Marques Wyatt

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Marques Wyatt

Rave in LA

During 1991 and 1992 the world watched closely as the rave scene in Los Angeles exploded to epic proportions. For many this was the beginning of house music (and its related offshoots) in LA. The gigantic warehouse parties, and later "Flammable Liquid," were instrumental in the development of the house community in LA. However, to truly understand the evolution of house music in LA and even the west coast, we must go way back. Back to a time when visionaries such as the legendary Larry Levan, and the godfather of house Frankie Knuckles, were laying down the foundation upon which we are still building our house. It was at this time the seed was planted deep inside the heart of a young DJ named Marques Wyatt. This seed, Marques then replanted and nurtured in his hometown of LA. Now after almost a decade, LA and the rest of the west coast are being recognized as a formidable force in the world of house music as a result of the persistence and talent of people like Marques Wyatt.

Frankie Knuckles

In 1986, entranced by the awe inspiring sounds coming from the sound system at the World in New York City, Marques Wyatt walked up to the DJ booth to get a closer look. The DJ invited Marques to have a seat in the booth and ask if he wanted to know the name of any records he was playing. That DJ was Frankie Knuckles. Marques recalls, "Frankie was so cool! It was then that I decided that if I ever became a big DJ, I would never have an attitude, especially if someone like Frankie Knuckles could be so cool. Attitude is a disease of the spirit." It seems fitting that in the most recent issue of Project X magazine Frankie Knuckles, who Marques has looked up to for so long, included Marques as part of his ideal DJ lineup.

BBC and Mac's Garage

The same year he met Frankie Knuckles in New York, Marques started the first house club in Los Angeles called "BBC." However, it wasn't until the following year that house music took a hold on LA. In 1987 after experiencing the legendary Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage in New York, Marques along with his partner at the time, Chris Crunch, started "Mac's Garage," and it was at Mac's Garage that house music started to impact LA. According to Marques, Mac's Garage had a definite New York feel to it. "Everyone that came to Mac's Garage was in some way connected to New York. Either they were a transplant, had experienced house music in New York, or had friends in New York that turned them on to house."

Live Acts

The significance of Mac's Garage doesn't stop with its connection to New York. It was special in that live house acts were showcased every week. They not only brought in live acts, "but live acts that worked. All the acts we brought in either I had seen myself or someone whose judgment I trusted had seen," emphasizes Marques. Among the performers Mac's Garage brought to LA were Jomanda, Liz Torres, and Adeva whose album with Frankie Knuckles was released earlier this year.


Since the days of Mac's Garage, Marques Wyatt has been making a name for himself and the music he plays worldwide. Recently he has been spending two weekends a month traveling to clubs in London, Germany, Italy, Japan, as well as across Canada and the US. In addition to his jet setting, Marques has held quite a few residencies which he has managed to fit into his busy schedule. In LA he is a resident at "Does Your Momma Know" (for over 2 years), "Godfather," "High Society," as well as his jazz club "Brass" which he does along with his partner Orlando. And if that wasn't enough Marques has a few regular gigs right here in San Francisco. Those include the Sound Factory, Mushroom Jazz (now Jazzid Up), and the Bulletproof Boat Party. Marques will also be playing the Sound Factory Bar in New York every 4-6 weeks as well.

With this extremely busy schedule, it is amazing that Marques has any time to do any production work of his own, but he is currently taking some time off to complete some projects that are in the works. About his production work Marques states, "I have some things that I am working on but I really don't want to talk about them. I don't want to be one of those DJs that says he is working on this project with this person and doing that project with that person and then you never see anything." It seems as though production is the natural next step for DJs but Marques doesn't want to produce tracks because it is expected of him. He wants to put out music when he is ready. He adds, "I also don't want to be someone who says 'yeah my first record was OK but wait till you hear my next one.' I want to be able to hand my first record to my friends like Louie (Vega) or Frankie (Knuckles) and be proud of it. I base my career on integrity. Everyone will know I have a record out when it's in the stores."

For those who haven't had the privilege of hearing Marques play live or even one of his mixtapes, he describes his style of music as "soulful and uplifting, whether it is house or downtempo jazz. I like natural sounding instrumentation and orchestration." It is not only his music that is soulful and uplifting though. It is Marques Wyatt, the person, that is soulful and uplifting. His music is just a reflection of that. "DJing is not a self-serving thing. It's about making the people happy," says Marques.

Taken from:


  1. For Those Who Like to Get Down (2002) - Marques Wyatt [1 CD, Amazon US]
    1. For Those Who Like To Get Down Listen Listen 2. Change For Me - Osunlade Presents Erro Listen Listen 3. Green Tea - Slowsupreme Listen Listen 4. Feel Alive - Demetrios Project Listen Listen 5. Precious Lord - Paul Johnson Listen Listen 6. Love Vibe - Iz + Diz 7. Mind Magic - Majestika 8. Loot - Mafikizolo 9. Days Like This - Shaun Escoffery 10. Outta Space - Daniel Paul 11. Oda Oya - Ola Jagun And His Ancestral Rhythms 12. Caf=E9 De Flore - Doctor Rockit 13. Brooklyn (Where I Live - Kerri Chandler featuring E-Man 14. Rubbersong - The Rurals This is the real McCoy: Thumping bass, slick *ss mixes, a great groove for any party. This was my intro to Mr.Wyatt and I am not dissapointed. If you like Ben Watts, Arman Van Helden, Blaze, Timmy Regisford, Lazy Dog Vol I, you will love this CD--but only if you like to get down... Missy Gregory for [...]
  2. Marques Wyatt (2000) - Vol 1., Sound Design [1 CD Amazon US]
    In the world of dance music, "West Coast" often translates to throw-your-glow-sticks-in-the-air epic trance. Thanks to Los Angeles DJ Marques Wyatt, that's beginning to change. Wyatt has spent the better part of the last 14 years spinning, booking, and evangelizing the soulful, house sounds that are normally relegated to clubs in Chicago and New York. Educated in the school of Frankie Knuckles house music, Wyatt favors uplifting, lyrical numbers. Sound Design shows Wyatt expanding his reach to other branches of the house-music tree. If you're coming to this CD expecting all divas all the time, think again--this mix is all over the map. Wyatt starts things off in familiar territory, with the heavily rotated club hit "Ain't No Runnin' Away," with diva Paula Ralph at the helm. After a Latin jazz remix of Little Louie Vega's "Elements of Life," Wyatt throws a curveball with Isolee's Beau Mot Plage. Lo-fi and even a bit noodly, this track is sure to have his house disciples scratching their heads. Recovering nicely from this passage into geekier realms, Wyatt brings everything back to the warm, soft center for which he is known best with a mellow groove from Saudacao Aos Orixas. Hats off to Marques Wyatt, one of house music's bravest crusaders, for this brave yet party-friendly outing. --Courtney Reimer for [...]

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