Rising Iberian songstress MAR is sweet like honey and her music is beyond imagination like a dream. The 22-year-old’s crisp vocals and lyrical prowess are just the tip of the iceberg, MAR is a multifaceted Alt-R&B artist with layers that go deeper than just music. Although held back by a major label for quite some time, she is independent and flexing her freedom through a slew of songs such as “ALRIGHT” and “Sin Ti.”
Most recently, MAR shared her single “DREAMS,” which is rapidly climbing the charts in terms of streaming. It represents a turning point in her already solid catalog, displaying a more thoughtful and evocative discourse among her ever-present dreamy and ethereal aesthetic. Furthermore, MAR is currently gearing up for the release of her eagerly-awaited debut album, slated to arrive later in 2021. From melodies to visual representation, MAR is definitely an artist you want to get behind this year. There’s no doubt that she’ll be making international waves in the coming months and beyond.
MAR recently stopped by to chop it up about her process creating music, growing as an artist, as well as teasing the release of debut album amongst other things. Read the full conversation below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you kickstart your musical career, and who were some musicians you were inspired by growing up?
I started my career around the age of eighteen, that’s when I truly started taking it seriously and building my career professionally. I wrote my first pieces around the age twelve. I just kept writing from all those years, especially during high school when I truly tapped into my creative self. So once I came to Lisban, I started networking then I met and my manager Von Di. Afterwards, we started working on my career that the world can actually consume.
In terms of artists that I grew up listening to, it was a lot of different genres because I had a lot of different phases in my life. I feel like Aaliyah is one of my main influences; I believe any woman and even men are inspired by her. R&B is just so connected to the 90s era and the music that I love comes from the 90s and early 00s. I’d also say Lauryn Hill, Ashanti, Ciara. I feel like they were definitely my favorites growing up and I can tell how they had an impact on my sound.
What’s your favorite part of the process when it comes to creating new music?
I feel like my favorite part is creating the melodies, just vibing to the beat. Sometimes its just a matter of listening to a sample for a few seconds then I get all these ideas. I just go off for 10 minutes and choose wisely what parts I want to keep. Sometimes it goes so natural that the whole song comes out, but that’s not every time, I wish!
What type of emotions do you want to elicit from listeners when they hear youre songs?
That’s a great question. It depends on where I’m at emotionally myself. I want people to dive inside of them and create their own scenarios. I want people to ride the wave and the story I’m creating. I just want them to just make their own interpretation of the things I say. That’s why I try to leave room for people to do that in my songs and try not to get too specific. I like for people to feel safe to connect to the music and create their own stories.
One of the main things I want people to feel, especially for women, is empowered. I want them to feel sexy, like if they put my song on they can let themselves go. That goes for everyone, but since I’m a women that’s how I try to make myself feel.
You recently put out a song called “Dreams,” what was the inspiration behind that?
The inspiration for that song specifically was rain. I remember I did that song a couple years ago and it started raining so much in the studio. I was alone by myself vibing to the beat and I was like, wait. So I just closed my eyes and started picturing this scenario which is the one in the song. That song just came so naturally and we only just released it now, but it feels so right.
In what ways have you grown as an artist since you first began?
Since I started, I feel like I’ve been through so may phases. I can tell you that my path has been very intense. I started my career and I had two releases independently and then I was signed to a major for two years. I experienced so much; very negative stuff but also very positive things. I had my first live so ever in one of the biggest festivals here in Portugal but also a lot of pressure. I had all these opportunities that made me grow really fast but I feel like there’s so much for me to learn.
The main point that I learned is leaving my ego behind. Really getting to know myself deeply, that’s what I use my music for nowadays. The fact that I’ve been independent now has given me a lot of knowledge to do things properly and make steps on my own. I really appreciate the freedom.
With most in-person shows canceled, how have you been connecting with your fans during this time?
I would love to have shows definitely, but I think I’ve been connecting through social media. I’m not a very active person because I’m actually pretty introvert. I love to meet people face-to-face and get to know them, but with social media it’s only so much you can do. It’s kind of like a one way situation and I’m not really into it, but I’ve been exploring new apps and it’s an amazing way to connect with my fans as well.
What else can we expect from you this year?
My fans can expect my first album ever, which I feel like is such a big point in my career. Every day that goes by I’m like I need to finish. All the songs that we’re putting on this project are so meaningful ad I feel like people will really appreciate it. I just have this sense that this album is going to change my life so I’m really trying to create a great piece for everyone to enjoy.
If you enjoyed our interview with MAR, check out Toronto’s Pisceze.