I had the personal pleasure of touring with Udora years ago, and Leonardo was one of the most humble, down to earth, amazing musicians I’d ever met. He was incredibly creative and played guitar immensely well. He is now with a band called Transmissor and they tour Brazil regularly and are very popular. They make wonderful music that has a timeless feel to it. I asked Leo a few questions for an interview and he was gracious enough to take the time to answer them. Read below and get to know Leonardo Marques. He has some wisdom to share from experience and from his talented perspective.
What was the reason you started writing songs?
Since the very beginning when I started to play guitar I had more fun creating something new than learning my favorite songs. I used to think if I knew how to play a song it would lose the magic for me. Nonetheless I got distracted trying to be a better player and started focusing more seriously about writing later on. It was a way to find my own personal voice and escape a little bit from the dynamic of the band I had while I was in Los Angeles.
What was the first song you ever wrote about?
It was about losing someone you loved
What is your most current song written about?
It’s about why I keep writing songs
Where do you derive inspiration from?
My inspiration doesn’t come directly from a musical influence, it’s a lot more subjective these days, could be a conversation, a phrase, a sound.
Who were your musical influences in the beginning of your songwriting?
At the very beginning of songwriting it was stoner rock bands.
Who are your musical influences now?
Right now it’s Chet Baker, Elliot Smith, Mac Demarco, and 70’s Brazilian music.
Do you have a method of writing, place, vibe, setting, instrument you prefer to write on? And why?
Usually on the piano or on a unplugged electric guitar. I like to be by myself, usually in the afternoon and I start to play around and to see if a chord progression shows up, or a riff, sometimes it all comes together at the same time with a vocal melody already with some lyrical content.
What elements do you think contribute to making a great song?
I believe a great song needs a great melody that will surprise you throughout the song.
How do you push past writer’s block?
I simply don’t try to write if I’m not in the mood, I wait for that moment when I know I’m in the right vibe to do it.
What would be your advice to a beginner songwriter trying to make their way and trying to express themselves musically?
I would say the most important thing to is to find your own voice, you might want to sound like John Lennon or your favorite band, but you have to find what’s the best way to do it with your knowledge and your limits, so you can create your own personal voice and it might take a while and a lot of attempts, but you need to be aware of that and put yourself out there, don’t be afraid of what people might think of you and your music.