Despite 2020 having been quite the mess for the entire world and the music industry in particular, some artists would not let it stop them. One of the artists we picked up in 2020 and won’t let go anytime soon is Marie Naffah, the past year she released five singles that all showcase her soothing alternative pop sound beautifully. 

Could you introduce yourself? 
My name is Marie Naffah and I’m a singer-songwriter from London. I’m currently halfway through the release of my second EP and my single ‘Wasteland’ is out today! (Depending on release of publication  — 29.01.2021)

What inspires you to make music
Oh just the little things – fears, hopes, dreams…

You wrote your latest single about stereotypes, what inspired that?
Conforming to stereotypes is a topic that often comes up in my lyrics. You get used to people saying ‘you’re not quite right’ or  ‘it’s too ‘this’ not enough ‘that’ for me’. You develop thick skin in this industry and the refrain of my song ‘Wasteland’ moves between the question ‘Am I everything you want?’ to the answer ‘I am everything you want’. It’s empowering, removing the uncertainty altogether. We determine so much of how we view ourselves with regards to what other people think, ‘Wasteland’ is just about shaking that off and owning it. For listeners, I hope it provides some sonical confidence, whatever the context; personal, romantic or professional. 

What does your Wonderland look and sound like?
A great question! Without sounding too corny or pretentious, I think my Wonderland is a state of mind rather than a place. It’s wherever you feel the most confident and the most yourself. 

How did you get in touch with the people you are currently working with? 
It began about three years ago at a BBC Introducing Event in London where I dropped my demo off to be listened to. From there I was introduced to my producer Simon Byrt and we made The Cage EP. Having worked with tonnes of producers in the past and not always  getting the result I wanted, I could tell immediately that  Simon was different. This EP  is so special to me because it’s not simply ‘folk record’ or a ‘pop collection’ – it has spoonful’s of each genre that influenced me – folk, jazz, hip-hop, pop, indie, rock, soul, Americana…it has traces of old and new… It feels so abundant. It’s Simon’s creativity in the studio that is really to thank for that. 

You are half-Lebanese and have travelled the US and the UK, what country would you still like to visit either on a tour as well as just as a traveller? 
Selfishly I’d like to go everywhere that’ll have me because when I think of success I dream of tours and the live music experience. Nothing beats it. I’ve received an incredible amount of support from fans in Mexico and South America for the last two releases, so I’d love to put some faces to names out there. 

What would you like to achieve with your music?
I just want to keep bringing music to people that want to listen. 

Is there a specific thought or quote that you hold on to when the inspiration has run dry a little?
‘If I knew where all the good songs were, I’d go there more often’ – Leonard Cohen 

What is your favourite thing about creating and releasing music? 
Connecting with people you’d never connect with otherwise. 

Where would you like to be with your music in 5 years?
Touring till my voice hurts.

Photo credits: Holly Molly

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