It’s astonishing to hear Marques Houston refer to himself as an “old school” artist. That is, until you realize that he’s been making music for over twenty years and the era he came of age within has long been considered “old school” by a marketplace consumed with the here and now or finding the next best thing. As a result, Houston went into the studio to make an album that doesn’t conform to contemporary pressures of R&B, but instead pays homage to the artistry that first attracted him to music. He’s beckoned the spirit of Marvin Gaye and channeled his version of Prince and D’Angelo to create a more mature sound with live instrumentation to do his part to be a piece of R&B’s return to prominence.

The mission wasn’t to just be different from what’s out, but being honest to his influences and providing his fans with authentic Marques Houston. Besides, it’s the fans that got him back into the studio after a hiatus in which he continued his acting career and created a television and film production company. However, the near daily exhorts from fans for new music led to realization that the time away from his first love left a void that he needed to return and fill.

The result is Famous, the collection of 31 years of experience in life, music and love; he created the album without the thought of boundaries or restriction of genres, instead sticking true to artistry and letting that guide the direction of the project. The first single, “Give Your Love a Try” is classic Marques Houston and tells a story of us have lived, being part of a friendship that spans time and relationships, until you decide that this situation is worth exploring. The honesty of the opening line, “I’ve been running for so long, baby, that it gets easier every time around”, sets the tone that continues through Compton rapper Problem completes his guest appearance and will be a common thread throughout Famous.

Anyone who has been in the game as long as Marques Houston has undoubtedly done battle with the various trends, shifts in the marketplace and the “new” industry to which he and many others are adjusting. He’s adapting to an industry that has blurred the lines between genres, in effect, creating a sound that dilutes passion and soul from the music and making an effort to restore balance in what we hear. One adjustment he’s been happy to make is connecting with his fans through social media and hearing their feedback on the new music, as well as the encouragement they provide through each endeavor he undertakes.

Marques Houston continues to grow in front of an audience; he’s transitioned from Immature and “Go home Roger!” to a businessman and artist whose music has reflected his progress as a man at each stage. He’s learned to balance his various projects, shut off gossip blogs and focus on his talent and the following he’s developed over the course of his career. With a new album and tour on the horizon, along with a role in the UP television movie “The Love Letter”, Mr. Houston has his hands full, but it’s nothing a seasoned veteran can’t handle.

Yeah, he’s old school.

Follow Marques Houston Twitter (@MarquesHouston), and check out the snapshots of this hardworking brother’s life on Instagram (MarquesHouston1).

Al-Lateef Farmer

Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find Al-Lateef Farmer: Black man, husband, social documentarian, and slinger of Soul by the pound. His brand of social commentary rooted in independent thought can be found at, and on Twitter @wrldacrdng2teef.