Marcus Kihn’s music journey came to life the day he raided his big sister’s record collection and stumbled upon a curious little album whose artwork consisted of a glass prism refracting a rainbow of colours. Now this isn’t to say that Marcus hadn’t heard music before. On the contrary, in those days he listened religiously to the hits of the day — Rock & Roll, English Pop, Motown, Southern Rock —but the subtly textured, neo-psychedelic art rock and jazz fusion of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon was something completely brand new to his ears.
A hundred or so spins later and that was it — the catalyst, so to speak. Enough with the listening, now was the time for Marcus to take his passion for music to the next level. He soon joined the church choir; fine-tuning his tenor pipes. Then it was onto piano lessons, in which he buried himself in the classics — Beethoven, Bach, Rachmaninov — excelling on every level and achieving a Grade 5 certification in just one short year. A budding Mozart? His piano teacher seemed to think so. But alas, proficiency in the classics wasn’t where young Marcus was headed; his musical passions were now being distracted by the world of spinning discs, and so began a short but illustrious stint as a popular high school DJ.
Familiarizing himself with just about every record on the planet eventually led him to the door of CFNY Radio — one of Toronto’s hottest rock and alternative stations in the 80s and 90s. Here, he worked as an intern where he would chat hours on end with the other DJs about what constituted the perfect #1 song. But all this was enough for Marcus to take all he had learned in music to this point and start penning his own tunes. It also brought Marcus back to the piano and the building of a home studio where he taught himself guitar, bass and production.
After a few ill-fated attempts to form a live band, Marcus kept at it alone, further building his home studio to arrange, recd and engineer his own creations — nine albums to be exact: Together, the highly experimental Invisible, City, All Sides Facing Out, Mental, Forward Gaze, Lascivious, Blind Soul, Pop, and now Head Noise. Each disc a collection of finely crafted compositions that possess a hint of all that has influenced him over the years — Gabriel, Lanois, Max Martin, Depeche Mode, Dead Can Dance, and of course, the band that started it all — Pink Floyd. But make no mistake — regardless of the influences — Marcus Kihn remains an original through and through.
In the past few years, Marcus has had music featured in various FOX TV shows including Temptation Island, The Bachelor and The Biggest Loser as he continues to work on a new electronic music collaboration. Along with the TV and album work, he has scored several short films notably Urban Trenches, Fading Fast, Unfounded and the documentary Stronger Than Love.
Written by Robert Paton