The name ‘L Marshall’ may not ring a huge bell in the minds of Nigerian music lovers right now. This is due to a salient fact that he is one of the most underrated artists of Nigerian descent in the international scene.
Although he has gained attention as a UK-based artist, his songs portray the African sense of style and it’s so evident that L Marshall draws inspiration from his root.
The artist combines singing and rapping in a unique way to create his instantly recognizable style. As a matter of fact, he takes his recording and performing alias from a character in the manga series Death Note.
L Marshall was born Thomas Griffith in North-West London.
Born to a Nigerian mother and an English father, the rapper comes from a family of bankers, doctors, engineers and lawyers. He has travelled around during his lifetime including moving with his parents to Brazil when he was 3 years old before relocating to Nigeria at the age of 10.
L Marshall remembers his time in Nigeria with fond memories especially because it was during this time he started songwriting at age 11. The singer schooled in a British international school in Nigeria after being forced to leave Stowe, the public school in Buckinghamshire.
When he was 18, he returned to London to study Sound Engineering for his higher education. He also studied martial arts. He began focusing on music full-time after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree.
He appeared on the x Factor and got to boot camp where he figured karaoke crooning wasn’t for his kind of person. He came into the music scene in 2009 when he released “My Ex.”
However, the gorgeous and talented, L Marshall burst onto the scene in 2011 when he featured on Traktor by English Rapper, Wretch 32 – which he also co-wrote. The song was named number 4 debut in the UK singles charts and till date remains a heavily rotated track in the UK
By 2012, the singer was ready to take over the UK’s music scene, releasing a mixtape named “The Wait” which earned him over a million view on Vevo in 2012.
This mixtape definitely showed his full range as a multi-talented musician.
The song according to him was inspired by his life, his relationships, growing up and everything in between. His songwriting has been incredibly applauded and his skills as a producer make him well sought after.
He also gained acclaim and attention for writing Loick Essien’s hit song, How We Roll which took number 2 spot in the UK singles chart.
The artist went on to write music for JLS, Kelis, Cheryl Cole, Mz Bratt and collaborated with Sincere, Benny Banks, Roxxann, and many more.
The same year, he was said to be working on major label debut album with Jerry titled “Wonder” Duplessis ( Mary J Blige, Ti, Lupe) Supa Dups( Eminem, Drake, Bruno Mars) and Novel( Gaga, Jason Derulo) His single from its Castles was the first to be released, a pop that featured cameo from another new soul girl, Nikki, and rhymes, etc.
A year after, he released another track, “At last”, where he explored much deeper part of his journey of musical career and the changes it brought to his life. He also expressed a sense of vague longing, pain, emotions and gratitude throughout the track.
In recent years, L Marshall signed a record deal with Sony and Mercury and as a charismatic, as he is, his career will no doubt continue to soar and he needs to be heard by more people who love good music.
On his goals, the rapper said he hopes to reach as many people as possible so he will be known worldwide. His basic goal is to be recognized and appreciated for what he does.
Hit Songs By L Marshall
It is a shame that despite his skills, he does not get all the recognition he deserves especially in Nigeria. Plus he is not anywhere close to being named as one of the richest African musicians. In an attempt to fix the first issue, here are top 10 of his songs you really should be listening to one of which he featured one of Nigeria’s finest singers, Burna Boy.
1. Castle Remix Ft Niyola & Burna Boy
2. The Wait
3. The Wait Pt 2 Ft Sneakbo & Sincere
4. Yellow Chevy
5. Castles ft Little Nikki
6. Kiss The Fire
7. Traktor (Wretch 32 ft L. Marshall)
8. The Current
9. Live Like This
10. So Cold ft Krept & Konan