We had the good fortune of connecting with Marcus Tinsley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marcus, what do you attribute your success to?
Where to begin! I’ll have to start with a little backstory, to fully be able to explain the most important factor behind my success in music. Like most artists, my musical journey started alone with just me and my guitar. I would spend hours locked in my room watching Youtube videos of other artists, trying to mimic what they were playing. Over time, I started writing my own songs, performing at coffee shops near my house, and eventually formed a band with some friends. Over the course of 2 years, we built a small local buzz, recorded an album, and started talking about our first tour. Almost all of us were new fathers or husbands, but I seemed to be the only one concerned about leaving my family behind to “go be a rock star”. They wanted to keep the band life separate from our family lives, which created a lot of unsettling friction in our relationships with our wives, and each other. It was then when I realized how toxic the entire situation was becoming.
In the end, I decided that nothing in the world was going to keep me away from my girls, so I made the decision to quit the band and stop music all together, to be a full time father.
Fast forward a few years, one night my daughter (Taylee) and I started singing together in our kitchen. My wife ,Jacey, happened to get a video of it and posted it online. A year later, we got a call from a few TV shows (including the The Ellen Show), because the video was going viral. This led to us posting numerous duets of Disney songs, which in the end, rekindled my love for music. However, there was still an unsettling feeling in our stomachs about getting back into the music business again, due to our negative experience in the past.
The truth is that a lot of the music business if full of ego. There is a common mindset that puts being rich and famous above everything else, because that’s what happens when you “make it big”. That mindset can be what tears families and relationships apart. Being able to see this from the outside, we were able to make a decision that we will pursue music, but as a family. While we continue to chase our musical dreams & push my singing career, we will continue to do it as one… putting each other before anything else. This is what led up to our ‘brand’ that we call F.O.E. (family over everything) Whether it’s sharing our music, posting family prank wars, duets with my daughter or just our family vlogs… we hope F.O.E. can continue to spread laughs, smiles & positivity to those who need it. So to (finally!) answer the question, the most important factor behind our success, is that it serves as a reminder. A reminder to invest our time and ourselves, into the ones we love. A reminder that family is not an important thing, it’s everything.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There’s been so much that has gone into getting us to this point. I don’t even know where to begin! Let’s jump back to 2019. We’ve been taking music more seriously at this point, but still working a 9-5. With the little time we had left in the day after I got off work, we would spend time doing little Facebook live shows in our living room, as well as posting covers on our YouTube channel. We eventually got the attention of a few producers from American Idol, and got invited to come try out for the show. After a ton of interviews and audition rounds, we were lucky enough to get invited to L.A. so that I could sing for the celebrity judges, and hopefully get that famous golden ticket!
My wife, daughter, and I (along with our mini pig, Penelope Rose) went into the audition room. This was it. Although I was incredibly nervous, I sang and got a ‘YES’ from all 3 judges! They handed me that golden ticket, and off we went to Hollywood Week. I made it all the way to the Hollywood week finale, but when the time came to perform a song I had to learn only hours before.. I ended up completely blanking out on stage, leading me to be eliminated. It was okay though! Aside from it being an amazing experience that we all got to share as a family, we made some great connections, and I learned a ton about myself as an artist.
We took everything we learned, and started pushing even more once we got back. There just never seemed like there was enough time in the day to get us where we wanted to be. It’s a huge risk to quit your job and join the millions of other people in the world trying to make a living playing music, but an even bigger risk when that job is supporting my whole family. We weren’t sure if we could make the jump.. but the universe ended up making that jump for us! It was in Spring of 2021, when I got called into the owner’s office at my work, and learned that the company was down sizing due to Covid, and my management position was no longer needed.
So there we are, sitting in our car (jobless), and I can honestly say now, that it was THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO US! It was scary at first, but we finally had no more excuses not chase our dreams as hard as we could. We worked hard, and way more hours than we ever did. We had no choice…our family depended on it. My wife (Jacey) is a social media marketing genius, and now put those skills hard at work. She spends her days making every flyer, booking every show, building the website, promoting every gig, designing my business cards, and pretty much everything else. I spend my days practicing, writing, and perfecting my craft, so that I’ll be able to compete in this extremely competitive industry.
In the middle of all of this craziness, we were lucky enough to be reached out to by A&R/music executive, Rich Fayden.
He has been one of the leaders in the music industry for discovering new talent, and has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. So far, we have produced 2 songs together, one of which recently premiered on SIRIUS XM and signed to Warner Music! We have been working together for a little over a year now, and have some big plans for the future, now that the world is recovering from COVID.
There’s been a lot of challenges to get us to the point, and we know there will be plenty more in the future. Nothing worth having comes easy though! My family and I will stick together as one, while continuing to chase this crazy dream and spreading our message of F.O.E.!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If we had a friends visiting, the first stop would have to be at OHSO Brewery! They have their famous $10 brunch with mimosa deal, which you can’t turn down! Their mimosas have half a bottle of champagne in it… so if you love champagne like us, it’s a good spot for you!! They’re also dog (and pig) friendly. So we love taking Penelope Rose with us! All the staff knows her by her name. Haha We would then have to head up north to beautiful Sedona. Every hiking trail you’ll pass, looks like a post card. There’s a ton of little shops you can visit, and plenty of restaurants over looking the mountains. As long as you don’t go during the middle of winter, the weather is typically perfect.
I think we would then end the day, and head 20 minutes up north to Agee’s BBQ in Munds Park. This is our favorite hang out spot in Munds Park, and also one of my favorite places I play live at. They’re known for some of the best BBQ in AZ! We’re vegeterians, so we go for their veggie pizza and some of the best fries you’ll ever have! They have great drink prices, a huge outdoor seating area, and just overall a super laid back vibe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are a lot of people that have been supportive along the way. My family and friends have been by my side since day one. Whether it’s coming out to every gig, helping financially with getting new music out, or sharing my music on social media.. they’ve been extremely supportive the entire time and I could not be any more appreciative! Who I want to dedicate this Shoutout to, would actually be my wife though. There is no comparison to the support & and dedication that Jacey Lynn has poured into my music.
She spends any second of free time she has, building our brand. Everything from the website/marketing, to scouring the internet for places for me to play live, booking my events, making contracts, editing promo images, helping load and unload for my shows, and literally everything in-between. Jacey has more than earned her title as “wife-ager”! There is no way we would be where we are right now without her, and I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have her in my corner!