 years is to keep dropping. I want to be a household name, so when other artists come here, they know Marquis.”