Lisa: Hello Marie! Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you remember the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or hard choice to make?
Marie:Growing up, music was essential for me. Every day, whether I was in the car or at home, music was always playing. Before I was a rapper, I was a dancer. I danced every day. So, music was definitely an essential component to who I was as a child. Though I wrote my first few raps at 10, the first moment I decided to be an artist was when I was 14. I was in the 9th grade, and my friends and I were writing a song as a joke. It took me about 2 hours to do my verse. But I fell in love with it. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to take it seriously. It was like day and night. But what made the decision hard was that I never told anyone I wanted to take it seriously. I feared what people would say. But as of today, it is obvious I did not let that stop me.
Lisa: How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Marie: A typical answer to that question is I can say my music has wordplay, punchlines, narratives, storytelling, vulnerability, and hard 808s with the right balance of R&B. But the truth is my music is inspired by pain. It’s inspired by internal and external events that young women, and even young men can relate to. Yes – I have “fun” songs, but I’m not a “fun” artist. I explore every area that people experience. My music is not the predictable sound that people expect from a female rapper. I’m about to release my next project, SYLLABLES OF LIFE, this month on September 25 th , and I have songs where I am rapping straight bars and storytelling, but then I have songs with an up tempo R&B feel talking about dating. I just talk about life in my music.
Lisa: Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Marie:My favorite artists are Beyonce (she’s my idol), Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamer, Tupac, Lil’ Kim, the list goes on. All of them have impacted me in different ways. To be honest, Biggie is the reason I started to rap anyway. I would not have gotten in the studio if it weren’t for him. Kendrick inspired me to really put more pressure in my pen and become a lyricist. But the artist with the major impact, who I would love to work with in the future, is Beyonce. Beyonce has really shown us how to do it in all areas of music. Yes, she is the Queen and has a million hits, but most importantly, she leads by example and teaches the artists coming after her that in order to achieve anything you have to put in the work. I would love to work with her one day.
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Lisa: I loved your songwriting on your recent EP, Chronicles. Is there a theme that connects the songs, or is it something else?
Marie:Thank you for taking the time to listen to Chronicles. I appreciate it. A lot of people have told me the same thing, they loved my songwriting on the project. I actually wrote Chronicles in 2019. To be honest, when I wrote Chronicles, I was still in the artist development stage. Though I had been writing raps and songs for years, I was just getting in the studio and still trying to find my sound. I did not plan the project out and I was still finding myself as an artist. I just knew I needed to put a record out. So, I took time to improve myself as an artist, picked the top 5 songs I had in my vault, and released it.
Lisa: What types of change do you feel your music can initiate?
Marie: My main goal with my music is to inspire. That’s it. I just want people to be inspired and motivated by my work. If I can inspire at least one person, I did my job.
Lisa: I really liked your song “Truth”. What inspired you to write it?
Marie: Truth was inspired by two things: (1) my teenage years and (2) people’s assumptions of me. One thing about me is that I used to hide my scars. I’m that type of person where I can go through something or been through something and would pretend nothing happened to me. I would keep my past private. So, since I would never let people know the truth of what I’ve experienced, people thought I never went through anything. That’s why my first line is “You don’t know nothin bout nothin, you don’t even know the truth.” I heard the beat and immediately thought about my upbringing. Came up with the hook, and everything just came out. Plus, that beat is amazing!
Lisa: What non-musical entities and ideas have impacted your music?
Marie: The main non-musical entities and ideas that have impacted my music are family and God. I’m a family girl. My family is small, but the love is strong. We’ve struggled together and we’ve now accomplished a lot together. I also have a close relationship with God, and God has helped me navigate through this maze called life. My family and God are the driving forces behind my music.
Lisa: At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
Marie:Like I said before, I hope my music and my story inspires people. That’s all I hope for.
Lisa: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
Marie: If I could change the industry, I would bring back individuality. I feel the mainstream music industry is over saturated with the same artist. Male rappers talk about money they don’t have, the cars they rent, the drugs they’ve never sold, the murder victims they never met, and the women that don’t even care about them. The female rap wave is all about sex and money. There was a time when every rapper brought their own style to the table. Now everyone raps the same, sounds the same, and has the same content – everyone is the same. If I could change the industry, I would bring back individuality. There is more I could say, but that is a long conversation.
Lisa: What are your plans for the future?
Marie:My plan is to grow. I want to grow my audience, grow my business, and grow as a woman.