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INTERVIEW: Marna

Hi Marna, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you! I’ve been well – slathered in SPF 50 as London now seems to be the new Bahamas – but well nonetheless. Yourself?

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Crossfire”?

“Crossfire” is the song baby of producer JKP and I, born of my desperation to make my first move as an artist, and to do it properly (for lack of a less disturbing way to describe it).

I hear it’s been received well!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Initially – and probably most obviously from the lyrics – I was annoyed that I wasn’t getting enough attention from someone I put a lot of my energy and time into.

In the year since I wrote it, I’ve actually forgotten who it was originally about. But the meaning of the song now leans towards close friends that seem to be settling down and becoming an accessory to someone else’s life before fulfilling their own dreams. I’m offering a hand and they’re slapping it away.

“It’s a doggone shame and an awful mess” – John Prine (my main man), 1991.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes, and if we go ahead with the plans the video will look incredible.

How was the recording and writing process?

I used to be a very solitary writer and quite shy of my own ideas. I was between jobs when I wrote “Crossfire”, and I sat alone at my keyboard in my old ninth-floor flat for an hour and wrote all these words down with very little editing. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but that day was a productive one.

After I’d written the song, I practised it a couple of times and finished recording the vocals in time for bed. It was all very DIY, but that’s how I like it.

What was it like to work with JKP and how much did he influence the track?

I met JKP last year when I switched jobs and threw the “Crossfire” demo at him after only listening to one of his tracks.

Usually I’d have been stubborn and wanted to carry the DIY ethos over into self-producing the track but I was spurred on by a strong gut feeling that this partnership would really work.

He got the vibe immediately and ran with it.

How did he influence the song?

I got an evil grin from him across the office one day, nodding at me and murmuring “…Crossfire’s going to be dark. Really, really fucking dark.”

It was certainly a miserable, melodramatic song in the demo stages too, but JKP gave it an atmosphere and shaped the sound beautifully. He turned it from something totally unrefined to a song that (coming from its listeners) “makes you feel something”.

How has your upbringing influence your writing?

Creative writing was always one of my primary school favourites, and there’s plenty of writers in my family. I’ve always been surrounded by creativity and artists in every sense of the word.

If something goes in a song, it usually means I’d prefer not to have a conversation about it. It’s not that deep, but I’d like to get to a point where I can write completely without any affectation from what I think a good “pop song” is, and just be totally honest.

Maybe a better way of putting it is: I’d like to get to a place where I can write as honestly as I did when I was seven, but with skill.

How’s your new EP coming along?

Swimmingly!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

The next single? I think it’s really good. I suppose you could say it’s…”Pure Gold”….

Any plans to hit the road?

After conquering my fear of live performance a couple of weeks ago (footage on my Facebook page, please stalk) I’m itching to do more. It won’t be a tour, but it might be a 300-capacity in South East London. We’ll see what happens.

What else is happening next in MARNA’s world?

I’m currently sitting in bed, daydreaming of the music video. Over the next few weeks I’ll be pouring over Pinterest boards to place the aesthetic and piecing together an outfit that I’m seeing very clearly behind my eyelids.

Marna the Magical Mysteryman shall say no more!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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