A Bit About Me
I’m a versatile author, journalist, copywriter and tastemaker with over 15 years experience in print and online. My love for music and innate empathy make me an inquisitive storyteller and adept investigator of global music scenes. Driven by a strong desire to cultivate a legacy of positivity, I have become an advocate of self-development, a keen mentor and champion of mental health awareness. I have three books under my belt with more in development
Author & Publisher
I have produced several art, music and culture titles, including:
- A graffiti magazine called ‘Keep The Faith’ (2009 and 2011).
- My first book ‘Around The World In 80 Raves’ (2013).
- Online music, art + culture periodical Don’t Lose The Magic (2016).
- ‘Transform: The Festival Journal’ (2017).
- ‘Around The World In 80 Record Stores’ (2018).
Since 2015 I’ve committed a large amount of my spare time and energy to self-work including CBT and NHS psychotherapy, NLP, a myriad of workshops, classes, dietary modifications and lifestyle changes, all the way up to several 10-day silent meditation retreats (Vipassana) and voluntary work. As a result I have achieved a more balanced state of mind. My work has led to increased productivity, focus, confidence, resilience and contentment.
What I Do
I have broad, high-level editorial skills from content optimisation, SEO and keyword best practice, news reporting and breaking news to feature writing, digital production, proofreading, editing and refining copy, advertorials, event guides, listicles and more. I have conducted hundreds of in-depth Q&As and features, global travel reports and reviews. My writing is accessible, evocative, informative and covers a range of topics including music, culture, mental health, global and local trends, musical history, audio technology, the environment and wellness.
Mentoring & Management
My mission is to cultivate a legacy of positivity through meaningful words and actions. As a result I have volunteered my time to mentoring young people. This has included working with teenage students from the arts college ELAM, and managing two young musicians (Aesthetic Kid and Kareful). I’ve enjoyed this immensely, gaining experience in planning and development, creative strategy and PR campaigns while inspiring growth and passing on my knowledge. I have also hosted journalism workshops for young people.
My editorial expertise and organisational skills have been utilised in several Editor roles since 2007, when I was Night Showbiz Editor at the Sun Online. They include: European Editor at Fest300 and Editor for ‘Transform: The Festival Journal’ among others. In each position I guided the daily narrative, conceived ideas and campaigns, commissioned writers, refined copy, managed teams and administrative tasks, analysed data, edited homepages, organised and scheduled content and communicated with stakeholders up and down the chain of command.
Public Speaking & Broadcast
Highly-regarded as a key voice within my industry I have spoken at industry events all over the world. I’ve appeared as a moderator, panelist, interviewer and interviewee for a wide range of topics, from ‘The Importance Of Music Criticism’, ‘The Music Industry’s Responsibility To Guide Young People’, to ‘Hedonism Vs. Health’. I have also appeared on television and radio in addition to hosting live online broadcasts, including: BBC Radio, Deutschland Radio, Radio 2 (Italy) and London Live.
I’ve worked with a range of clients in music, fashion, technology, travel and lifestyle to develop and enliven their TOV. Specialising in artist biographies and press releases, I’ve also worked across all levels of copy from headlines and captions, branded content and product descriptions to newsletters, blog posts, case studies, subtitles, slogans, taglines and much more. My attentive and intuitive nature has led to a catalogue of successful endeavours, managing each client’s project from inception to delivery.
Sharing music is one of the greatest gifts one can give, and I’m very fortunate to be able to do just that. I have experience at globally-recognised DSPs Deezer and Tidal. At Deezer I was in charge of the UK & Ireland Editorship, where I delivered campaigns, conceived and maintained playlists and monitored backend data to achieve optimum user satisfaction across multiple playlists for a key territory. This included their flagship Friday list ‘Brand New UK’. Key partners included Manchester United, Doritos and FitBit.
Painting & Decorating
I started painting in 1999 and consider myself an authority on graffiti subculture. I am renowned for my bold, colourful style, translating my signature characters and colours to canvas for display in the home environment since 2007 - and exhibiting at the Rarekind Gallery (Shoreditch, 2009), Shoreditch House (Neublood event, 2013) and The Nun’s Head (Nunhead, 2015). This crosses over into my editorial work, with many of the articles and projects I have worked on benefitting from my keen eye for design.
DJ & Radio Host
My music and playlist curation experience is complemented by my love of DJing and radio hosting with club gigs and festivals including Secret Garden Party, Colors Of Love (Thailand) and Meadows In The Mountains (Bulgaria), plus Space (Ibiza), Corsica Studios & XOYO (London), Zur Wilden Renate (Berlin), Studio 76 (Madrid) and many more. Corporate bookings include H&M (in-store), UN1T Gym (where I soundtrack their intensive ‘Trooper’ sessions), White Men Can't Jerk, and several weddings. I also organise a monthly ‘electronic music social club’ called Give It Up.
Clients & Testimonials
Marcus Barnes is a professional and talented journalist as well as a thoughtful and intelligent writer.Ursula Kenny, Deputy Editor (Features) - The Observer
Marcus is one of the most passionate journalists in his field. The projects we’ve worked on together have been nothing short of excellent and he delivers fantastic features every time.Sarah Hall, Senior Publicist - Sony/RCA
Marcus is amazing with young people; he has dedicated so much valued time and support to our trainees both as a mentor and also as a speaker and guide. He has offered insight into his great wisdom with music management, journalism and the professional world more generally. His commitment to the development of young people and ELAM's creative vision is impressive, attending many gigs and ELAM events. As a mentor he is highly supportive, proactive and goes above and beyond to support his mentees at all timesCamilla Jones (Assistant Principal, ELAM)
Marcus's reviews as Mixmag's Techno Editor are a great illustration of the authority, clarity and knowledge that he brings to his writing. These qualities are also apparent in his feature work for the magazine; most recently he pitched, organised and produced a fantastic feature on clubbing in Beirut. Because it goes beyond just quality writing and great ideas; every editor wants writers who are responsible, organised and motivated, who won't start a project without finishing it, and who are willing to take responsibility for seeing things through. Marcus is one of them. I enjoy working with him and look forward to doing so more in the future.Duncan Dick, Editor - Mixmag
I do a lot of interviews. When I say a lot I mean a lot, and there are definitely some journalists that I will always drop everything to support. Marcus Barnes is one of these guys. He’s got an infectious passion for dance music but rather than being some nerdy geek who lives atop an iron tower surrounded only by his Ostgut Ton back catalogue, he lives in the trenches getting involved in every aspect of the scene and for this he gets my full respect and admirationSeth Troxler
Marcus has built up a much-respected, brilliantly creative and increasingly popular music blog for The Independent. Not only does he actually know what he’s talking about, but his infallible reliability, diligence and sense of taking initiative makes him a pleasure to work with – and it’s a greater pleasure to see such positive responses to his work. His passion for what he does really says it all.Laura Davis (Blogs Editor, Independent)
I only see Marcus out when I’m raving! What does that tell you? It tells me his two feet are firmly planted on the ‘club sludge’-drenched floor… living it, not dreaming it… oh and he’s a top scribe, of course!Jamie Russell (Hypercolour)
Marcus is one of the best writers we deal with. Not only do we get superb work but there’s an enthusiasm, conscientiousness and astute critical eye that we rarely see elsewhere – highly recommended.Dean Muhsin (Dispersion PR)
I booked Marcus for freelance digital producer shifts at Time Out way before I found out we had a mutual love of jungle and drum and bass (bonus points for that). He’s always been a pleasure to deal with – he brings positive vibes and digital know-how to any project.Mark O'Donnell, UK Digital Content Editor - Time Out