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|Birth name||Marc Marot|
|Born||5 May 1959|
|Origin||Scarborough, North Yorkshire|
|Occupation(s)||Artist Manager, Visual Artist|
|Years active||1979 - Now|
Marot started his professional career upon leaving art college in 1978. At 19 years old he joined members of prog-rock band Van der Graaf Generator in an offshoot collective called The Pool of Sound, who for three years performed on the live music circuit but were unsuccessful in securing a record deal. He supplemented the living he made from music by working as a landscape gardener and whilst doing so picked up the physically debilitating illness toxoplasmosis which resulted in him giving up touring. He moved to London where he got a job as a counter assistant at the Hounslow branch of Our Price Records.
Early career in the music industry
Whilst he was working five days per week at Our Price Records, he also worked voluntarily at independent music publisher Eaton Music on his day off. In 1982 Terry Oates, the owner of Eaton Music gave Marot his first major break by appointing him as Professional Manager at 22 years old. In 1984, Marot was headhunted by Nick Stewart, the Island Records head of A & R who was responsible for signing U2. Marot's new position was general manager of Blue Mountain Music. In an interview with The Independent Marot described the amusing circumstances of his beginnings at Blue Mountain: "I immediately said: `Yes. It was Island and I desperately wanted to work for Island,' says Marot who, with his brother, had been a collector of the label's records for years. What he didn't know was that Blue Mountain was also the personal company of Chris Blackwell, the place where he stashed all his favourite assets like Bob Marley's catalogue, Free and U2.
'He was pissed off that they had hired someone he hadn't met and instructed the guy who did it to tell me to go. But he didn't,' Marot recalled. He was fobbed off for weeks with a 'trickle of excuses' as to why he couldn't start work. Frustrated, he eventually just turned up and asked for a telephone. 'About three days later, Blackwell summoned me to his office. My living legend was just about to fire me before I'd even started,' Marot said.
The first of Marot's signings was Colourbox, an English electronic musical group signed to the 4AD label. IN 1987 Colourbox joined forces with A.R. Kane and recorded Pump Up the Volume under the name M/A/R/R/S. The song was noted for being one of the first to be constructed almost entirely from samples from other records. Pump Up the Volume was Marot's first international number 1 single, charting in the top position in 5 countries and in the top ten in a further 6. It went on to sell well over 1 million singles worldwide.
He went on to manage Island Music publishing UK, and fledgling film and TV production company Island Visual Arts, during which time his publishing signings included Massive Attack, De La Soul (UK only), and Marcella Detroit of Shakespears Sister amongst many others.
About eight months after Polygram's 1989 acquisition of the Island Records Group Marot was appointed MD of Island Records UK. The label went through a period of change with Marot supervising the eradication of much of the former roster and the subsequent rebuild. Artists signed and/or developed by Marot's team while at Island Records included Pulp, PJ Harvey, Stereo MCs, P. M. Dawn, The Cranberries (signed to the US label but developed in the UK), The Orb, Talvin Singh, Tricky, Nine Inch Nails, and Chaka Demus & Pliers. The Mercury Music Prize started in 1992, was dominated by Island acts in the 1990s. The company scored 12 nominations and two wins in the first eight years of the awards, and PJ Harvey has subsequent won the prize twice more since.
During this period Marot took responsibility for U2's A & R and marketing, starting with the release of Achtung Baby to just prior to the release of All That You Can't Leave Behind. In 1998 following an approach from Jubilee 2000's Jamie Drummond, Marot approached Bono to enlist his support in the campaign to eradicate third world debt. In Bono's Jubilee 2000 diary he says 'Marc Marot called me to talk about Jubilee 2000 who are organising a street protest to surround the G7 summit in Birmingham. Sounds fun, the right kind of mischief. I can sense this is the beginning of a lot of phone calls and a kind of unhipness I thought I'd shaken' On November 12, 1999 Bono credited Marot with "ruining his life" whilst receiving the MTV Free Your Mind Award at Dublin's Point Depot
In 1991 Island were charged under section 2 of the UK's obscene publication act for wilfully releasing 'efil4zaggin' by NWA in the UK. Given the chance to withdraw the album by the police and avoid prosecution Marot lead the Island records board of director into the decision to defend NWA's right of free speech. Marot was personally threatened with prosecution under section 1 of the act as the 'controlling mind' behind Island records at the time of the case. Island engaged Geoffrey Robinson QC as a barrister and were rewarded with a famous win at Redbridge magistrate court on 7 November 1991, with all charges dismissed and costs awarded against the Crown prosecution services. This was to be the last obscenity trial levelled against the UK music industry.
