Aston Marton, a UNF marketing senior, dropped a hip-hop album Dec. 21, named “The Winter Solstice” after the day of its release. The Spinnaker interviewed Marton to talk about the album, hip-hop and the music industry.
Q. Why did you go from marketing to making music?
A. I started making music since junior year of high school. It was something I just randomly picked up. Music has always been something I was really interested in and a big part of my life. Marketing just kind of came about, my dad is a mortgage banker, and I felt like marketing is just something I could do. There really isn’t something specific behind it, just a business field that I thought could be interesting.
Q. Do you let Jacksonville and other Southern music influence yours?
A. Yeah, definitely. I let the production and beat making aspects influence me some. The heavy 808’s and stuff, but Jacksonville music in particular, I have checked out some of the local artists, and there was actually a hip-hop show on campus a week before the semester ended or something. One of the artists I was talking to was Mr. Al Pete, and some other local guys that were pretty good. There was also another guy, I think his name was Paten Locke, and I checked out his latest album, and that was good, too.
Q. Even though you bring in a lot of R&B and soul elements into your last album, even the content of the album being about love?
A. I think that I rely on hip-hop and a lot of that comes from the music that I listen to when I was first learning to make beats. I think my music is more driven by production because that I was doing first. When I was back in Maryland, I was in a group with my friend where he would do all the rapping, and when I moved down here, I had to do everything myself. I had to start rapping and “singing” if you can call it that. I am always starting from the hip-hop basis whenever I am predicting a song. I guess I go off in other different directions because I listen to so many different genres of music and take influences from them. But at the end of the day, it’s going to have that hard kick drum and hard snare which gives it that hip-hop-ish feel to it.
Q. Any particular reason most of the songs in this album are about love? Is it focused at a special someone or something?
A. I guess yeah, sort of, me and my ex-girlfriend broke up in the summer, and while the songs aren’t necessarily about her, I was just in that mind set thinking about love and relationships. The songs just manifest about what I was thinking about and love was on my mind, in general.
Q. How often do you plan on putting out new music?
A. My plan right now is I want to put out the sequel project to this, “The Summer Solstice,” and I would put that out on June 21, the summer solstice. But I am not sure if I would put that out this summer or next summer and put out something in between. I have left over songs from this past album and a lot of beats that I still have. I don’t structure things too much, I prefer to just let it flow. Turn on my computer and my laptop and say what do I feel right now. Just sit down, listen to the music and decide if I feel like making this or making that.
Q. Your music is not something that people would normally hear in a club, what is the message you want people to get out of your music?
A. In a lot of my music the message I convey is the element of spontaneity, endorsing spontaneity. Like going with what you feel and doing whatever you want. I have a line that says “Do what makes you happy.” And that’s what a lot of my music is. Being who you are, stop worrying about consequences so much and what other people think about you, and just do what you want and what makes you happy. Obviously not being reckless or anything, but that’s one of the main things I put into my music.
Q. What are the biggest uphill battles besides Jacksonville for you to come out in the music industry?
A. The fact that I don’t have any club or party-type songs. Of course my subject matter is not what you expect from someone rapping. And I know that throws some people off. I guess the biggest thing that holds me back is that my music is too different. But then you never know what people are going to be in to.
Check out the Spinnaker’s review of “The Winter Solstice” online here.