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Local Music Mondays is a weekly segment produced by WUKY's DeBraun Thomas. Check here for archived episodes, extended interviews, and extras.

Local Music Monday: Marcus Wilkerson

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This week DeBraun profiles singer-songwriter Marcus Wilkerson.

Marcus Wilkerson is a native of Louisville who moved to Lexington in 1997 to pursue a degree in music at the University of Kentucky. He found his love for music at a young age, growing up hearing is parents and grandmother sing in church. Wilkerson says his desire to become a musician came from his surroundings.

“It was a catholic church, small black Catholic Church man, but we got down, and I grew up looking at really really interesting imagery on the ceiling and on the walls, these colorful African drummers with these different hues and pastel colors bouncing off the of one another, it stimulated my brain like no other, but singing was just something that I had to do and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else honestly.”

In addition to having a passion playing guitar, percussion and singing, he also has a different passion in giving back. Through the Kentucky Arts Council, Wilkerson is a music instructor and visits many different schools across the state. Out of all the classes he teaches, Wilkerson says his most popular classes are his drum classes where he teaches more than just how to play the instrument.

“I’ve been really really blessed to have the interest of so many schools and teachers of my programs and drum programs as well, natural rhythm talks primarily about West African music and Afro Latin music and I’m really super passionate about it and the kids really get into it cause they’re able to experience that instant gratification of the drums, you know, that membrane right on top, that skin, skin on skin is like [pop], they feel it and there’s not confuse in it, you can see it in their face.”

When he’s not teaching, he’s writing songs. In 2013 Wilkerson decided to being working on a solo album. As an artist, he understands the need to adapt and this also applies to recording. The album itself is something that Wilkerson says has changed along with him.

“I realize that it was a little too big for me and that I had more of an affinity for things that are stripped down, now I’ve got it down, I’ve learned enough about recording to know what I have to, how to be prepared really, and just what I need in order to get my ideas across in order to get my ideas across and successfully make an album and I truly feel like I’m on, I’ve got the right idea now.”

Marcus Wilkerson performs in the band Tribe Called Lex in addition to performing his solo material. More information about Wilkerson can be found here.

DeBraun Thomas fell in love with radio at a young age but only had interest in working in radio after learning Funk musician Sly Stone got his start in radio. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Thomas moved to Lexington in 2009 to attend the University of Kentucky and pursue a career in radio. Thomas joined WRFL in 2009 and through the UK school of Journalism, Thomas had 2 features air on WUKY. In October of 2012, Thomas began interning at WUKY and produced the Unghosting of Medgar Evers. In August of 2013 Thomas became a staff member at WUKY and since that time, Thomas regularly produces the weekly segment Local Music Mondays which highlights local musicians in Lexington. Thomas hosts the Crunkadelic Funk Show which airs Saturday nights at 9pm and also produced a documentary on the 50th anniversary of the March on Frankfort. In addition to producing and hosting a radio show, Thomas also explores his other passion as a musician in Lexington.
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