Photo by Timothy Saccenti
A "cross between Drake and Ella Fitzgerald" is how Jeremy Lloyd, the producer and one half of Marian Hill, describes their sound. The angelic vocals of Samantha Gongol paired with hip-hop and electronic beats are what make Marian Hill’s sound completely addicting.
The duo met years ago during a middle school musical production. And somewhere along the road, they discovered a sound. With that sound, they created the song “Whisky,” which helped to launch their career. With the help of the Internet, Jeremy and Samantha put their song out to see if there was a demand for it—and there was.
Jeremy says, “There’s certainly a lot of work to it. We were able to do all of it because we know that we have a sound.”
Self-identified as part of the electronic R&B genre, Marian Hill has been playing at festivals all summer, and are now headlining their five-week tour on smaller stages. “The big festival stages are amazing, but I feel like sometimes they’re too big. I really like the intimacy of a smaller stage, packed with people that love you. Festivals can be amazing; they’re just very different,” says Samantha. “There were a lot of people there. I love festivals because you get to bring new fans. It’s exciting to craft a set for people to come over,” adds Jeremy.
Although their North American tour is coming to end, they have a few shows in Europe to look forward to. And when asked about which city is their favorite, Jeremy laughs as he exclaims that he can’t answer that question. “It’s too hard.”
But when asking the Philadelphia-natives (Jeremy also considers New York home) about home shows, both of them say they’re special. “I think there is something that is really special a home show—warm environment,” says Jeremy. Samantha says that home shows are amazing because they get to see family and friends who have supported them from the beginning. She also adds, “But in terms of energy and support, everyone has been wonderful.”
Beyond the love they’ve received from just about everyone who sees them live, Samantha talks about the San Francisco crowd. Every time Marian Hill has performed in San Francisco, it’s been an incredible experience for them. She says it’s like coming home.
Marian Hill is selling out shows wherever they go. They sold out their show at 7th St. Entry before and now they’re back at First Avenue exactly a year later. Tickets $20, first-avenue.com