International singer, songwriter, producer, actor, Marshall Titus is a renaissance man whose music, style and attitude redefines what soul music is and can be.
"My music is a true reflection of who I am, an artist who is not dictated by current trends or bound by tradition. I am guided by the yearning of my soul's creative desire."
And it all starts with that voice, the deep passion of it, the dark longing and fine gravel of it. Listen as it soars, listen as it travels through triumphs, through loss. Hear how it captures moments like some aural camera snapping elusive photographs. See it, feel it, vintage, carnal, earthy, delicious.
Born and raised in Chicago, Marshall is an award winning actor and performer who began his career while in High School singing in local bands, and vocal groups before gaining national attention by becoming a finalist in the male vocalist category on the hit T.V. show Star Search ( America), and a cameo appearance in the box office hit film "Barbershop" starring Ice Cube.
He has won Chicago's prestigious "Jeff Award" for his charismatic and powerful performance of James "Thunder" Early in Marriott's Lincolnshire Theatre production of Dreamgirls. As a much sought after studio jingle singer, Marshall's distinctive voice has been heard on countless national TV and radio commercials for Coca Cola, McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken.
There is Marshall the songwriter/producer: "I love the whole creative process, you start with a blank page, just a hint of an idea. Then the first mark is made, a line, a word, a sound.... A faint image is formed, it begins to take shape, definition. Then finally birth."
Just as powerful as his voice is, are his his songs, which speaks to the human experience in all it's many shades. Marshall's first taste of success as a songwriter came with a song he co-wrote titled "Sweet Melodies" recorded by Disco Diva Linda Clifford.
One of his dreams came true, when he produced his song "Naturally" on the legendary former lead singer of The Temptations, Dennis Edwards. The renowned gospel choir Walt Whitman and The Soul Children's of Chicago covered his uplifting anthem "Stop The Tears".
Following the yearnings of his creative desires has lead him to explore life abroad. Marshall's first experience outside The States, was an invitation to Paris, France to sing the theme song " I'm Walking Away" in the acclaimed French filmmaker Joel Santoni's Mort un Dimanche de Pluie (Death on a Sunday in the Rain), the film and soundtrack contain two other songs performed by Marshall, that were produced and written by one of Europe's most distinguished composers, Vladimir Cosma. Marshall also appears in the film.
A few years later Marshall found himself in Europe again, this time in Frankfurt, and Cologne, Germany where he collaborated with Producer Oliver Schmitt, and Attila Ciftci on songs that would find their way onto Marshall's first full length CD "Titus Vol .1, which was released on his own Doc O Soc Entertainment Group label, and features production collaborations with DJ Mark Grant. This experience helped fuel his desire to be an international artist. "Music is the universal language, and I intend to speak to the world through my music".
After returning to Chicago Marshall continued on his creative path, performing in several theatrical productions, and tours, singing at many major events, and all the while creating new songs and music that would become his second full length CD "The Reality Of Dreams Project " produced in Chicago, with producer/guitarist Keith Henderson.
"There's great power in music. Songs can soothe, heal broken hearts, or lift and inspire people to rise to greatness. It is my strong desire at this time, not just as an artist but as a concerned human being to offer to the world music and songs that will penetrate through the intensity of our current times and experiences, and touch that ageless, timeless cord within each of us that recognises peace, compassion and humanity for ourselves and others."
You immediately get a sense of this desire when you listen to, and watch Marshall's "I Will" video, directed by Photographer John Gress, which has been hailed as "Bold, Courageous, Soulful, Powerful, and Moving".
It was "I Will" that inspired his long time friend Byron Van Jones, to invite Marshall to perform the song at the 2012 Sing 4 Life benefit concert for Aids/HIV research, in Hamburg, Germany. Accepting that invitation proved to be a life shifting moment.
What was scheduled to be a one week visit, has now become 9 years, and the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in Marshall's life.
"On the third day of my visit , while taking a long walk exploring the city, my inner voice said loud and clear… STAY!!! Don't go back to Chicago!!! I listened to that voice, and have not regretted that decision for one moment . I now call myself a ChiBurger ( Chicago mixed with Hamburg )"
These have been a very creative and productive 9 years. "Not only have I started learning the language, but I also started playing the guitar while living here."
Within only five months in Hamburg, Marshall collaborated with his German language classmates Rui Pereiric, and Igor Maric, to create an up-close video documentary about Marshall's early journey in Hamburg, titled "Just 3ongs - a Soulumtary” .
It was during this time Marshall began writing his song "Send A Little Love" via a bare instrumental track sent by his long time songwriting/production collaborator Keith Stewart in Chicago. "Send A Little Love" was inspired by the Trayvon Martin, and Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedies.
After meeting producer Fritz Darjes ( Made In Hamburg Entertainment ), they decided to collaborate on a few songs... "Send A Little Love" the single and video (directed by Herb Santos) was the fruits of that collaboration and Marshall' first recording released from Hamburg.
From there Marshall was referred to producer Bente Faust , to sing on some song demo's he was working on for Kool & The Gang…… those songs never ended up with Kool & The Gang, but it did set the stage for the creation of Marshall's third full length album S.A.L.L. , Bente and Marshall produced S.A.L.L. (recored at Off Ya Tree Studio, Hamburg in 2015 and was released February 2016.)
Another creative collaboration began in the fall of 2015 with film maker and director Lorenz Wetscher, creating and directing videos for the songs " Like A Lullaby" and " Even If" from the album S.A.L.L., which lead to Marshall acting in Wetscher's first short film "Jerkwater Town" .
Adding to the excitement , Marshall starred in the Deutsch Bahn ICE 4 " Slow Jam" commercial campaign , and Mika Chocolate 's Christmas commercial 2016 . It was while doing the voice over and music performances for both of these campaigns that he met Florian Sigmond and Oliver Schwarz at HAUS BUILDING SOUND who produced the music.
"We decided that we should work on a project together since we had such a great time doing those commercials, and soon began what has turned out to be a very long process creating THE MARSHALL PLAN album ( Still in the works ), The first song to be released off TMP is the uplifting song “Can Only Get Better” . During the summer of 2020, in the midst of the Corona Pandemic Marshall released one of the songs from TMP…… “Can Only Get Better” in hopes of giving some uplifting energy to his fans, then he turned his attention to the racial and social injustices in America sparked by the tragic George Floyd murder by the hands of police with his powerful song and video “Enough is Enough” , which then lead to re-engaging with a project started several years ago while still living in Chicago. “ Eye of the storm : The Bayard Rustin musical “ a collaboration with playwright McKinley Johnson, a dramatic musical about civil rights activist, organiser , unsung hero Bayard Rustin. Marshall gathered several of his musical artist friends of colour living in Hamburg for a special updated live performance video of the theme song of EOTS “Keep your head up / Eye of the storm “ . Here we are now in 2021, and Marshall has delivered another beautiful gem , “Right Here Right Now” , with the promise of delivering The Marshall Plan album summer 2021.
“Music is the universal language.
I intend to speak to the world through my music.”
Photo: Jørgen Kube