Marquette King is Launching Footballs & Dropping Beats Like an All-Pro
It would be unfair to the dozens of artists who are focusing on their fitness to be compared physically with music latest sensation, Marquette King. Best known throughout the football world as an All-Pro punter, King now has a new song—“I Can Kick a Ball”—which can double as a lyrical résumé of fitness talents. The song, just released on Jan. 12, equally showcases the athlete’s transition to crossover artist.
“I don’t know any other musicians that work out as hard as I do,” he says, “so yeah, I might be the fittest musician.”
It’s not King’s first attempt at expanding his brand from sports to music. In 2022, King caught the eyes and ears of music fans with “Sweet Tea,” a pop, EDM, and country mashup that celebrated kicking back and enjoying life. The song elevated King’s status as a serious musical artist, cracking the Country Radio top 200, generating 800,000 hits on YouTube, and catching the attention of stars such as Dwayne Johnson.
However, King isn’t giving up launching footballs for dropping beats, both are equally sharing his attention these days. Playing for the defending champion Arlington Renegades, King’s currently preparing for the season opener of the newly created UFL—a merger between XFL and the USFL—which kicks off its season on March 30.
At the same time, he’s also preparing for more live performances in 2024, to help promote his new album which is scheduled for early 2024. It shouldn’t be too hard a switch from field to stage for this physical specimen. However, King admits to overlooking the physical demands one of his first concerts required, an event hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Charles Woodson.
“I was moving on stage so much that I started getting winded,” he recalls. “I was like, damn, I need to run a little bit more.” The second time, however: “It was cake,” he says. “I had so much wind I was ready to run sprints in the Vegas casino.”
To stay physically ready for both disciplines requires King to be a little more disciplined yet eclectic with his training. Hitting the weights, sprints and hoops, along with some boxing go with his kicking regimen. He wouldn’t describe his workouts as overly technical, but to stay fit requires a mixture of constant preparation and repetition.
“Nothing has to be that hard,” King says. “You either got the talent or you don’t. And if you don’t, work on it a little harder.”
Marquette King Trains Like No Other Musician
King gives props to other artists who show a flair for fitness, such as rappers Nelly and Snoop Dogg, as well as Wiz Khalifa who is known for enthusiasm for MMA-style training. To be fair, King doesn’t really give much thought as to who’s the fittest in his new field of work. “I’m a professional athlete,” the former Raiders punter says.
According to King, who averaged 48.9 yards as a rookie with the Raiders in 2013, a punter is like being “being an Avenger”—no two punters are alike or share the same skillsets. When kicking, some excel at high flies or low line drives or placing the ball out of bounds. King, however, can hit it both high and long as well as perfecting the art of burying the opposition deep inside their 20 yard line, as he did 40 times out of 70 kicks in 2015.
Where the 2016 second-team All-Pro stands out from other punters is his athleticism. His days as a wide receiver in high school and college at Fort Valley State were on full display during a single play last season with the Renegades. With the rules not allowing for kicks out of bounds, King launched one to the sky, high enough that he was able to race downfield to down it at the opponent’s 10-yard line. Despite its unique display of athleticism, King is left unfazed by the football feat. Plays like that are the result of a training regimen that makes him still one of the best at his position.
“I do the things a lot of punters don’t do,” Marquette King says. “I’ll do skill position work, wide receiver stuff, like explosive workouts, ladder drills, hurdles, and agility work. Stuff that works the fast- twitch muscles.”
A normal day for King has him waking up at 5:30 and heading straight for the for the gym or Arizona’s AZ Kicking and Training, where he’ll perform kick after kick after kick. “Repetition, repetition, repetition,” he says is one of the secrets to punting.
King says his workouts range from heavy lifting several times a week in order to maintain the strength and muscle to not only make it through a grueling football season, but also to maintain a musical appearance when the call for a music video is scheduled “I still have to look good,” he says.
Every now and then, Marquette King will mix in some boxing to go with weight training, but he says one of his favorite method of conditioning is hitting the basketball courts three days a week for some hoops action.
“I feel like basketball is really good at like working with quickness just getting all over it over overall shape,” he says.
Big things my guy 👑 Keep doin’ it strong and congratulations on becoming champions this weekend! Digging ‘Sweet Tea’! Cool vibe & catchy. @XFL2023 @XFLRenegades https://t.co/pihdu1hQId
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) May 16, 2023
Marquette King Mixes Music for His Mental Health
The end of his morning workout means that King’s day is just beginning. In addition to preparing for the UFL season, King also splits his time focusing on his music career. Making music may not be an everyday thing, he says, but on most days, King says if he’s not in the recording studio preparing songs, he’s at home listening and studying beats and looking for lyrical inspiration.
It was around the 2015 football season that King discovered both his talent and passion for music. On a whim he came up with “I got the Cup,” a song based around partying at the club, which became a quirky cult favorite among King enthusiasts (he has over a million followers on Instagram), generating he says nearly 20,000 downloads.
“The excitement that I have into it and a lot of people downloaded the song,” Marquette King says. “And I was like if people like this, then the stuff I’m making now…it would be ridiculous.”
Today, King’s crossover career is indeed rolling. In addition to the recent debut of “I Can Kick A Ball” and his upcoming album, in December, his video for another song, “Summer Nights” was dropped as well.
King calls his style a a blend of EDM, pop, and some country. Inspired by artists like Calvin Harris, right now his interests lie in deep house music and R&B, with artists like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and others on continuous loop at the moment.
“I bounced between all of those genres,” he says. I feel artists should not be boxed in one thing… it can kind of be hard to be to push music out in the U.S. because people only see me as an athlete. And I feel like as an artist, you should be able to paint your style on different types of beats because you’re artists—unless you want to continuously do the same thing.”
Being creative also has been a welcome antidote for Marquette King’s mental well being, he says. He admits he fights off battles with ADHD and says one of his keys to keeping his mind right is to put lyrics to music. He hopes others get some inspiration from his work.
“Sometimes I have days where I don’t have people to talk to sometimes,” he admits. “And the best way I can get I feel out is putting it in a song and it’s like it’s so many people in the world. I’m sure it’s somebody in this world is going through the same thing that I’m going through. So maybe they like the song or it’s a way to just get it out and once I talk about it, put it out there then I’ll think about it and deal with it no more.”
Mixing Music and Football is the Perfect Therapy
As an artist, Marquette King’s goal isn’t just to be recognized worldwide, it’s also to reach and entertain an audience through his music, especially impacted with mental health issues.
“I’m focused on being one of the most well-known artists in the world,” he says. “I want to use music to impact people, help them out with mental health and just bring a good time to any to any place anything you don’t want to bring a good time there, because life’s too short.”
He hopes to get the call back to the NFL, but for now is relishing in the free-spiritedness life in the UFL has been offering the Phoenix resident. As a member of the XFL champion Renegades a season ago, the league offered King the opportunity to share a bit of both his athletic and artistic worlds, by performing after a game. He still appreciates the gesture from the upstart league.
“They asked me to perform at our last home game in Dallas, I got to perform in front of like 2,000 people,” Marquette King says. “That was cool. That may have never been done before, but they encourage you to be yourself.”
Although his music career is on a rapidly inclining trajectory, there’s still room on Marquette King’s schedule to remain an superstar performer on the football field as he’s proven season after season.
“Punting has been very therapeutic for me and has always been fun” he says. “I like watching the ball go up in the air really high. When you’re kicking a ball in practice, you may feel like you’re by yourself, but you’re actually doing something that can benefit your defense and put them in a position to win a game or dominate that series. It’s one of the best feelings in the world for me.”