Markus Zosel

 

Brilliant singer-songwriter and entertainer Markus Zosel taps into a strong vibe to create an original blend of folk / singer-songwriter music with an emotional twist. It's little wonder why his new radio single ‘Off We Go’ is racing up the charts.

Niedenstein, Germany resident Markus Zosel is a excellent example of a singer-songwriter that elegantly leverages his originality and compositional skills to the service of modern entertainment. His new single ‘Off We Go’ demonstrates blazing musical stylings that are sure to appeal to mainstream audiences. This singer-songwriter with a performance flair has the right look and the right attitude to become a proper singer-songwriter-magnet and audiences around the world are beginning to acknowledge the fact that a new creative force has arisen. Where will he take it from here? One critic wrote of his award-winning work: ‘Markus Zosel delivers a sun-sweetened collection of folk-pop concoctions whose instrumental virtues are exceeded only by the sensitive prosody of his vocal intrigues.’ We suspect this artist will navigate the future on his own terms, given his obvious passion and musical skills. Independent reporter Alexis Adams recently caught up with Markus Zosel to discuss his music and the interesting path by which he came to it.

ALEXIS: As an artist on the rise, what is one thing you are most excited about and one thing you are most afraid of happening in your career?
MARKUS ZOSEL: I am glad to be looking forward. That is the main thing I have in mind. I am so excited about being heard now by so many people on radio stations around the globe- so grateful for that very special experience in my life. I am looking forward to people I am going to meet, to have the chance of singing to them. I thank the LORD for being able to share that with all the people I don’t know yet – but, maybe soon I will get to know. There’s not much I am really afraid of. I trust in what is about to come as I always have. It is good that way. So you see, it is not fear – it’s more being grateful about the light that shines on my musical work now. Let’s enjoy that together…!

ALEXIS: Your song 'Off We Go' is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
MARKUS ZOSEL: It took my breath away – no, it really blew me away. Playing live shows has always been an essential thing to me but hearing my song on the radio, played by a radio station half a world away, is such an enormous joy and wonder that I am really not able to put into words in a satisfying way. Most of all I am grateful for 25 years of practicing on stage and doing my recording. To be able to be heard by listeners all around the world is a great thing to know now.

ALEXIS: What was the inspiration behind your radio single?
MARKUS ZOSEL: "Fill your glasses with summer wine…“ these are the very first words of the song – and what led me to write the song. There is so much we are able to achieve if we only want to do so and we go for it. So much that we give to other people that comes right back to us – sometimes much more intensely. You just have to surrender – and make it happen. All the chances and most of the gifts are already right within you. You just have to appreciate them, find them and let them work for you, make them happen. „Shine your light on a winter’s night when there’s nowhere you can go….“ – that’s the beginning of the second verse. And, once again, get into action and let yourself be yourself – the world will be shining back on you at a much higher and intense level. It’s almost like standing on the top of a mountain and watching this wonderful bright light covering all the things you see - all the valleys and the mountain tops in the same way. It is there – go for it…!

ALEXIS: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
MARKUS ZOSEL: To me it has always been nature - in all its different pictures or moments. You know, life will always have two sides to everything: there will always be sad and tragic moments the same as moments of joy and happiness. But despite all the difficult experiences we all may have to live through at some points in our lives, there’s always that light that shines and warms up each aspect of our days. There’s so much positive wonder and so many bright things shining even on a rainy day. And there is a gratefulness for being right within all this wonder: that’s exactly where my music comes from. I am thankful for all the things I went through. There will always be things you have to face – but it’s a gift to go along with them and share them. It is good to "be“ and to look at things honestly and stay true to yourself.

ALEXIS: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
MARKUS ZOSEL: Most of all I am interested in everything happening around me. Being serious and fun-loving at the same time seems to be a contradiction – but it isn’t! In private moments I can be very serious and down-to-earth. That’s when I am all by myself and in a state of mind that allows me to write or work on new material. On the other side, there are a couple of songs that came just out of moments of pure happiness and joy. It’s shadows and light – and it needs to be, to work on a certain level.

 

ALEXIS: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
MARKUS ZOSEL: Most of the stuff I do, I try to do on my own. While working my way into the music business, there was a lot of disappointment. It’s always hard to find people who are able to do a good job. But it’s funny, because the more I did for myself to gain a certain level of musical quality and performing, the more I met people worth working with. And that really is a wonderful experience. Working with the AKADEMIA in Los Angeles (USA) is such a blessing. It’s professional – and in that way it is good. It opens up a space for me and the band to expand and spread our music on a much higher level worldwide. And I want to thank these lovely people for that.

