It has been a long and arduous journey for accomplished musician Marcus Ch Dela Peña. One that began in Sixth Grade when he envisioned his first melody to the struggles he faced in his hometown of Manila, Philippines, producing music for the songs he had written.
But his persistence paid off.
With the release of several self-produced albums, the singer-songwriter, producer is now the successful founder of musivv.com, a platform for independent artists and music creatives.
Through this innovative platform, Marcus created an initiative called JumpSTARt, with the aim of producing singles for emerging, talented musicians who do not have the means to record their own songs and get noticed.
The initiative quickly garnered praise from local music industry experts for its goal of finding what Marcus calls “diamonds in the rough.”
Acting as musivv’s talent scout, JumpSTARt is currently in its second season, with the programme seeking to discover and develop untapped artists by providing a much needed gateway into the music industry. Marcus has further bolstered the programme’s aims by also enlisting the help of Grammy-nominated producer Beau Vallis too.
Clearly, Marcus’s journey is commendable, borne from struggle and perseverance. His days in The Philippines saw him sleeping on a friend’s couch, a time when he learned Cake Walk – a Digital Audio Workstation of the 90s -after piecing beats together using Fruity Loops to produce a decent demo.
“I enjoyed the learning process,” he says. “I remember using a computer gaming mic to record vocals. It was a very challenging season but the passion in me kept me going.”
Armed with a rough demo and an inextinguishable fire for music, Marcus eventually released his first rap metal single in the Philippines. After relocating to Dubai in 2005 for work, Marcus’s dreams of releasing an album seemed remote.
Yet only a year after arriving in Dubai, things fell into place and he was able to live his dream of releasing his first full-on album. This time via a local radio station that catered to promoting independent artists.
And the rest as they say is history.
Now with musivv.com, Marcus is giving back to the local music community by providing aspiring recording artists the chance they deserve.
“JumpSTARt gives me a sense of fulfilment in being able to connect with budding artists in the UAE and paving a way for them to make their dreams come true,” he says.
For those seeking to achieve great things with their life, Marcus advises: “Stay focused and be patient. Good things come to those who wait. Trees grow slowly but they stand the test of time.”