About this Playlist
Took Me By Surprise perfectly captures Mark’s signature style of modern disco blended with classic influences; however this record takes you beyond his charttopping remixes and previous hit record, Bad Boys Cry (which – to date – as over 80 million streams online) —as it introduces New York-based singer Adeline (former vocalist for Escort and credits with Anderson Paak, Chromeo, CeeLo Green & more), who delivers disco bliss through her smooth, soulful vocals, lush harmonies, and big, hooky choruses. Her dynamic range is highlighted thanks to a lush string section from Pete Whitfield & Co. (UK), as well as exquisite bass and guitar performances by Brooklyn-based LEFTI (Alex Suarez). This timeless record will no doubt become a dance floor staple for many years to come.
The Hoof caught up with Mark for a chat
So tell us about yourself, some background and when did you get into music.
My real name is Quentin, I’m French, 26 years old and i’ve been producing NuDisco music since 2013 under the name Mark Lower, even tho I started playing records when I was 11.
I don’t really have a musical background in my family but one of my cousin had turntables in his bedroom when I was 10 years old. He also had a few records and I really liked it. So I asked for some gear back then for Christmas and that got me started! I started playing records when I was 11 in my bedroom and then started producing when I was 13 when a friend of mine (Thomas Leclercq aka Man Of Goodwill) offered me to teach me everything about making music. The first track I did all by myself was « Bad Boys Cry », which I signed in 2014 on Nervous Records. The track now has over 80 million plays online and I have now been making a living out of my music since then !
What’s the inspiration and recording process behind the new single.
Took Me By Surprise » is the first single from my 2nd album that’s gonna be released on Nervous Records in July. The album itself is pretty much a break-up album as I’ve been experiencing my very first break up after an 8 years relationship right before covid started. That being said, the album is a real journey through my mind and goes from sadness to happiness, and Took Me By Surprise (track #6 in the tracklist) is actually the first « happy » track you’ll hear on the album. The track itself talks about my relationship with a friend of mine, that I kinda turned into a love tale in the lyrics.
Originally, the track started as an edit of an old disco record, but as we didn’t get the sample clearance I started back from scratch and turned it into a 100% original disco record with only real instruments. Strings were played by Pete Whitfield and his crew, bass & guitars by my good friend LEFTI and other instruments like electric piano by me.
Tell us about a classic track, something that has inspired you or just never leaves your record box.
I am heavily influenced by 2 things : disco music and Madonna., so there are actually 2 records that never leave my record box or my harddrive when I tour, I Feel Love by Donna Summer and Vogue by Madonna.
Can you recommend any new music, something that you will playing out on dancefloors, when hopefully soon, normal times return to clubs across the world.
So when I’m home I don’t really listen to a lot of house/disco music. Right now I’m listening a lot to Jay-Jay Johanson’s new album Rorschach Test . But of course I can’t wait to go back on tour a play for an audience, and right now I really love SG Lewis’ track « One More ». I think I’ll play both original & Mark Knight remix a lot when it goes back to normal.
How have you kept busy during the last year has the pandemic stifled your creativity or the free time allowed you to experiment more.
When the pandemic started I really had no motivation to make any music. I was going through a really hard time with my break-up. So for weeks I almost didn’t do anything. At some point I found the inspiration to start writing about how I felt and started connecting with amazing musicians and ended up producing a whole new album, even tho there was no plans for that at first. That made me experience more indeed with working with real musicians, which I never really did in the past.
What does 2021 look like for you, personal hope and dreams, future plans, new releases and events.
Well my brand new single (and first off the new album) was just released and the feedbacks are really good so that already makes me happy. There will be a 2nd single out in May and then the full album in July. So this year’s pretty much gonna be all about that new album. There will probably be some remix work in between and of course I can’t wait to go play around the world again and share all that new music I’ve been working on with the world.