Bold & Beautiful – SLUG LGBTQ+: Marrlo Suzzanne
Performance & Theatre
Marrlo Suzzanne is a wonderfully creative artist, bearded queen and an incredible musician. Rock n’ roll through and through, Marrlo’s the lead singer of Marrlo Suzzanne & The Galaxy Band, and he exuberates personality and individuality within Salt Lake City’s music and drag scene. Be sure to check out his upcoming performance June 4 at the Utah Pride Center’s 2021 Pride Week Celebration (after getting your vaccine, duh, and bring your mask)!
SLUG: Please tell me a little history about yourself.
Marrlo: I started in music with piano when I was eight years old. I played piano all through high school along with [participating in] marching band, choir and musical theatre. I studied musical theatre at the University of Utah and then moved into the drag scene here in SLC in [the] summer of 2018. I decided to combine music, drag and Marrlo Suzzanne & The Galaxy Band.
SLUG: When and why did you first become interested in drag?
Marrlo: I first became interested in drag when I delved into the world of Drag Race in the summer of 2014. I then tried a Halloween costume in drag Halloween of 2016, and the real drag life started in 2018 with my first drag performance.
SLUG: What does drag mean to you?
Marrlo: Drag means expressing myself theatrically without limits or restrictions. This is such a free art form! Drag means makeup, hair, outfits, heels, hips, larger-than-life EVERYTHING—also, storytelling and dreaming onstage!
SLUG: Your beard is such a characteristic part of your look! What would you say it imparts to Marrlo Suzzanne onstage?
Marrlo: What I love about my beard is that it reminds me that I am a man. I was teased so much for being a femme boy growing up, and it used to really bother me when people called me a girl, but the drag world has made me embrace my femininity and to be proud of being called a woman. Interestingly enough, it has also caused me to embrace my masculinity. I feel more comfortable in my skin in my everyday life because of the things I’ve learned about myself while in drag. I think the beard is an excellent way for me to bring the masculine to my feminine character.
SLUG: Who or what inspires your music?
Marrlo: This has changed over the years, but right now, I am most inspired by the ’70s rock that was exhibited in our show! We are a cover band (for now), and working on this music has taught me so much about what it means to be a rocker. Feeling the music and dancing is natural, but being a rocker takes time and practice!! I’m honestly so inspired by the music of Don McLean. He is the artist that wrote the namesake of our show, “American Pie.”
SLUG: Tell us about your last performance, American Pie: A 70’s Drag Rock Show. What kind of show did you put on?
Marrlo: I put on a cover show of some of the most popular ’70s rock songs. The show featured music from artists such as Styx, Hall & Oates, Heart, Pat Benatar, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Those are to just name a few … We love to make the show as visually pleasing as it is audibly pleasing.
SLUG: Any upcoming shows with MS&TGB we get to look forward to, or any solo Marrlo shows?
Marrlo: Yes! I am opening with The Galaxy Band for a local Pride event on June 4, Loud + Queer Pride Spectacular, with headliner Todrick Hall. For this event, we are reviving a short version of our ’70s rock show! It is going to be such a wild and fun event! I am also opening for JRC Events’ drag show, Joey Jay at Urban Lounge on June 5, and on Sunday, the 6th, I’ll be working an event with Sister Molly Mormon.
SLUG: What does the SLC LGBTQ+ community and Pride Month mean to you?
Marlo: SLC has such a loving and beautiful LGBTQIA+ community. I’m so blessed to be a part of it. I love how everywhere I go in the queer spaces in SLC, I feel loved and accepted. It seems to me that people experience joy and peace when they are here. I think we truly have something special. We are tight-knit, and we really do support each other. Pride Month means, to me, a time of expression of community.
SLUG: What encourages you to do the work that you do for our local queer community?
Marrlo: The biggest encouragement I get to do this work is the feedback I get after sharing my art/music with the community. When someone approaches me and tells me that I have given them the best night in over two years, I realize that’s my purpose. My purpose is to give people joy and passion. I inspire connection and freedom! I love to see how my actions affect the way other people engage with the world.
SLUG: Where do you see yourself as an artist in the future?
Marrlo: I see myself performing in a mega-theater with a production that is so over-the-top in spectacle and glamour. I am standing there on the stage sharing my heart and soul through music alongside the finest musicians around. We do this regularly and enjoy the life that comes from owning a successful business. I see myself in the midst of a career that is so beautifully enriching and deeply satisfying. I wake up every day in disbelief of my life. I know that a life like this can only come from embracing and supporting my community.
SLUG: Where can people find your art online?