Marlon Williams – Listen to Our Interview in the New Episode of Our Under the Radar Podcast | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, November 28th, 2022  

Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams – Listen to Our Interview in the New Episode of Our Under the Radar Podcast

Sep 30, 2022

New Zealand singer/songwriter and actor, Marlon Williams is our latest guest on Season 3 of our Under the Radar with Celine Teo-Blockey podcast. Williams released his third album My Boy on the Dead Oceans label, earlier this month. Written in the safety of his hometown during lockdown, Williams reveals on the podcast that he felt “he was onto a good thing” and as such, it was one of several reasons he turned down the opportunity to audition for one of this year’s biggest musical biopics despite having the vocal chops for it.

Williams appeared as a young country singer, in the mold of Roy Orbison, in Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born—a role that Cooper had in mind specifically for Williams after having heard one of his songs over the radio. Other acting roles on movies such as True History of The Kelly Gang and Lone Wolf, plus on the Netflix drama, Sweet Tooth, have since followed. He now shares the same acting coach as Nicole Kidman and remarks that recently it’s “feeling like it’s standing on its own two feet—the acting.”

On My Boy, Williams employs skills he’s gleaned from acting to help build worlds and characters that have roots in his boyhood, as a Maori, growing up in Lyttelton. My Boy is a departure from his 2015, self-titled, country-indebted debut. Its palette of choice is the synth-pop fodder from the early 1980s. Elsewhere, Williams admits that Duran Duran was the first album he ever owned but he never quite appreciated its New Romantic allure. Perhaps being back home and closer to his parents again, reignited childhood memories and prompted his ruminations on masculinity, traditional hierarchies, and climate change. Heady as these themes may be, Williams talks us through some of these inspirations and we can see clearly how he employs the over-the-top ’80s sheen as a Trojan Horse to conduct more sobering interrogations.

In May Williams shared the album’s title track (also its opening track), “My Boy,” via an amusing video. “My Boy” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then in June he shared the album’s second single, “Thinking of Nina,” a song inspired by the Cold War spy drama The Americans. It was shared via a film noir-esque video and was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then Williams shared the album’s third single, “River Rival,” also one of our Songs of the Week, as well as its fourth single, “Easy Does It,” again placing on Songs of the Week. My Boy’s fifth single, “Don’t Go Back,” shared via an amusing self-directed video, was again one of our Songs of the Week.

Read our review of My Boy.

Williams’ last full-length was his sophomore album, Make Way For Love, released back in February 2018 via Dead Oceans. In 2019 he released his first official live album, Live at Auckland Town Hall.

Listen to the episode below.

Please write to celine.teoblockey@undertheradarmag.com if you would like to share your thoughts on this episode.

Follow us on Apple Podcasts and rate the show. You can also listen to us on Spotify and podcast apps such as Podchaser.

Each monthly episode of Under the Radar features an interview with a different musician conducted by host and producer Celine Teo-Blockey.

On top of being available on all podcasting platforms the podcast also airs on WLUR, an NPR affiliate based in Lexington, VA (the city where Under the Radar is currently based).

Season 3 launched with episode one and our interview with Warpaint. Season 3, episode two featured Seratones. By Celine Teo-Blockey

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.