NIKO MARKS BIO
At the early age of 7, Niko Marks was inspired by a family of talented vocalist and musicians including his mother, a pianist who played at the church they attended. Niko’s first instrument of choice was drums. At the time, his family was unable to afford a drum set so he would use plastic toy bowling pins as drum sticks to beat on boxes and stairs, imitating the rhythms from songs on the radio. At the age of 13, Niko got his first drum set, given to him by his oldest brother, who played drums at local Detroit churches.
Niko then became inspired by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Paul McCartney, Elton John, George Clinton, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Miles Davis, Chaka Khan and others which led him into playing instruments such as harmonica, piano, and percussions. Still early in teenage years, Niko formed a band called Detour which consisted of some his classmates. Performing cover songs, Detour played private parties, local store fronts and block club gigs.
Having earned a scholarship for college, Niko took a brief pause from the music scene, which allowed him to expound on his artistic abilities. Upon returning from college, he hooked up with a drummer friend and formed a cover band which began touring the U.S., playing hotels, bars and clubs.
The next phase in his musical career led him to team up with Michael Banks of Submerge, formulating a production team called Members of the House. Moving through underground tunnels they dropped plates such as, "Summer Nites" (originally titled "Summer Daze, Summer Nites") written by Niko and featuring him on lead vocals and piano, “Share This House” and "Somethin' About You" written by Members of the House, featuring Yolanda Reynolds on vocals. After Members of the House disbanded, Niko continued to collaborate with Michael Banks under the group names, Unit 2 and 365 Black. This mission stemmed forth the high-spirited groove, "Sunshine", released on Happy Records and "Keep Your Head Up" written by Niko and Raphael Merriweathers - featuring Niko on lead vocals and keyboards and was released on 430 West Records.
Niko later began working as a producer, writer and engineer on projects with Michael J. Powell, of Vanguard Productions, who produced for artists such as Anita Baker, Rachelle Ferrell, The Winans and Randy Crawford.
This experience helped Niko to develop his writing and production skills.
Taking a leap forward in time, Niko was chosen by members of the Elohim to spearhead an experiment aimed at tearing down the stronghold of the categorization of music. The second component needed to complete this mission would be the skills of long time cohort, Eddie Fowlkes. The outcome: "Niko Marks and the City Boy Players” featuring Eddie Fowlkes, which was a collage of artistic expression that housed an array of Detroit vocalist and musicians. Their other collaborative works included: "The Detroit Soul Project", the "Pre-Amp Brothers” and “Angel In My Pocket”.
Niko has also been involved with releasing dance records in the United Kingdom which includes “Sonny Daye” and “Ufo’s” with the group, Ujuzi on Pan Records, “Truly Something” and “Chune” with Carl Craig and Planet E, “Major Arterie” and “House People Know” with DJ Bone of Subject Detroit, "Carnal", a 12-inch which contains the funky track "Zombia" and the french-styled broken beat track "Moon Cycles” - released on U2XProductions and licensed to New Religion/EMI just to name a few.
As a self-sufficient artist, Niko continues to write, produce and release projects on U2XProductions to which he has several hot releases. When performing live, he is usually accompanied by a duo which consists of a bass player and drummer. Together they perform one of the most eclectic and diverse electronic music dance sets!