Marlon Orlando has a plan

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 5:00pm

Marlon Orlando has things mapped out like this:

First, release new music that was inspired by his time on Block Island.

Second, become famous.

Orlando started on this singular path this summer with the release of music that he called “B.I. Times.”

This is not a reference to the newspaper, but rather a nod to his experiences on the island. Orlando, who is 22, works at the Beach Pavilion, where he had his first concert on Friday, Aug. 9.

Orlando wasn’t particularly into music until he enrolled into college. At the end of his freshman year he released his first single, “The Next Chapter,” which, he said, “did really well” but now considers an embarrassing early effort.

At school he was friends with Jake Tarbox, son of Block Island School physical education teacher and baseball coach John Tarbox, who had some recording equipment. Orlando wrote and recorded more music and the floodgates opened. “I released three songs over the next three days,” Orlando said.

The music is hip-hop, and Orlando said he does not have a routine when it comes to writing lyrics. “I listen to the music until I get a feeling I can put into words,” he said.

He described creating the music for “B.I. Times” as “really fun,” a process that took more than two months to complete, but he also knows that he is in a very competitive field. If he is going to make it, “you have to be a cut above,” he said. “I have the highest aspirations. I definitely have the ability,” he said. He also has the commitment. He left school, and quit his job. “It’s crazy what you put yourself through,” he said.

On “B.I. Times” he did it all: writing, mixing, mastering, and engineering the music, and he enjoys it all. He describes the album as “jazzy. There’s a lot of jazz influence. It’s smooth. Just the instrumentals alone have character.” He said that making the record finally freed him of his own inhibitions. “It doesn’t make any sense to be restricted when I’m trying to create,” he said.

He’s headed to Tijuana after the summer to set up shop in space owned by the Hautkini company, which he said will get him closer to California, which is where he wants to be. Asked where he’d like to be after that?

“Coachella,” he said.