The Rise of Urban Pop Duo Epoch Failure

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Epoch Failure is a NJ urban pop duo, resulting from the collaborative efforts of singer/producer Billy Joe Marrero and rapper Nick Young. Their debut EP was mixed and co-produced by Grammy-nominated producer Billy Hume (Lil’ Jon, Ying Yang Twins, Pitbull).

Epoch Failure’s first single “Champion” has become a breakout sync track in the sports world. Earlier this year, it was played during the post-game celebration of Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco. It’s also been featured by The NFL Network, ESPN, Fox Sports, NASCAR, WWE, NBC Sports, NY Knicks, NY Giants, Denver Broncos, the Australian Football League, and more. Most recently, FOX Network used the song in the second episode of their critically acclaimed, new prime time series, PITCH.

The group’s follow-up single was a reinvention of Bon Jovi’s legendary anthem, “Livin’ on a Prayer”. It reached the Top 10 on Spotify’s Viral 50 USA chart, which highlights the most shared and trending tracks in the country.  The song was also featured by ESPN during their NFL Sunday Countdown programming throughout the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl lead-up coverage. Upon discovering the Epoch Failure version, Bon Jovi shared the song across all their major online platforms. In addition, Jon Bon Jovi and cowriter Desmond Child have offered the following joint statement of praise:

“The powerful new version of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ by Epoch Failure retells the intimate story of Tommy and Gina, set in an urgent urban landscape. It captures the song’s timeless message, lifting the banner of hope and faith for a whole new generation of working class heroes. Epoch Failure is a winner!”

– Jon Bon Jovi & Desmond Child

Epoch Failure’s latest single, “Let the Fire Glow”, is a powerful, anthemic pop song with lots of urban swagger.  In much the same spirit as Epoch Failure’s previous two singles, this new track is also built on a foundation of heart and grit that’s derived from the firsthand struggles these two Jersey natives have endured and overcome. The song is a celebration of all those daredevils and dreamers who refuse to surrender, no matter the magnitude of hardship or adversity. Instead, against the odds and against the grain, they rise and sing and fight–– leaving a blazing trail of inspiration in their wake.

In many ways, EPOCH FAILURE’s first three singles create a perfect sonic portrait for these work hard, play hard guys who are all about fully embracing every new moment and challenge that life has to offer.

We caught up with Nick Young to learn more about the rise of Epoch Failure.

Describe your musical style.

Our style is Urban Pop with a little bit of the Punk attitude mixed in. I say Punk because we make no excuses or apologies for who we are. We break (or simply ignore) a lot of the typical genre boundaries. As a result, we don’t necessarily sound like anything on the radio now. And we’re fine with that. We introduce a lot of different elements into our music. There’s melody and big hooks, but there’s also some edge, and depth, and social consciousness. Pop, urban, rock… we mix it all together, sugarcoat it, and then wrap it in barbwire for good measure. The end result is Epoch Failure.  

How did the band come together?

Billy’s cousin introduced us years prior to when we actually decided to work together. We were casual friends, but it was a long courting process (on both sides) before we started traveling down the Epoch road. As they say, “Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.”  Three years into our friendship, Billy showed up on my doorstep one night. He was kind of like a lost, wet puppy without a place to go. Haha. I told him I had an extra bedroom, and he could pay his rent by writing us some songs, and making us some great tracks. That place became our “band house” for just over a year, and in that time we probably made enough material for ten albums. So we’ve got a lot of bangers in the holding tank! 

Where did the band name originate?

Since Billy and I had both done our solo thing for many years (and never made much headway in the music industry), we both decided that this time, failure was not an option. With this emboldened attitude, along with the new music we were creating together, we were entering a new realm… a new age… a new epoch. We decided this would be our last Epoch of Failure. Billy didn’t like the E-Pok pronunciation, and he suggested we just say it like “Epic.”  I agreed, and the rest is history. So far it’s been a wild and incredible ride.  What we’ve managed to accomplish has been far from failure and, in our minds, nothing short of epic! 

Who does your music typically attract and what is your hope for expanding your audience?

That’s a tough question. I think we attract people who like music that motivates and inspires, and people who appreciate lyrics with depth (but that aren’t preachy). At the core, we’re just regular dudes making music for regular people. By “regular” I mean people who have as many good days as bad days, people who don’t fit in or necessarily fit the mold, people who want to experience life in their own personal ways, as they see it fit to be lived. Just good, real, everyday people. No egos and no bullshit.

What are your immediate goals as a band?

We’d like to continue touring the east coast and building our regional fan base. Then in 2017, we’d love to break onto the national circuit and tour the country. Maybe get a nice opening slot with a major artist. I really want to bring our music to the masses on a personal level that the internet and social media can’t replicate.  There’s simply no substitute for being on-stage and connecting directly with audiences that way.  Ultimately, long term, I want to be a band that people don’t have to “look back on” because we’re still out there doing it… writing, recording, touring and making great music. Ideally, it’d be great to be like the Rolling Stones in their 70s. But before any of that, we just have to keep focusing on the right here, and the right now.

If you are in the New York area, we highly recommend you check out Epoch Failure on November 6 during the NYC Marathon (1st Ave between 95th & 96th Street)! And be sure to follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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MiLLENNiAL is a lifestyle magazine profiling those who are shaping the world we experience. From business innovation and career strategy to sustainable health and cultural disruptors, MiLLENNiAL shines the light on the young change makers of the world.

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