From his humble beginnings as a suburbanite in Marietta, GA, Marco has always been an enigma amongst the placid environments that accompanied his upcoming. The son of immigrants, (Panamanian and Nigerian respectively) a prevalent theme in his life has often been the inability to fit in amongst peers do to an innate awkwardness and desire to do things his own way.
Inspired from a young age by music, perhaps as an early escape mechanism from monotony, Marco followed his father’s lead and became infatuated with the sounds of Jackie Wilson, Lavern Baker, The Marcels and other Motown acts that stayed in rotation along with the vibrant rhythms of Salsa mix tapes. Marco would find much joy in performing songs he memorized for his friends and family reveling in the attention that came from doing so.
By his early teens however, with his father out of the picture due to divorce, a rebellious streak arose as Sum 41, Linkin Park and acts like 50 Cent and T.I. became the preference and internalized aggression became a rite of passage. Soon Marco was writing his own rap records and recording them in his basement to play for friends at school.
As time went on and college was around the bend, Marco was offered an opportunity to intern at a recording studio in Atlanta from Grammy Award winning producers The Justice League.
With his foot in the door at a reputable recording studio (Hotbeats) with a celebrity client list, the future seemed bright as he began learning his way around equipment and seeking mentorship from the likes of veteran engineers, Finis "KY" White and Seth Firkins. Soon enough he was engineering and mixing his own records, building up a catalog of music full of meaning without compromise.
Enter A.Tone Da Priest, the rap persona of Marco, one that takes on heavy burdens with his unapologetic lyrical content and cynical attitude towards the state of society. Never one to brag or boast, songs about riches and bitches are a rarity. Instead you may hear about escapism, cautionary tales, suicidal thoughts, or even the occasional free form informational piece on a historical figure, event or fact. Despite the random nature, concepts are always important, as his songs and even albums never seem to deviate from an overall message that is attempting to be conveyed.
However feeling rap was more limiting than uplifting in terms of reaching the broadest audience, Marco picked up an electric guitar in late 2011 and never looked back. Seeking to take more control of the music, synthetic production and programming was slowly abandoned for a more live aesthetic.
Marco currently releases records under his given name Marco Restrepo.
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