INTERVIEW: Jake Marra

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

Hey hey! Thank you so much for having me! I’m well, how are YOU?!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “The Day That You Left”?

“The Day That You Left” is actually my very first single EVER, so it’s super important to me. It was born out of all the loss I’ve experienced in my life. After losing somebody, there’s this onset of denial you can’t help but feel. You refuse to admit to yourself that they’re gone, and feel an onslaught of emotions wash over you. Not being able to eat or sleep. Replaying old conversations in your head. Wondering how things got to this point. Lyrically, it’s quite heartbreaking. Sonically, though, she’s kind of a bop! Very beat-driven, hard-hitting production, dirty sawtooth synths, catchy hooks. Something you can bop along to while you cry your eyes out!

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

No specific event in particular. When I write, I tend to gravitate towards a more depressing sentiment so this is a natural direction for me. I’ve had a few instances over the years where friendships have dissolved, love interests have walked away or ghosted me, you know how it is. I guess I never really got to say what I wanted to say in those situations, so I sing them instead!

Any plans to release a video for the single?

No video plans for this single, but it’s definitely something I want to explore in the future! I’m a bit of a perfectionist so when I do it I want to make sure I get it right. No shortcuts, no cutting corners. I wanna serve up the polished pop video I’ve always dreamed of!

How was the recording and writing process?

It was incredible. Ben Oldland and I were originally in the studio to breathe some new life into an older track I’d written and we sort of hit a wall. We took a break, had a big conversation about our lives, our families, our past traumas, literally everything. After that, he got started on a new beat and that was when the magic happened. I was immediately sold. Ben started throwing out some lyrics at me, which eventually became the pre-chorus, and I took them and ran. We were both so excited. We laid down the first vocal immediately, we didn’t want to waste any time, and we actually ended up using that very first take of the chorus in the final version!

How has Charli XCX and Dua Lipa influenced your writing?

Charli XCX and Dua Lipa are two of the best forces in Pop music right now. Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” era is nothing short of iconic so far, and Charli is one of the best pop songwriters out there. Her versatility is unreal and she’s someone I constantly look at to try and better myself as a writer. Not just lyrically. I’m hyper aware of the melodies I’m using, the way the notes are sitting over the current chord, the rhythm of my phrasing. It’s all super important to me.

What role does Australia play in your music?

The music scene here, especially in Melbourne, is so incredible. The diversity we have in such a small city is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been to so many gigs, met so many fellow singers and musicians, no two making the same genre of music, yet we all have so much in common. We all share this common love of music and there’s so much mutual respect for one another regardless of music taste. The sense of community here helped me make the decision to release my own music. I never thought I’d take the plunge but surrounding myself with so many other musicians from so many different backgrounds made me realise that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you remixing or playing with someone else material rather than working on your own original stuff?

This is such a great question! I think my mashup production background has shaped the way I craft my original music. Something I love to do when I make mashups is picking two songs you would NEVER think to put together and showcasing how well they actually fit together. Ariana Grande and Evanescence? Match made in heaven. Selena Gomez and Eminem? You bet! This approach is crucial for me when writing original music. I don’t limit myself to only looking at “Pop” songs for inspiration. I listen to Country, Rock, R&B, Soul, Reggae, you name it, I’ve probably listened to it. I never want to put myself in a box musically. I didn’t do it with my mashups and I definitely don’t want to do it with my own music.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Oh, absolutely! Now that I’ve started, I don’t think I can stop. It’s going well! It’s definitely hard as an independent artist. I need to fund everything myself, so I still work an office job 76 hours a fortnight which makes it hard to fit music in, but I make it work! Currently working on a track which I’m super excited about! She’s not done yet, but she’s nothing short of a bop! I can’t wait to show you!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I haven’t got a date in mind just yet, but definitely before the end of the year! I’m still not sure on which track to release first. Having two songs you’re super passionate about is not a bad position to be in. Not bad at ALL!

Any plans to hit the road?

I would love to go on tour and give you a full Ariana Grande spectacle, but I’m still a long way from that. I’ve only just started my journey as an artist, so I’m trying to enjoy the writing and recording process.

What else is happening next in Jake Marra’s world?

Lots of writing and recording. Living my backing vocalist fantasy performing with Melbourne R&B artist JAYDEAN. Apart from that, I’m honestly just trying to catch up on all my Netflix shows. I still haven’t started Season 2 of “Sex Education” which is very upsetting!

Listen: The Day That You Left

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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