Interview: Mariam

mariamThis up-and-coming South London based singer/songwriter is one of the most talented spotlight artists that Belwood Music has had in a long while. The soulful storytelling present in her upcoming debut EP is the stunning result of a lot of hard work amongst London’s bustling music scene, not to mention her innate musical talent. I was lucky enough to chat to Mariam ahead of her upcoming release Heart to Heart

Thanks for your time, loving the EP! With this being your first release did you feel a lot of pressure with regards to writing and recording it or was it all fairly relaxed and easy going?
My pleasure and thank you, I’m glad you like it. It was fairly relaxed, I think it being the first made it exciting, there wasn’t anything to compare it to. The only pressure was what I put on myself, making sure I gave it my best, especially as it had been a long time coming and people have been waiting awhile for it, but working with such a great team at OL music made it relaxed and fun.

How do you feel about the finished product? Does ‘Heart to Heart’ live up to your expectations?
I am over the moon with it, so happy that it is finally done and out of my system. I’m very proud of it and glad that it is ready to get out there. It is such a wonderful feeling to have the songs sound just how I imagined them and better, so it has definitely met my expectations.

Your lyrics come across as very personal. What do you feel these songs say about you and about the past experiences that inspired them?
I think the songs show that I have grown, they show that no experience is for nothing, even if it is just for you to process and learn from it, also that being vulnerable is normal and a good thing. I wanted them to relate to others, like you do when you have conversations about your experiences, it is all to relate, feel known, and find that common ground.
Do you come from a musical background? Was music a big part of your childhood?
Yes music was a huge part of my childhood, there was always music playing in my house, various genres and types, lots of gospel music, soul, world music and pop. Music was just a part of culture, so my background is quite musical but not in a learned way, it’s just ingrained within my family. I think i’m the most musical one, but there was lots of singing.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?
Ooh there are so many influences, in terms of musical influences i would say, gospel music, it is so powerful and real, Stevie wonder, Lauryn Hill, Bill Withers, Joni mitchell, Asa but there are many more. I just love music.

You’ve worked with the London Community Gospel Choir and with Belwood Award winner Samm Henshaw; how has working with other creatively minded people influenced your sound and your approach to writing?
It’s always great working with others, you learn so much from others and it always pushes you to grow. Writing with others is a great process, different perspectives coming together to create something always brings out the best in you, so it has helped me to always look at what i’m writing from a different angle to see where it can go and how it can be better.

After the EP release what is next on your agenda? Can we be expecting more new music and tour dates in the near future?
Yes I have lots of plans for after the EP launch, I’m looking forward to gigging again. So you can definitely expect more music, a video or two and more performances.
Massive thanks to Mariam, whose debut EP Heart to Heart is out 4th November
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