This week, we are introducing you to a new seductive singer/songwriter on our radar that goes by the name Marian Mereba.†
Marian†has a unique tone and style that has captivated listeners and has them acclaiming her music to be, ďso sexy, so organic and lush,Ē (thechickenfeed). Her dreamy, yet soulful voice reminds us of Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu, Roadioheard, Lauryn Hill, and Sinead O’Connor,†but doesn’t sound like them at all. She is both cultured and wise-beyond-her-years, as she spend her life living in Ehtiopia, Philadelphia, Alabama, North Carolina, and most recently, planted roots in Atlanta!
Currently signed to Red Kotton, Marian recently released her debut single called “September.” The music video for “September” is visually-stunning and utilizes a very interesting cinematography to show events in a reverse order to the seductive, sultry melody. Marian will release her debut album,†Radio Flyer, on July 29th.
CelebSecrets4U recently chatted with Marian to get the scoop on her career and debut album! Check out the official music video for “September” and our exclusive Q&A below. For more information on Marian Mereba, visit her website at www.marianmereba.com.
Marian Mereba – “September” – Official Music Video
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in the music business?†
Marian Mereba: “Well, Iím a singer and a songwriter and an instrumentalist. Iím based in Atlanta, and Iíve been doing music pretty much all my life. Since I was a kid, Iíve been singing and writing, and I moved out to Atlanta to finish up college, and while I was down here I decided to just really start pursuing the music thing for real. I graduated and just stayed down here, and Iíve been performing and put out a project last year. The past two years Iíve been performing in Atlanta just kind of getting my pieces together in terms of a band and recording music and stuff like that. So yeah, Iíve been doing music all my life, but itís been the past two years that Iíve really started to pursue it full force.”
Wow! How would you describe your style and your sound to our readers?
Marian: “Well, definitely like, I am of my time in a sense that in music in general the genre lines are getting very blurred these days, and you know, genres are bending a lot so I feel like I fit into that in a sense that my music is not one distinct genre. But I would say itís soul music, itís funk, and I would say itís hip hop because I rap as well.”
Thatís really cool! We know youíve lived in many different places around the world, including Ethiopia. What was that like?
Marian: “Living in Ethiopia was definitely a life-changing experience for me. I went there in order to meet my familyómy whole fatherís side lives in Ethiopia except for my father, so I had never met any of them and I went there for that reason, and I ended up falling in love with the people there and the culture, and just how open and proud of a people the Ethiopian people are. Like, Iíve always been proud to be Ethiopian, but it was just from afar, so from like the food to the celebration and just kind of like the vibe of the people there is just so positive, and thatís why Ďtil this day I still want to go over there again because it was a really refreshing experience coming from America and going to a place thatís just so different culturally.”
How long did you live there for?
Marian: “Six months.”
Oh wow, thatís a long time!
Marian: “Yeah, it was long. I was supposed to go for three weeks, but I decided to just stay and live there, and you know I was with my family, so I was just staying with my aunt and uncle there and my cousins, and I started singing in a reggae band weekly, and I was working at this place down the street with kids, so I really kind of lived there, and then I kind of decided one day that I needed to come back to America and really pursue my passions and my goals and get settled into life here.”
Did you take anything from Ethiopia, like culturally, when you came back to America? Even like musically?
Marian: “Yeah, definitely. I mean, I grew up listening to Ethiopian music. Itís funnyómy family there, they listen to Ethiopian music but itís kind of like this thing where they want to listen to Western music. They want to know what Iím listening to and I want to listen to their music and want to know what theyíre listening to, so itís like a grass is always greener sort of thing. But musically, I definitely brought back over the things I learned there about what kind of music they like and what kind of music gets them moving and just passionate, and what type of music makes them happy, because for me, itís important for me to stay true to myself and make music that I believe in and I love, and also to infuse the different parts of me and the best of my personality into my music. So when I went over there it was eye-opening for me because I was like, okay, now I have even more influences to tie into my music basically, so I did that. And then just overall the warmth and, like I said, openness of the people there, like theyíre so willing to help and itís a very safe place, and theyíre really big about family and community and eating together, so even to this day, almost every Sunday I have my friends over and I cook for them, and thatís just something that makes me super happy.”
