Once I have the beats together, I take what I call "critical listens" where I listen to the instrumentation, arrangement, and I may change certain things. Then I go back and take a "recreational listen," where I just enjoy it, being happy that I made it, and then I start writing. Usually I'll make a couple beats a day for like a week or two, and over the next two to three weeks I’ll start writing. I often sit down, think of words as they come, and just piece melodies together.
So when you're writing a song, how long does it take for you to get the finished product?
I would say more recently it's become a bit shorter, so I would say between three to four days of just consistently following my schedule. But it changes for every record. Interestingly enough, I have records now where I'm doing electro pop or house music and those records are harder because there's fewer words, which sounds weird. It's like you're doing a record like "Where Have You Been" by Rihanna. That record is so ridiculously tailored for that party scene, that party environment, the energy of it, the life of it, the story in it, and I would sing less than maybe 200 words. Records like that will take a bit longer but usually it'll take me maybe a week and a couple of days.
So tell me what you're working on currently. What's today's project look like?
Right now I'm working with this concept called "Evoke," which in my head is my debut album when, God willing, I get signed to a label. I'm trying to do like a Thriller, where I have 10 solid records that could be singles—all different, really eclectic production, and each record really representing a part of my personal life, a part of my life as an actor, and my experiences.
How far can we expect to see Marcus Franklin go as a musician?
I know this is going to sound crazy, but this is honestly how I feel and you already know I'm not the kind of person to give you any kind of fakeness. Honestly, my ultimate goal is to be the greatest entertainer of my generation.
So you want people to think about you the way we think about say, Michael Jackson now?
Lastly, as an actor transitioning into music, what advice would you give to performing artists who are thinking about making a similar change?
The best advice I could possibly give is to know who you are. Knowing who you are is really like three-quarters of the battle, because knowing who you are allows you to step back and be balanced to the situation. You should be objective to the people who are telling you "no." To your agent telling you, "I don't think you can do this, etc." Ask yourself, "Where do I want to be? Am I happy? Am I comfortable? Do I like the way I look? Do I honestly believe in what I'm doing? Do I believe in what I'm saying? Do I believe in the records? Do I believe in my performances?” When you know who you are, you have self-mastery, discipline, and self-understanding. A lot of people aren’t conscious and that is what's killing our youth. That, I would say, is the most important.