Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based R&B/pop artist Aries Marquis recently released his album, Experience.
Aries explains, “I named this album, ‘Experience,’ for two reasons: one, is because I have gained a lot of experience in this music industry to be able to say, with honesty, that I have made improvements as an artist, and two, this album is another project based on true experiences that I’ve lived, and choose to write about. After all, my music is not written just for entertainment, but as life lessons that many can relate to, and learn from.”
Born in Baton Rouge, Aries grew up in a musical family. His father, Kenneth Johnson, sang in choirs and later became a music manager. His mother, Jacki Johnson, was a choir director, soloist, and sang in a band. Thus, Aries, at a young age, was listening to Daryl Coley, the Hawkins Family, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Anita Baker, Barry White, and Freddie Jackson, as well as dance music and video games soundtracks.
When he was five years old, Aries sang in the choir of the First Presbyterian Church of Scotlandville, followed by singing in other choirs over the years. Yet it wasn’t until he was a senior in high school that Aries sang solo. Once he did, he knew could be a lead singer.
Enlisting in the U.S. Army, Aries wrote a short song for his voice mail, which impressed callers and even his father. In 2008, Aries and Renaldo Pryce formed J2, performing everywhere. In 2010, Aries went solo.
Since then, he’s shared the stage with Keith Sweat and been named the Breakout Artist of the Year by the Independent Entertainment Summit.
Encompassing seven tracks, entry points on Experience include “Dove Across the Ocean,” which opens on delicious lustrous hues as Aries’ deluxe voice imbues the lyrics with plush savors. Radiant backing harmonies give the tune glowing suffusions.
“Daydream,” certainly one of the best tracks on the album, travels on a syncopated rhythm topped by Aries’ evocative, quixotic tones, revealing washes of voluptuous sensuality amid sparkling accents. A personal favorite, “Ghost,” features hints of hip-hop-lite blended with slow, oozing tiers of velvety R&B. Aries’ opulent voice provides the icing on the cake, infusing the lyrics with creamy hues and subtle nuances.
The last track, “Wanted,” glides forth on cashmere textures as Aries displays the scope and range of his crème de la crème vocals, soft and captivating. Gospel-like harmonies give the song silky shimmers of sound.
With Experience, Aries Marquis parades the polished sheen of his voice and his ability to create songs at once fresh and alluring.