By Jacob Claspille
At the age of 9, Marquece Lomax knew his voice could take him places. After his friend Tamisha Randle asked him to sing for her, he was surprised to see Randle’s mother in tears from his voice. Now, in his freshman year studying dance at Webster University, Lomax is singing and dancing professionally, and has even sung in groups that have performed with Stevie Wonder.
Lomax is now participating in the talent TV show “Ncredible Search” hosted by TV host, radio host and record producer Nick Cannon. The show is Cannon’s “search to create the next R&B male supergroup on BET’s 106 & Park,” and is suppose to air in March of 2015. Lomax tried out at the St. Louis auditions and was one of four people to make it through. Lomax said during the audition period, Cannon brought everyone in a group and told them he was unable to sign everyone, but he was willing to sign one person. He looked right at Lomax.
Cannon FaceTimed Lomax to congratulate him that he had made the cut after final evaluations and he was flying him out to Los Angeles. Cannon called him “the cream of the crop,” and Lomax is drawing comparisons from other competitors to Wanya Morris, vocalist for the R&B group Boyz II Men.
Lomax said he can thank all his singing success to his two inspirations, his cousin who has passed away and his mother. Lomax said he acts as his mother’s voice. As a child, Lomax would hear her sing in the house, but she was too shy to sing anywhere else. With his cousin, he would sing songs that reminded him of her. He said he would put his heart into those songs.
They Call Him “Happy Feet”
Singing is not Lomax’s only hobby, he is also a tap dancer.
He is captain of the tap dancing group called The Underground Tappers. In the group he goes by “Happy Feet,” and performs along with Damiel “Daddy Long-Legs” Rice, Dyvi’on “Football Field” Johnson, Evonté “Tiny Tiny” Gray, Alvin “Ankles” Bryant and Robert Crenshaw. They perform all over St. Louis.
Lomax said he started dancing as a freshman in high school and was a natural at it. After just one year in the dance program at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, he said he mastered tap.
His inspiration to start performing tap dance was Savion Glover, “the best tap dancer ever” in the words of Lomax. He used to imitate tap movements when he was younger, but he never knew the actual steps, actually tapping to a rhythm.
Lomax has performed in the streets and in venues around the country: the Gibson Ampitheater at Universal Studios, the Fox Theatre and even the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Underground Tappers finished second at the FoxPACF, a performing arts competition that encourages young people in the St. Louis region to participate in live performances. Pat Vogelsong, one of the judges for the competition, called their performance “incredible.”
Lomax’s former dance teacher and current dance choreographer Ray Parks said his ability and his passion for dance are what makes him special.
“He’s a hard worker and his ability to not to give up and his understanding of what it takes to be a dancer,” Parks said. “I’m expecting him to be in New York someday doing really well.”