As Drummers Alliance approaches its 25th anniversary next year, the drummer who won its very first Beat competition in Sheffield is making a name for himself in California.
Marcos Lopez-Iglesias is a singer-songwriter who has just recorded his second album, Song of Songs, which is due for release in 2012.
As his name suggests, Marcos was born in Spain and as a child soon demonstrated a flair for music and was proficient on the guitar by the time he was 11.
Soon after he moved with his family to Sheffield (his mother, Eve, is English) and went to High Storrs School. In his teens he decided to try his hand at the drums and took to it with such alacrity he ended up entering and winning the Northern heat of Toni Cannelli’s Drummers Alliance in its first year and came second in the UK final.
The Sheffield drumming guru remembers him well. “All power to the guy,” he says, “I taught him for many years and it’s always great to see them go on and succeed.”
Marcos’s talent was noted by ex-Kajagoogoo frontman Limahl who invited him to drum for him in Dortmund and Bremen in Germany where he had been voted Singer of the Year. While in Germany Duran Duran were appearing in Cologne and when their drummer, Roger Taylor, had to return urgently to the UK because of a family bereavement, they asked Limahl if he could arrange for Marcos to come and drum for them in a special performance.
Back in Sheffield Marcos played for Frank White and was also drummer for popular local 10-piece Eighties band Yah-Boo who regularly appeared at the Limit and the Leadmill and supported The Belle Stars at the Lyceum (in its brief spell as a rock venue prior to refurbishment).
After Yah-Boo folded Marcos moved to Modena in Italy to work for Innervision Studios as a session drummer and assistant producer. He wrote songs for a band called The Gift and also composed an anthem for Juventus football club.
When evangelist Billy Graham was looking for musicians to represent his Mission Europe, The Gift were chosen and in addition to his music Marcos gave testimony of his Christian faith (having converted when Billy Graham visited Bramall Lane). This video was shown worldwide and Marcos was invited to join The Continental Singers in Ventura, California.
Once in the USA, Marcos took up a new challenge. Always an avid lyric writer, he took singing lessons to broaden his musical talent and sang and played guitar regularly at his local church, while still in demand as a drummer.
With the Evangelical revival in America he composed Revival Rain which became the title track of his debut album for which he had the support of well-known gospel artists such as Andrew Crouch.
Now ensconced in Northridge, a suburb of Los Angeles County about 20 miles from Hollywood, he is managed by Susan Frias of Frias Entertainment International and has secured a list of sponsors which he is keen get a name check for – guitar company Babicz, Martin Guitars, Blue Microphones, Apogee Electronics, Shubb Capos, Paiste Cymbals and LR Bag.
They have an independent record label called Revival Rain Records and are busy bidding to get TV and film placements for their music.
Plans for 2012 include releasing the video for the title track, Revival Rain, which was shot at various California locations and features the Andrae Crouch Choir. It was produced by Terry Davis from MTV and Higher Ground Productions.
A second solo album, Song of Songs, a collection of original love songs, is due for release in 2012 and he is also planning to release a song called, For America, that will feature celebrity artists to help raise money for charity.
“I have to say I am enjoying life in California; the sun shines almost all the time,” he says. “One of my favourite places is Big Sur which offers stunning views and inspired a song from my album called Your Love Created it All. I feel like I am living the California dream.”
lRevival Rain is available at iTunes and other digital stores. See www.musicbymarcos.com