Aw, thatís so cute! So, your single, ďSeptember,Ē is out now. What was the writing and recording process like for the track, and whatís the meaning behind the song?
Marian: “The writing process was vey fluid. Basically, I wrote it out of a relationship that I was ending that I was in, and it naturally just came to me. I was driving in my car and I just thought of the bass line and started like humming it and imprinting it in my head, and basically once I get a component of the production done in my head, I just like do the equivalent of bumping it in my head and I just add stuff to it on top of it. So I have this beat playing in my head and I just add the piano to it and the guitar in my head until I had a lot of the song finished before I had gotten home because I was sitting in traffic as usual in Atlanta, and I got home and I just went straight to my keyboard and I just made a real quick rough demo of it. And yeah, it was such a relieving thing for me, like, I donít confide in that many people, I donít really tell people the deep dark parts of my relationships with people, so really my outlet is writing, my outlet is music, and so once I got that song out, I just remember breathing like, Ďokay, I got that out,í because I was writing about a situation I was in, but I was over it, basically, and thatís what that song is about, like, Ďyou know what? You tried to play me, but it didnít really fully work because it actually empowered me and made me remember my full value and my worth,í so thatís what the song ďSeptemberĒ is about, basically, Ďyou did this to me, but itís really a shame because youíre gonna regret it, not because Iím hurt.í So once I did the demo I went into the studio and sent a voicemail to my friend, who is a producer and artist here as well, and he was like, ďman, this is fire!Ē so I asked him to come in and help me produce the rest of it and he came up with an amazing bridge and contributed to the production. And it was just fun, it was a very fluid experience.”
You have a new album thatís expected to drop next week, can you tell us anything about the album? Any collaborations, I know people have different recording processesódo you like it in the dark, in the light?
Marian: “Yeah, Iím really excited for the album to drop this summer. Itís a new direction for me, coming from the singer/songwriter acoustic world and project that I dropped last year and itís just a bigger sound for me, so Iím really excited for that. Itís a step in the direction in which Iíve imagined myself going in my career. As far as the recording process and what I prefer, I really just prefer writing the songs in my own space, usually like my living roomóthatís where I like to write most. So as far as the songwriting element, all of the songs on my album were written in the same way that Iíve always written: on my guitar, in my living room. And then I would take it into the studio and enlist the help of different people, one being someone whoís also on my label Iím releasing my project through, his name is Brandon Thomas and he ironed out a lot of the ideas with me. And then I worked with John Keys, whoís a Berklee School of Music bred musician and producer, and I worked with Shannon Sanders, whoís based in Nashville, and sheís worked with John Legend, so that was just really cool, and I just really wanted to bring in people who arenít beat makers, theyíre actually musicians, so that was important to me because, you know, Iím a musician too and I just really appreciate keeping things as organic as possible, so that was what the process was like, and every song just happened a little bit differently from each other.”
†So whatís next for you in the future besides an album? Do you have any plans to tour?
Marian: “Iím working on plans to tour. I was recently playing in France and that was an amazing experience. That was actually my first tour ever, and I was opening for Cody Chesnutt, and now Iím working on securing a few more for this year and early next year to promote the album. But in the meantime Iím going to be in New York and in LA, and I was recently in London as well. Itís awesome performing in Atlanta and Iím planning dates here, so weíll see what happens.”
Can you tell our fans why you should be on their radar, and tell them where they can find you on Twitter and Instagram and stuff like that?
Marian: “I think I should be on their radar because I feel like Iím a voice speaking to them from the future. I think that my music is the voice of the future and itís fully in line with the direction that music is going. They can find me and follow me on my journey and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, any of those, itís all the same. Mariammereba.com is my website and my handles are @marianmereba.”
We are CelebSecrets4U, so do you have any secrets that your fans might not know about you?
Marian: “Yeah, I have one. I secretly play basketball every single day, but I donít feel like Iím good enough yet to really tell people or like boast about it, but yeah, Iím low-key a basketball player.”
Photo: Marian Mereba/Twitter