Marot was an early adopter of the World Wide Web and an advocate for not only the benefits it could provide but also the changes that it would bring about in the music industry. He used the Island Record's building maintenance fund to divert money into building the UK's first major label website: island.co.uk and as a result was awarded the inaugural Music Week Prize for Website Design in 1996. In 1997 island.co.uk started selling its catalogue online, sparking a short term battle with retail giants HMV, who withdrew support for all of Polygram's new artist releases in resistance to Island's decision to become an online retailer.
Island's last signing under Marot's tenure was Elbow, who were dropped by the label after his departure in 2000. The majority of the Mercury Music Prize nominated album 'Asleep in the Back' was recorded under Island's stewardship. However, it was released on the V2 label in 2001
Marot left Island records in 2000. His first task as an independent was to create the original iteration of the multi award-winning U2.com. Marot acted as producer of the site, choosing the development and editorial teams as well as the design direction.
The same year Marot formed Terra Firma Management (not to be confused with the Terra Firma that purchased EMI records in 2002). His first three clients were Paul Oakenfold, Richard Ashcroft and Lemon Jelly. He managed Oakenfold until 2010. In 2006 he was approached by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) with a view to helping him restart his career. Islam's first album in 28 years was An Other Cup.
Throughout his career Marot has held an active interest in working with the film industry and has credits as a music supervisor on 13 films, most notably Notting Hill and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. His most recent success was on the documentary, TT3D: Closer to the Edge
In 2006 Marot was on the judging panel for the music competition Pringles Unsung. In 2008 he merged his management company with Dutch-based Sports Entertainment Group (SEG). The company operates out of 10 countries worldwide, managing the careers of over 400 athletes and 25 musicians and artists including The Noisettes, Leftfield, Billy Ocean, Jess Mills, Breakage, Shy FX and Gabriella Cilmi. In January 2012 Marot resigned from the board of Sports Entertainment Group. On 3 March Music week magazine announced that he'd joined Crown Talent and media group in the capacity of Executive Chairman. Crown manage the careers of Maya Jane Coles and Talvin Singh amongst others.
Digital Art and The Danger Tree
Marc's involvement with digital art began when Scarlett Raven approached him to be her manager in 2014. His first action was to secure her a one-year contract with Washington Green (print publishers) and Castle Fine Art (distribution and retail). Castle put on a major 20 painting exhibition entitled The Eleventh Hour in September 2014 at their London Bruton Street gallery.
Having seen the potential of the technology during a Blippar presentation Marc pitched Scarlett the idea of using it within her paintings and the duo formed a full creative partnership, with Scarlett handling the physical painting and Marc the digital animation side. The informal emotional reaction to the work from everyone around them gave Marot and Raven the confidence to raise funds privately to turn the Danger Tree exhibition into a fully-fledged installation which commemorates the 100 year anniversary of The Battle of the Somme. They turned to the film industry for help, commissioning the award-winning film set designer Kave Quinn to design the shell of a destroyed provincial French Art gallery on the eve of the battle, with the paintings hanging on the only walls left standing.
- Marc Marot: Soft Heart, Big noise. An Interview with Hilary Clarke, Accessed 2011-07-26.
- Bono's Jubilee 2000 Diary, Accessed 2011-07-26.
- Bono's MTV Free Your Mind Award Speech, Accessed 2011-07-23.
- "British Magistrates Rule N.W.A. Album Not Obscene". Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Elbow Scoop Mercury Music Prize". Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- "Ramblers seek fast track to fame". North Wales Daily Post. Llandudno Junction: Trinity Mirror. 6 December 2006. Archived from the original on 30 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- "Music Week March 30th 2012". Retrieved 4 September 2012.