We had the good fortune of connecting with Marcedes Carroll and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marcedes, how do you think about risk?
I believe taking risks are necessary for success in any field. Of course there should be assessment of the pros and cons; what the negative outcome could truly be. When deciding to pursue music full-time, I was very worried about the possibility of finding myself unsuccessful and back in a 9 to 5 grind. The truth I tended to find was, because I was passionate about music, it was easier to chase down the opportunities and knowledge to find accomplishment. Of course it has not been simple and their are many moments of failure that I have had to pick myself back up and learn from. However, at the end of the day I have decided it is worth it. And I think if anyones looking to do something similar, there are questions they need to ask themselves. Am I willing to accept the consequences if this doesn’t work? Am I willing to fight for this to work? Can I pick myself up after I’m knocked down once, twice, ten times? What does success look like to me?

On another note, I think there is a common misconception that to “make it” means you are the top artist in the nation with millions of fans and radio plays. The reality is, you can pursue your passion at another level that balances life and work, and still make a quality living. It’s not easy. It requires long hours, a lot of practice, the study of your craft and willingness to always be learning, constant check-ins with your ego and self confidence and a less expensive lifestyle. Taking these risks have led to some amazing nights of music with audiences & other artists that are genuine and provide inspiration and encouragement. Of course there have been disheartening moments, but I have found to keep moving forward, to focus on the positives and learn lessons from the negatives.

Taking risks are scary, but I truly believe are necessary for personal growth in career, life, love and overall happiness.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am very excited to be in the progress of making a new project. I released my first album in 2019 and learned so much from that experience. I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned and put it in action for this new piece!

As time has progressed pursuing music & songwriting, I am always amazed at how much more there is to learn. I have had numerous moments of feeling like I’ve really tackled some technical hurdles in guitar playing, singing or writing just to find I am only a fraction of the way into most skill sets. I enjoy this. I find it pushes me to keep learning and testing new territory.

When deciding to play music for a living, my top priority was writing lyrics. I thoroughly enjoyed my composition & literature courses throughout high school and college and applying what I learned to songwriting was fun for me. Word play with internal rhyming, simile and metaphor to paint a picture the best I can is igniting. And the stories come from my experiences. Whether its something a friend or family member is going through or something I am going through. Music has definitely played a roll in emotional & mental therapy helping to process the ups & downs life brings. Someone who has played a crucial roll in helping me find my voice and to not be afraid of my sharing my words is Jennifer Schmitt. Her and I have co-written songs since the very beginning and she is a mentor and dear friend.

Through my time working at The Divide, I have been able to observe various forms artistry in music, helping me to grow instrumentally to compliment my writing. Sitting down in quarantine with my guitar every day proved to yield great improvement as well.

Lastly, I truly enjoy making albums. It is a blast to piece things together from the tiny, minute details to the overall large picture. I am very excited to share what I have been working on the last year. This next project is going to be a reflection of some difficult life turns in an intimate stripped back package.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am based out of Livingston, Montana a beautiful mountain town 30 miles East of Bozeman. First, we would grab breakfast at Fayes Cafe, a quaint artistic breakfast spot in the heart of town. Other stops on the itinerary would include hiking one of the many day hikes out in Paradise valley, and after swing in to Chico Hot springs for a soak and lunch. Floating the river might be on the agenda as well as checking out the infamous cowboy bar The Old Saloon, another great place to grab food. Livingston is much smaller than Bozeman so if they were interested in shopping, I’d say going downtown Bozeman for a more boutique experience or there are other stores off main to explore. I love the antique stores around each valley as well. Montana Camp antiques in Belgrade, East Main antiques in Bozeman and Out of the Blue in Livingston; you can always find something good! Yellowstone National Park isn’t far and well worth the visit. The boiling river is one of my favorite spots. If they wanted to see live music, there are many local spots to grab a drink and hear someone play. Chances are we’d find one of my friends playing somewhere!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The list of people who have encouraged and helped me along this journey is numerous. I am incredibly grateful.

The Desert Rose was a beautiful restaurant in Belgrade Montana during my earlier years of playing and they booked the band I played in monthly. They made us feel like rockstars, even though we most definitely had more passion than skill at the time. The same goes for Cafe Havana.

My first bandmates were so supportive and inspiring, Isaac Carroll, Ben Dufendach & Dan Singer.

The Gravel Bar in Ennis gave me the opportunity of a residency every other week and that helped me grow as a solo artist in my performance. There are so many fun amazing people in that town and other amazing artists at that!

Live from the Divide in Bozeman Montana is a 50 seat listening room that I have had the honor to work for for the past 8 years. So many people through those doors have helped me build a foundation to grow as an artist and have laid inspiration and love for music into my bones. From the crew to the artists that play the room to those I have worked alongside throughout the years. Pursuing your passions is a huge leap but it takes a village to keep you in the air and help you land safely on the other side. This venue and all of the people that have worked so hard to keep the dream alive have and will continue to inspire and teach me so much.

Mandy Rowden from Austin, Texas taught me you can have a quality of life pursuing your passion that has beautiful balance and to always share music everywhere and with everyone.

My mom comes to as many shows as she can muster and makes sure to make my friends and fans feel appreciated.

These are just a few of the amazing people and places that have helped me in forming my path. I am so lucky to have a great community and loved ones.

Website: https://www.marcedescarroll.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marcedescarroll/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005984175155

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHAxGbWzhauTKJaCj3SxzDg

Image Credits
Photos: Neon shots – Greendoor Photography Nicole Wickens Photos: Acoustic guitar/plant shots – Chloe Nostrant Album Artwork: Isaac Carroll Album Design: Chloe Nostrant

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.