ALEXIS: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
MARKUS ZOSEL: I was born, raised and educated in Germany, in Nordhessen. This is a very beautiful place to be. We have these soft green hills and mountains you may know from pictures of the Smoky Mountains in the United States. But the families of my mother and my father came from the alpine regions of Austria and Hungary. So there has always been a deep connection between my person and any kind of alpine landscape. I love the mountains and the people who dwell in these areas. And there surely are a lot of musical roots to find there. My mother has a beautiful voice. I’ve always loved to hear her sing and she sometimes still does. But she has never had the courage and the power to stand up in front of people listening to her. She never wanted to. But any time her voice is heard, it‘s a blessing and a moment of joy. My father loves the fun coming along with a good humored song or a strong and beautiful melody that might take him away somewhere. He’s a final test for the quality of every song which springs out of my mind. It’s the way he looks at it when listening that tells you: this one’s right or not. That’s a great gift, too. My brother used to play the 12-string guitar. But he isn’t playing too much now. He is responsible for my dedication to that instrument because I‘ve loved the 12-string guitar since the day I first touched it in his room at our house way back then. And for 25 years I have always played that instrument on live gigs, anywhere I went. My sister isn’t very much into music. But she always likes listening to it. The other relatives of mine aren’t involved in musical actions. Just as my sister – they like listening to it.

ALEXIS: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
MARKUS ZOSEL: To have the chance to communicate with people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. To make them share my thoughts and feeling by singing to them – things I couldn’t say just by talking. I need to have the music along with the lyrics. During a performance there are, sometimes, moments of magic and words alone seem not to be able to explain such phenomena - they really aren’t! These are moments when people are really listening to you – these are the most precious moments. It’s a blessing to embrace people emotionally this way in such moments – and to be embraced by them. It’s a gift when they appreciate the work you do and when they say, “I like it!“. I’m always very grateful when the audience seems to be affected or touched by the things I do. I really am and I thank the LORD for having the chance to do so. I love to talk to people – but I, much more, love to sing to them. And that is the reason that has always kept me going on and following my own path musically.

ALEXIS: Who are your role models in music?
MARKUS ZOSEL: First of all I should mention the name of Cat Stevens. He framed my teenage years with the way he sang his guitar-based songs and the wonderful melodies he added. The second and important one is Gordon Lightfoot, a Canadian singer- songwriter. He took me to another level in songwriting. Third there is Jose Feliciano a fantastic guitar player with a very unique way of singing songs of his own or cover songs written by other people. I’ve always loved to hear that man playing his Spanish guitar and singing with an enormous power and softness. I love to listen to him right before my own shows. It makes me feel that good. And fourth, most important of all, the music and the songs of John Denver.They led me into vocal directions I never thought I could aspire to. The way he put nature and the world around him into three minutes of song – that’s always been magic to me and provided moments of deepest inspiration.

ALEXIS: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
MARKUS ZOSEL: There are two things I remember. First: some years ago I played a tiny gig in a beautiful coffee house with a good humored crowed listening to me. I told my stories to them and I let them share all the songs I brought along. And somehow everything seemed fine – everyone in the audience seemed satisfied and pleased with the way I did it. Totally satisfied I ended up that night with a handful of encores. After all the people had gone and I returned to my stool I found a note a woman had left. It said "You are a gift. Thank you for being with us tonight….“ It almost made me cry, because what the audience felt toward me was the thing I should have told to them. Wonderful moment… Second: in 2002 me and the guys from the band went to Nashville/Tennessee (USA) and the first night we arrived, got the chance to play at "Tootsies“ on Broadway. We played and the crowd went wild. It left us wondering in a very positive way and with a memory I shall never ever forget.

ALEXIS: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
MARKUS ZOSEL: There will always be someone to copy when first getting into music. It has to be in order to find your own musical style. But this "first thing" you one day will have to leave. You have, as a singer, to find your own voice and your own unique style of singing, performing and making it happen for the people listening to you. You one day have to put all your life and all you feel into three minutes of music – not a very easy thing to do, you know. But one day it’ll work out well and it’s worth all the work required.

ALEXIS: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
MARKUS ZOSEL: I’ve just finished a new EP with the name "Lone Tree“ which will be available soon for everyone on iTunes and all the major online stores on the internet. At the same time I am preparing a new album which as far as I can tell now will be titled "Oracle“. And I am looking forward to a handful of wonderful live-shows and to go on spreading my music with the help of the AKADEMIA – I am really looking for it. And I shall never forget to be thankful for the chance to do so. It’s a blessing and giving that back to every audience I will meet in the future, as I have always tried until now, will be one of my most important goals to achieve.

ALEXIS: That's wonderful! Thank you so much for letting us get to know you a little better. We wish you the best of luck and continued success.

http://www.markus-zosel.com

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