Marcus Gray is a British singer songwriter who doesn’t like to define himself as solely one genre or another. Born in SW London, grew up in Surrey, he moved to the artistic hub of Brighton on the South Coast in 2018. He just recently dropped new single, Free Man, which he spoke with The Fountain about.

TF: You have a new single out, what inspired you to title it Free Man? It seems a little ironic right now.

Free Man was written differently from most of my songs, in the way that it was written in the car driving back home to Brighton in May some time. I had this repeating melody in my head and so just started playing around with words as my voice memos recorded. I think I wrote the 1st, 2nd and 3rd verse in the car, the rest came later.

The song is about running from my own mind. In the opening verse I sing ‘I wanna be a free man, clean man, I’m running through my dreams man’, this is my way of saying I’m frantically running through my own thoughts. “leaving the doors, open for me” refers to doing my best to keep my options open. 

TF: How would you sum it up in one sentence? 

An energetic debut single with edgy britpop undertones about escaping the frantic spinning of your own mind.

TF: Who do you look to and idolise when it comes to influences? 

I do my best not to idolise anyone, we’re all just human after all. That being said, I’ve been known to ‘fan boy’ fairly hard at certain gigs. 

My biggest influences are Noel Gallagher, Bob Dylan and Frank Turner. Frank’s music was the original thing that got me into this whole music malarkey in the first place and I still put him in the handful of greatest writers of all time, imho that is. Lyrically there’s a connection with his songs, especially some of the early Love Ire & Song stuff, that I’m yet to find elsewhere.

If you’re a big fan of Noel’s, you’ll hear a fair bit of his influence coming through in a lot of my music, especially some of the melody lines, what can I say? Borrow from the best and change it up a little, that’s how it’s always been done, I’m not gunna change it!

TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, after this single release, can we look forward to an EP, LP?

Not a lot now, considering everything going on, but I have a second single out soon, which I’m even more proud of than Free Man. So stay tuned for that!