Get to Know: Marie Louise

Photo: Christopher Hall

Photo: Christopher Hall

When did you start creating your music?

I’ve been singing since I was little but I only started actively making music in 2015. In middle school I started to doing covers on YouTube. I initially began with a completely different musical direction than where my music is now.

I made experimental electronic music under the name “Timeless Imagination”. The last project under that name was an EP called “WWW.AVES”. I created and produced everything on it and sung on all the tracks. It was experimental because I was still trying to figure out where I wanted to go with my sound. (If you’re interested in listening to it, it’s still on my Bandcamp.)

Then, I found a jazzy beat someone made on SoundCloud and I asked them if I could sing on it. That’s how I got into doing the kind of music I’m making now. It’s also when I got into listening to that genre as well.

But before all that I was more focused on rapping [for] my side project “Electric Lizard, BBY”,  or “yung lizard”, which I started doing when I was messing around with friends, freestyle rapping, [and] posting it on YouTube. From then on, I started writing raps [which] turned into writing poetry, and using that skill to write songs.

“Marie Louise”, came to life when I decided to change my stage name to my middle name. Looking back on how my music has progressed and how “Marie Louise” has grown over [the last] year, is magical to me.

How would you classify your music?

At the moment I would say indie lo-fi experimental jazz.

You write, sing and create your own music videos. Is there one component in particular that you enjoy most? 

What I enjoy the most is the songwriting process. I love freestyle singing over beats. I record it as a demo and see what happens. Sometimes I have an idea in mind but often it’s just whatever I'm feeling at the moment. Figuring out the different singing techniques I can do with my voice is what really gets me excited about the whole process.

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What was the process behind Loner Livin’

Most of the songs had already been released as singles on my SoundCloud. I put together the songs I liked the most from the past few months. “Eyes”, was the lead single for when I finished Loner Livin’ which had been released on o-nei-ric Tapes before my tape dropped. “Hypno”, “Loner Livin”, were the new songs on there that helped bring the whole thing together.

What is the inspiration behind the album? 

When the summer started I began to feel really lonely and decided to find solace by making music. Music filled my emptiness and I was able to express my feelings in each song of what I was going through in my life at the time. The album's vibe is almost bittersweet to me because even though the lyrics can be sad, like the song “Bummer Summer”, it’s about making the best of any situation.

You have chosen to sell Loner Livin’ as a cassette to be purchased online. What was the appeal/decision behind this choice?

It was a spur of the moment decision to sell the album as a cassette. The collective I released the album through asked me if I was interested in releasing the album through that medium and I said yeah! It was limited to only 10 copies. The album is available for free download, but I was super excited to have a physical tape release.

Who/what are your influences?

In the beginning I drew inspiration from Neon Indian. I didn’t try to mimic anyone specifically, I was just trying to find/create my sound. When I first started I didn’t really even listen to that type of music a lot that I was making. I came to the realization that my voice worked best with those chill lo-fi beats with a jazzy twist. But my current influences vary from Kali Uchis, Kelela, ABRA, Erykah Badu, and Quadron, to Tame Impala and Melodies Echo Chamber. Even though the psychedelic sound isn't how my music sounds at all, it’s style I'd want to work with if I was in a band.

Favorite songs? 

My favorite songs at the moment would be:

"Run Away" by Georgia Anne Muldrow

"Friend Zone" by Thundercat

"Portrait in Black and Blue" by King Krule

"Chompy’s Paradise" by BadBadNotGood

"Terrified" by Childish Gambino

"Outta Sight/Dark Lavender" by D.R.A.M.

And I’m in love with every song by Dumbo Gets Mad right now.

Song of choice for your American road trip?  

I would say "Atlas" by Sugar Candy Mountain because the song itself is a trip. I’m super excited to see what else they do in the future because I’m in love with the album they released last year.

What’s next?

I plan to create a lot, which will be very exciting since my music has progressed so much over the years. My newer music is more loose and sassy jazz, unlike Loner Livin’ with [its] more mellow, clean vibe. I think my music will reflect my newfound confidence. I’m always learning and improving. My best work has yet to come - there’s so much more I want to experiment with. I want to do some rapping along with singing with the Marie Louise project. I’ve made and produced some beats but hopefully one day I will be good enough to produce them for all of my songs myself. It will be easier for the vision/sound that I have in mind to be achieved. Nothing I do is very calculated, my music grows with me and it's whatever I'm feeling at the moment.

 

To listen or download Loner Livin’ visit: https://o-nei-rictapes.bandcamp.com/album/loner-livin

Social: https://www.instagram.com/maarielouuise/

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Words: Emily Freedman