Billy Joe Marrero and Nick Young from Epoch Failure is the sound of Fox Sports Network. Their new song “Champion” is your game day theme song. I met up with Billy (who was my colleague from Creative Arts High School’s concert choir) and Nick Young. The two trailblazers knew they had a unique sound and wanted to make their dreams come true. With persistence, sweat and tears their dreams are coming to fruition.
Jocelyn: Epoch Failure’s “Champion” is Your New Game Day Theme Song How did this all happen? I followed you guys since the beginning. I watched Billy graduate and begin making beats on his Mac Book. I told him, “Dude, keep up the creativity! I can see this being the right direction for you.”
Nick: “We applied through Reverb Nation – John A. Sepetys found us out of 5,000 submissions for an opportunity with Reverb Nation. They were looking for tracks to license. He heard 5 seconds of “Where I’m Sposed To Be” and he knew it was a hit. We received 18 e-mails about his blog post. Then I hit up Bill and we didn’t know who he was so I did some research. Then I found out they were legit and they flew us out to Detroit. They told us their goals and we agreed. We have not missed a mark or deviated from the plan.”
Jocelyn: You guys are a mix of the North Jersey and South Jersey – Hip-hop and pop. Tell us what inspired your sound?
Nick & Billy: “We both came from very low beginnings and very hard working parents. Like the theme of “Champion” you need to go after what you want and once you got it find something to further it.”
When we got together our peers did not accept us, the hip-hop community in Trenton and Camden thought our sound wasn’t good. It was not hard enough. We are doing what hasn’t been done before. We are dudes (meaning we have a little suburban flair). We don’t care. We are going to do what we want and what we feel. Defy convention, stay out of the norm. Spread your wings and create. Accept yourself whatever you are.
Jocelyn: What inspired Champion? It’s deep. I feel the passion and the motivation lyrically and in the sound.
Nick & Billy: John A. Sepetys from our North Star team, David Brisbois and folks give us different ideas for an assortment of placements etc. This particular one was a sports placement. We were inspired by our performance at Mill Hill Basement in Trenton. The energy and our tireless efforts to make it inspired Epoch Failure to write Champion. I (Billy) created the beats and the sound and came up with the notion, “No matter what you got to fight with what you got” and the lyrics continued to pour from Nick Young’s sick hip-hop skills.
Jocelyn: All beats are by Billy Joe and he holds 100% creative rights, kudos to you! It’s rare to see that. Normally you see multiple collaborations with producers etc. It’s awesome to see Nick’s lyrical genius at play. I used to sing with you (Billy) classically. I remember working on arias with you. It’s insane that was already 10 years ago! What did it take for you to transition from opera / classical to pop?
Billy: As a classical singer I was a baritone. I did not have money to take vocal lessons after CAHS (Now Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy). I taught myself to sing pop. Thank you, Justin Timberlake! I transitioned using the “Future Sex Love Songs” album. His range really helped me develop mine.
Jocelyn: I saw your Fox Sports Detroit placement and thought it was awesome. What’s next?
Nick and Billy: “Where I’m Sposed To Be” and “A New Day” are the two songs placed in Bad Girls Club. In the movie “Barely Lethal”, our song “Where I’m Sposed To Be” has been placed.
Jocelyn: What is it like to transition from a local to a national platform?
Nick: This transition is what we have been waiting for. When Bill and I started working together we were really turnt up celebrating that we just finished recording “Where I’m Supposed To Be” and standing in the kitchen. I turned to Billy and said “I like what we got. It sounds different from anything else we’ve done, and we are going to ride this until the wheels fall off.” And we hugged each other and rejoiced.
Billy: It’s scary and exciting all our lives we wanted to be those guys that made it and became the example of dreams come true, and in some ways we are. Although we feel the weight of that idea is kind of like Peter Parker/ Spider-Man with great power comes great responsibility, we want to represent that beacon of hope properly and inventively. But we also feel if anybody has worked for a shot at the big stage it’s us, when doors closed we kicked ‘em in, when people straight said “You guys suck” we laughed and drank a brew. So transition away world!!!!! Lol
Upcoming Epoch Failure Performances:
8th Toshi’s Living Room –Flat Iron NYC 7:00-11:00pm
16th Championship Bar and Grill Trenton 6:00 pm