Last year, HNHH and TuneCore linked up for an 11-week series in an attempt to show off some of the best up and comers in the industry. The "Heat Seekers" contest became a huge success as numerous dope young artists submitted their music and got featured on our website. By the end of the contest, one artist was chosen to come by the HNHH studio and have a live recording session with a well-known producer. This year, HNHH and TuneCore are back with another edition of "Heat Seekers" that will see 12 artists get featured over the course of 12 months. If you think you have what it takes to get featured, you can even submit your music to enter the contest, right here.
The first artist to get featured was Dallas’ own trap opera extraordinaire, Tye Harris. This month, we are taking a look at 32-year-old Marlo Smith who hails from Broward County, Florida. Despite growing up down south, Smith was actually born in New York and his tastes reflect that. Smith grew up listening to the likes of BIG, Hov, and Nas. For now, though, Smith can primarily be found listening to his latest EP Honestly… I’m Taking Too Long To Drop My Album. In fact, Smith has his very own project on the way that he is incredibly excited to drop. If you’re looking for a sound that incorporates ethereal beats and bars, Smith is certainly the artist for you.
To get a better idea of Marlo Smith as an artist, check out the Q&A we did with him, below.
(HNHH) Where are you from? How has your home influenced your sound/style?
(MS) I was born in NYC but grew up in Broward County Florida. Early on I was exposed to what’s known as the golden era of hip-hop so naturally I love the essence of BIG, Hov, Nas, Mobb and all that. I moved to Florida around the time when No Limit and Cash Money was doing their thing, Outkast was already BIG and Andre 3000 was the first alien. That’s what everybody was listening to down there. Burning CDs and Napster for the pirate so that was a huge part of my growing up and I think my style is a nod to those things meshing. At the time there wasn’t really a coexistence for New York and Southern Hip Hop but I understood both and appreciate that.
Describe your sound in three words.
I’m a VIBE.
How old are you? Does age matter to music?
Im 32… Shit, nah i don’t think it matters. Did it matter how old Leonardo Da Vinci was when he did the Mona Lisa? I think who you are and what you represent and how it relates to people is the most important thing, be it entertaining, aspirational or inspirational and everything in between. If we were talking about making it to the league (NBA NFL MLB), then I think that age is going to make a difference. Scientifically the chances of someone being able to physically compete with younger athletes may be lower, but look at that boi Andre Ingram. Andre made his NBA debut when he was 32 as the oldest rookie a few years ago. Ultimately, nothing matters but your vision, with that anything can happen.
What’s the last album you listened to?
Honestly, I just been running my New EP Honestly… I’m Taking Too Long To Drop My Album by Marlo Smith – That’s how I start my day and it’s probably how you should start your day too -hannnn! My project is streaming on every platform go run it up NOW. It’s short, 5 songs, a nice lil appetizer. I’m dropping 954EVER soon which is a more full length and versatile project, so I’m excited about that and it’s basically ready. Jay Electronica’s new album is fire though idk why everybody is trippin about it other than me.
Name your top 3 biggest influences.
Kanye is a big influence, everybody think that boi be talking non-sense but if you go back to old interviews you can see that he’s been talking like that. He been believing in himself and seemingly willed outlandish things in life, so I’m largely influenced by him. Andre 3000.. I think he’s one of the most talented and serendipitous artists ever! He agreed to go back on tour so he could rock his own designs which were jumpsuits with messages like "Across cultures, dark people suffer the most. Why?" Brazen. My first project was titled Black Boy so yea INFLUENCED. Lastly I think fashion overall has a large influence on who I am. I spent a lot of time thrifting growing up and always looked for the the unique pieces, shit i knew someone that looked like me would be scared to rock. I need that, I’m not really trying to fit in because for the most part I don’t even like what n*ggas got going on anyway.
Name your dream collaboration.
Production Dream – Kanye || 16 Dream – Lil Wayne || Hook Dream – Frank Ocean
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
p>Rest of my life… Damn that’s tough, but I’d probably go with Blueprint cause it’s Hov and that combined with production makes it feel like soul food. There’s relatable content on there too! Records like "All I Need", "Heart of the City" and "Never Change" I could listen to forever. Largely produced by Ye and Just Blaze? Come on dog.. I think alchemist was in there doing things too.. shit legendary.
What’s your favorite hip-hop sub-genre at the moment?
I don’t know if I have a favorite sub-genre in hip hop right now, I like all of it. I love what the guys at Griselda are doing just as much as what Roddy is doing so it’s hard to say. If you got headphones on riding the subway at night, that Griselda sound hit different! Anytime I’ve been in the club over the past 2 years the best record spinning in there probably belonged to Roddy, so yeah I love all this shit.
Be sure to check out some of Marlo Smith’s music in the HNHH x TuneCore "Heat Seekers" playlist, below. Also, stay tuned in the coming weeks as TuneCore and HNHH will be revealing our other "Heat Seekers" winners.
Many independent artists wonder how to get their music on Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Tidal, and other stores. The reality is, you don’t have to be signed to a major label – all you need is a digital distributor.
We recommend using industry leader TuneCore if you’re looking for a trustworthy and transparent service. For an affordable fee, TuneCore will host your album or single on all the major stores and streaming platforms. You get to keep all your rights and 100% of the sales revenue.