Former Record Company Head and Visual Artist Marc Marot started his professional career after leaving art college in 1978. At 19 years old he joined members of prog-rock band Van der Graaf Generator in an offshoot collective called The Pool of Sound, who for three years, performed on the live music circuit but were unsuccessful in securing a record deal. He supplemented the living he made from music by working as a landscape gardener and, as a result, had to give up touring. He moved to London where he got a job as a counter assistant at the Hounslow branch of Our Price Records.
Whilst he was working five days a week there, he also worked voluntarily at independent music publisher Eaton Music on his day off. In 1982 Terry Oates - the owner of Eaton Music - gave Marot his first major break by appointing him as Professional Manager at 22 years old. In 1984, Marot was headhunted by Nick Stewart, the head of A&R at Island Records, who was responsible for signing U2. Marot's new position was general manager of Blue Mountain Music. In an interview with The Independent Marot displayed his enthusiasm at this big break "I immediately said: `Yes. It was Island and I desperately wanted to work for Island' says Marot who, with his brother, had been a collector of the label's records for years.
The first of Marot's signings was Colourbox, an English electronic musical group signed to the 4AD label. In 1987 Colourbox joined forces with A.R. Kane and recorded Pump Up the Volume under the name M/A/R/R/S. The song was noted for being one of the first to be constructed almost entirely from samples from other records. Pump Up the Volume was Marot's first international number 1 single, charting in the top position in 5 countries and in the top ten in a further 6. It went on to sell well over 1 million singles worldwide.
Marc went on to manage Island Music Publishing UK and fledgling film and TV production company Island Visual Arts, during which time his publishing signings included Massive Attack, De La Soul, and Marcella Detroit of Shakespears Sister amongst many others.
About eight months after Polygram's 1989 acquisition of the Island Records Group Marot was appointed MD of Island Records UK. The label went through a period of change with Marot supervising the eradication of much of the former roster and the subsequent rebuild. Artists signed and/or developed by Marot's team while at Island Records included Pulp, PJ Harvey, Stereo MCs, P. M. Dawn, The Cranberries (signed to the US label but developed in the UK), The Orb, Talvin Singh, Tricky, Nine Inch Nails, and Chaka Demus & Pliers. The Mercury Music Prize, started in 1992, was dominated by Island acts in the 1990s. The company scored 12 nominations and two wins in the first eight years of the awards, and PJ Harvey has subsequent won the prize twice more since.
During this period Marot took responsibility for U2's A & R and marketing, starting with the release of Achtung Baby to just prior to the release of All That You Can't Leave Behind. In 1998 following an approach from Jubilee 2000's Jamie Drummond, Marot approached Bono to enlist his support in the campaign to eradicate third world debt. In Bono's Jubilee 2000 diary he says 'Marc Marot called me to talk about Jubilee 2000 who are organising a street protest to surround the G7 summit in Birmingham. Sounds fun, the right kind of mischief. I can sense this is the beginning of a lot of phone calls and a kind of unhipness I thought I'd shaken'. On November 12, 1999 Bono credited Marot with "ruining his life" whilst receiving the MTV Free Your Mind Award at Dublin's Point Depot. Island's last signing under Marot's tenure was Elbow before he left Island records in 2000.
Throughout his career Marot had an active interest in working with the film industry and has credits as a music supervisor on 13 films, most notably Notting Hill and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. His most recent success was on the documentary, TT3D: Closer to the Edge. Subsequently Marot held a number of high profile positions until focussing on a new career in art in 2018.
Having seen the potential of Digital Art - merging art with technology - Marc's creative genius has fascinated his ever increasing fan base with new and challenging ideas and Portfolio Fine Art is delighted to be working with him at this particularly exciting time in his life.