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Born in Buffalo but bred in the eclectic musical soil that is Nashville, Tenn., Marc Scibilia is a puzzle-piece of delicate grit and Southern soul that makes up the all-encompassing picture of artistry in the Southern city. Scibilia will bring his voice and guitar to the Tobin Center for the Performing Art’s Carlos Alvarez Theater on Saturday, Oct. 8, as he opens for pop-rock singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin, best known for his diaphanous delivery and mellifluous riffs on piano.
The evening is a part of the performing arts center’s Tobin Studio Sessions, an intimate take on the traditional concert hall experience, providing audience members with a look inside the cerebral and visceral sides of artists.
The setting aligns with Scibilia’s present journey that involves little more than himself and his box of strings.
“I’ve been traveling with my band for the last two years,” Scibilia said in a phone interview with the Rivard Report. “This tour is solo and I work the lyrics in a different configuration, giving people a deeper look into what I do at a concert.”
While his first full-length release Out of Style features the whole band in a vast array of instrumental experimentation and is equal parts electronic production and acoustic prowess, the Scibilia the Tobin crowd will see Saturday evening is one that is raw and unpredictable.
“I’ve been really resonating a lot lately with rap and R&B, so a lot of what I do is spontaneous when I’m solo like this,” Scibilia explained. “Every night is different for me, there is no set list. There’s a danger in it for me.”
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If you listen to songs like “How Bad We Need Each Other,” which garnered Scibilia his first taste of fame with a feature on the hit-series Bones, you may not hear the influence of artists like J.Cole, but the comparison lies more in the process than the product.
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“For the last song I released called ‘Believer,’ I created the track and then just started singing things, picked what I like the best,” Scibilia said of the flow for a track he really didn’t even have to write. “(Playing) live it’s not plotted out, the emotion is right there, there’s no time or grid, so the emotion in the room is something you gotta play with.”
Even though Scibilia never proclaimed to be on rapper and R&B singer Drake’s side in the hip-hop circle, his influence got into the artist’s subconscious at a recent show.
“A couple of months ago we were playing a show, jamming in the middle of a song and I just randomly started singing ‘Hotline Bling,’ and people loved it,” Scibilia said. “It was totally spontaneous, but now it’s become something that’s kind of a part of our set.”
Simple lyrics like “I’m a small man, next to a tall man, but baby I’m all man when I’m with you” from Scibilia’s single “Better Man” may just take new form when he performs Saturday night under the sonorous stage lights of the Carlos Alvarez, a version especially for San Antonio.
For more information about tickets, or the Tobin’s Studio Sessions, click here.
Top image: Marc Scibilia performs live. Photo courtesy of Marc Scibilia