YouTube is awash with ads promising to teach you how to make a living from your musical passion, but you get the impression that nobody could shape the force of nature that is Marc Rebillet, aka Loop Daddy.
Armed with his voice, a MIDI keyboard and tambourine, his trusty Boss RC-505 loop station and an uncensored, freewheeling imagination, the last three years have seen him become an online phenomenon. Making up songs and skits about his love of women’s posteriors, Martha Stewart’s recipe for spinach or how mosquitoes are real life vampires, he recently moved to New York and signed to a booking agency, hitting the road to play his first European shows.
“I started uploading videos in a semi-serious way two or three years ago,” says Rebillet, who had recently been let go from a customer support job, and had no plans to pursue music professionally.
Growing up in Dallas, with a stint in New Jersey, he’s played piano since age four, and trained classically until he was 15.
“From there, I taught myself improvisational blues and ‘jazz,’” he says. “I put jazz in quotes, because I still have no idea what I’m doing in that regard,” he says, adding that he was also in the choir at Manhattan School Of Music.
These skills are fed by a love of funk and soul, which eventually led him to hip-hop (he cites Nina Simone, Madlib and James Blake as sources of inspiration). Having a vocal timbre similar to A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip adds an air of gravitas, no matter how absurd the subject. “I’ve seen it said on the Internet, but never in person,” Rebillet says. “I’m honored to be compared to The Abstract in any way.”
Live streaming from hotel rooms and improvising on topics, his legion of fans is global. Some, however, have not found everything so funny, like ‘Stop That Rape’, a funk take on a highly emotive topic. Iterating that its message is serious, he counters: “People think about these songs so much more than I do. I think of something and I riff on it, plain and simple.”
When his father died, he sang about that, and Gilbert Rebillet, a French immigrant from Paris who left home at 15 and created his own fashion business with no formal education, was clearly a huge supporter. Unfortunately, he developed Alzheimer’s before Rebillet’s current career began to take off. “What I can do is push forward and continue working hard, hoping that he would be proud,” Rebillet says.
There’s still a sense of unreality to what is happening to him, he says, an, “Anxiety that this is all for naught and the people who watch me will grow tired of my shtick, and I’ll fail miserably. It goes away when I’m performing, so I guess I’ll keep doing that.”
If this is tied to a transitory feeling from live streaming, there are plans to make it all more concrete. Rebillet spent 10 years, he tells us, unsuccessfully making music under the name Leae.
“Once I juice this orange for all it’s worth, I’d love to get my hands dirty again in a DAW and produce a proper record.” There are certainly plenty out there wanting this now.