UA alumnus and rapper Genius trying to “Win” it all
Winston Marshall graduated from the UA in 2012, moved to Los Angeles and now has the opportunity to focus on the many new changes he’s faced since college.
The rapper has come a long way since he walked across the stage at graduation and accepted his diploma. Growing up, Marshall was always influenced by the music around him.
“I remember being nine or 10 years old and, any time a song came on the radio, I would know all the words,” Marshall said. “Eventually, other people’s songs started becoming part of my own poems and rhythms, and they became full projects.”
During high school you wouldn’t find him out at lunch freestyling with the other kids, though. It wasn’t until college that Marshall stepped into the public eye, performing at parties, Greek Life functions and local events around campus.
“A lot of people responded to my music pretty fast,” he said. “When you get that kind of positive feedback from people around you, you get that motivation, so why not keep going with it?”
Throughout college he continuously made music, coming out with his first mixtape in 2008 — Fly In First Class — followed by Heroes & Villains Vol. 1 in 2009, Auto Pilot in 2010 and Mr. Jetpack in 2011.
His stage name, “Winnie Boy Genius,” plays on some childhood memories. His older relatives used to call him Winnie while he was growing up, and the name came back around when he came to college. At 23-years-old, Marshall said he considers himself a big kid who still loves cartoons, movies and candy.
“‘Genius’ comes from when I was a little fourth grader, having vocab that modeled a lot of people’s parents,” Marshall said. “I know I’m intelligent and it’s not like a cocky thing. It’s more so having confidence, and it motivates me a little more. It makes me live up to my potential.”
Now in Los Angeles, Marshall is focusing on a new chapter in his life, working on his portfolio and preparing to meet with record labels in hopes of getting signed.
“I’m preparing for this, like … calm before the storm, putting in a lot of work,” Marshall said. “Being out of college, I’ve toured a little bit, been under other artists and building my resume more. This is my little window of opportunity and it’s all about what I do with it.”
His agent, and fellow UA alumnus, Austin Leshay, is helping Marshall with a new project, called iWin Tour, that will reach high schools and colleges, and is expected to start in the spring of 2013.
“Win” is what people have been calling Marshall as of late, and that moniker may be part of his new image. In addition to his new name, Winnie will be releasing three singles within the next couple of weeks as part of his upcoming tour. “Have It” is available on YouTube and will be available on iTunes next week along with “She Getting.”
In addition to his new singles coming out, Marshall has also been trying to spread his sound overseas with radio interviews and shows.
“It is kind of like an evolution,” he said. “I can already see where I’m heading. My new name and the take on it and where I am in life. It is all an experience and I am loving the ride.”