Introducing: Marnino Toussaint, Florida’s Bright Singer-Songwriter
Coined one of Miami’s local gems, Marnino examples talent at its finest. The South Florida-based multifaceted artist merges R&B, hip-hop, and poetry into something that has his listeners yearning for new material. Making phenomenal tides with his solo work, Marnino is also the frontman of the music band PurpleFlux.
Later this year, Marnino is sharing his eagerly-awaited EP, What Had Happened Was. Its anticipation has increased with the release of “Who Yo Stylist” which is accompanied by an amazing visual effort. In his own words, Marnino described the track as a “visual to show off black love, and black skin in a way that made black people proud, and non-black people want to know more.” From creative direction to his introspective lyricism, Marnino’s music showcases the brilliant genius that he is.
In our latest interview, we had the opportunity to chat with Marnino about his Florida history, early influences, and dream collaborations to name a few topics. Read the full conversation below.
Walk me through your childhood, what was it like growing up in South Florida?
I was born and raised in the city of Miramar, a small city that sits right outside Miami’s County line. I lived in a very Haitian household, which meant music was playing through the house all the time, family gathered for food most days, and church was attended every Sunday. If you know anything about South Florida, Haitian’s culture is heavy down here so a lot of people can relate to the way I lived. It wasn’t always that way though; growing up a lot of people didn’t understand our culture, so they treated us differently.
For some kids, like me, it meant being treated differently but I know for some people it meant actual danger too. It wasn’t until I was in middle school when Black Dada dropped his song “Imma Zoe” when everything changed. That song shifted the way people in south Florida viewed Haitian culture, it became “cool”. I didn’t know it yet, but It was also the beginning of my musical journey. It was the moment I realized how powerful music actually is and how a song can change people’s hearts and minds.
How did you initially gravitate towards music and when did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Other than the moment with Black Dada, the moment I credit for me becoming Artist was actually my freshman year when I was invited to a school cypher by my homebody that we called JohnnyBoy. It was one of the dopest things I ever saw and immediately I knew I wanted to rap like those guys. I would not be the artist I am, or an artist at all, if it wasn’t for these small raps groups that existed in my school. It was competitive, and fun and it felt real. Sadly, a lot of those guys didn’t believe it could go any further than the school walls. I made it my mission to be an artist because of the fact I wanted to prove that this thing was possible.
Who were some of your influences back then and how about now?
My influences when I first started were Nas, early Eminem during his Infinite days, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Drake, Stevie Wonder, and Lauren Hill. A group of very different people, I know. Now, they are all still influences but I actually listen to music a lot less. At least when I’m in “album mode.” I don’t like to crowd my thoughts with other people’s styles.
You recently dropped the visual for your record “Who Yo Stylist” not too long ago, what was the inspiration behind it?
Blackness. I wanted that visual to show off black love, and black skin in a way that made black people proud, and non-black people want to know more. I wanted the beauty of the video to be its own form of protest. That video is saying dark skin black women deserve a place in the music industry too, black hair deserves a place on screen too, that black deserves a place.
As far as your music goes, what direction do you plan on going over the course of these next few years?
I see myself being in a position to release an album in the course of a few years, I plan to tour with my band Purple Flux and while it hasn’t happened yet, maybe attracted some major label recognition.
Do you have any dream collaborations?
Well obviously, I think me and Drake on a record would be world-changing but other than him and my other main influences, I would love to hope on a record with either Smino or Giveon.
What’s something you would like to tell any of your new fans as your audience continues to grow?
Just that you’re in the right place.
Elsewhere in music news, check out our interview with MAR!