Following the release of her EP, Chronicles, and her successful single, Truth, Marie comes back with the release of her long-awaited album, Syllables of Life. Raised by a teenage single mother in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Syllables of Life details the numerous life lessons Marie had to endure at an early age – specifically the internal and external battles stemming from an absent father and a teenage mother with songs like Truth, Self Discovery, A Father’s Love, and Love Letter.
As many would consider her project a biography of her harsh realities, Marie gives a small glimpse into the beautiful joys and ambitions of her life with Takeover – providing a more fun and playful side, while also still serving true lyricism that has given Marie the respect she has today. She also discusses more mature concepts of dating and trust issues with her R&B, 808 influenced records Friend or Foe, and What You Want. Though in the early stages of her career, Marie’s releases display a combination of brilliant wordplay, compelling narratives, and intensive vulnerability.
Hello Marie! Talk to me about the making of your latest album called “Syllables of Life”. What was the inspiration behind it?
Marie: The inspiration for this album was based on my life. It was an autobiography, talking about the different experiences I’ve had – from my upbringing to my early adulthood. I called it “Syllables of Life” because everyone experiences different seasons in their life. Each season makes up their life and who they are – just like each syllable makes up a word. So I put it together to make “Syllables of Life.”
Also, it seems you’ve taken the step-up production-wise. Tell me more about your recording process of “Syllables of Life”.
Marie: I started recording the album back in 2019. I knew I wanted to improve from my previous project, Chronicles, and have a better well put together a project with a story. I wanted to “step it up” production-wise – listening to different sounds and expanding as an artist. Once I started recording this project, I started to identify my sound. I took my time and really focused on each song I recorded.
I loved all the songs, but please tell me more about your single “Self Discovery”.
Marie: Self Discovery was really explaining how I’ve spent my whole life trying to find myself. It took me 22 years to figure out who I am and to love myself. For so long, I never knew who I was so I was very impressionable when it came to men and at times I didn’t love myself due to my father’s absence. So this song was pretty much explaining those thoughts and emotions I felt over the years. Self Discovery is for anyone that has felt that same feeling.
What is your favorite track on the album, and why?
Marie: Though I love them all, my favorite track on the album is track 3, Friend or Foe. Friend or Foe is the fun, smooth, party song. It’s just so much fun to me. And it was fun writing it. It’s really about having trust issues with friends and men, but I didn’t want it to be on a slow moody beat. I just wanted to make it fun.
What do you love about hip-hop music?
Marie: I fell in love with Hip Hop music after listening to Biggie. Biggie’s flow, wordplay, and production put me in a trance. After listening to Biggie, I started to really listen closely to rap and paid more attention to the culture of Hip Hop. As I paid more attention, I realized rap was an art form and a way to express whatever you feel. It’s an outlet. That’s what made me love it.
If you had the power to change one thing about the hip-hop industry to help independent artists, what would it be?
Marie: Though this is far-fetched, I would like to change the stigma of the “local artist.” When people hear someone is a “local artist” they are skeptical about listening to their music because they don’t have a machine to push them. Then they listen to their music and fall in love with it. If I could change one thing, I would remove the stigma.
What are some of your greatest challenges as an artist, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
Marie: In my opinion, the greatest challenge an artist faces is trying to reinvent themselves. Trying to bring something different to the table every time you drop while also staying authentic to yourself can be difficult at times. However, I do believe my greatest attribute to my work ethic is persistence. Even if I feel exhausted, I just keep going.
Who do you think are the top 3 rappers doing it at the moment?
Marie: The top 3 right now are Drake, Lil Baby, and NBA Youngboy. The 3 of them are killing it right now.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
Marie: Obviously, I have to thank my mother. She’s the one that helped build me into the woman I am today and she spoke blessings and life over me my entire life (she still does). I also have to thank my engineer, Markiz Rey. Markiz has helped me not only since my first studio session, but he has played a role in making sure every song I record sounds the best it can be. He engineered every song. The conversations we have will go with me in my endeavors in music as well. But not only Markiz, the studio I record at regularly, Hustle Firm Ent. has helped me with how I attack my career. They’ve helped me a lot.
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