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badly music: From Dreamer to Do-er

Marshall Hearne dropped out of school to make music. Here's his story.

During the pandemic, most people have been scrambling to get creative, apply to jobs, and get back to unfinished projects. Marshall Hearne, also known as badly music, decided to go the opposite route.

Marshall went to Texas A&M for two years before he dropped out. He did all sorts of things before music–tutoring, school, working as a line cook. Once a TikTok he made about his songs blew up, Marshall quit his job and made the choice to pursue music.

One of the coolest things about Marshall’s early beginnings in music is that he is self-taught and self-trained on his guitar and his equipment. It was during his freshman year at Texas A&M that he realized he had an interest in music, but didn’t have any equipment to move forward other than his guitar. On the spring semester of that same year, he got a job as a line cook working 60 hours a week to save up for the music equipment he needed. Once he perfected his craft and got a sense for his tone and style, Marshall, as a lot of young creatives are doing, turned to TikTok to share his work.

“I set out to make the two songs in a week, and I did a lot of it on LiveStream. So, now not only did I make this commitment to myself, but to all these people who have been watching me do it. So, it was one of those things where you have to do it and you know you’re going to do it,” said Marshall.

Since TikTok began to gain a ton of popularity in 2019, we have seen the influence this social media app can have on the rest of the world. From surviving President Trump’s call to be banned, to launching the career of popular creators like Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, TikTok has centered itself at the top of internet culture. And when it comes to the music industry, TikTok has been influencing the top charts on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. It makes sense that artists gravitate towards the platform to gain exposure. Throughout Marshall’s up and coming music career he has faced some challenges, but the biggest one so far, and one he believes every creative must conquer at the moment, is how to successfully market his music.