Name: Marla Mase
Country: 
USA (New York City)

Who were your musical influences whilst growing up? 

I loved Pete Townsend’s writing (lyrics)--so a Who Fan but more of a Pete fan; as a kid I was into pop and as a tween/teen until I was 16 I was a DISCO GIRL (a la Saturday Night Fever-that stuff you see in the movies is REAL—I loved Taste of Honey Boogie Oogie Oogie; Galaxy by War; Risky Changes was my song—don’t even know who wrote it...) I always liked Funk (Play That Funky Music—Wild Cherry; Parliament; KC/Sunshine Band, James Brown) but for writing yes The Who, of course THE BEATLES (I sat with that Love Song Compilation many a day); less Stones (although now I LOVE the Stones); Queen (I remember the first time my brother brought their album home with Bohemian Rhapsody, instant love); Talking Heads (esp Once in a Lifetime), B-52’s; very young I liked Elton John --- and I like certain musicals as well (WEST SIDE STORY was very important in my young life; OLIVER (I sang Where is Love in a talent show when I was 5 or 6; and yes THE SOUND OF MUSIC — inside I’m a cornball to the core. Highly Romantic.)

Who did you inspire to be like? 

Hmmmm, that’s tough.  I don’t have mentors or people I want to be like — the only thing I did say for many many years until I started doing music (only 4 yrs ago) -- “what I really should be is a rocker, but  I’m not a musician and I don’t sing so next life. But really I’m the female Jim Morrison.”  As a general rule I like artists (musicians/writers/sculptors) who pour their hearts/soul out in their work.  Where I can viscerally feel IT – then I know it is coming from a REAL PLACE  -- so for example I’m not a huge Springsteen fan but I like him (will always love BORN TO RUN), he’s real, Eminem, Franz Kafka,  Rodin, I remember  going to the Rodin Museum in Paris and literally falling in love — his work is coming from such a deep place of truth, I felt like I knew everything about the man and I didn’t want to leave – Virginia Woolf, another one, every word filled with grace and beauty -- it  fills my body and assuages my unrest. (even though what she writes about is far from calm, it doesn’t matter, the rhythm of her words are.)  There are many other artists I respect so different from me and I know I could never DO what they do but the ones I mentioned I feel we share something – that we come from a similar place.

 



 


What was your favourite subject at school? 
English Literature

What was the first record you ever bought.. do you remember?  

Another hmmmm, I think it might have been this song called ‘Shannon’ (‘Shannon is gone I heard’ probably because it was sad and about a dog-I was an animal lover as a child, wanted to be Dr. Doolittle  or it may have been  ‘Saturday Night’ by the Bay City Rollers.)

When did you make your first appearance on stage? 

When I was very young- it may have been that talent show at the beach club I belonged to where I sang ‘Where is Love?” at 5 yrs old.  After that I did a camp show where I sang ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, a 5th grade play ‘The Money Tree’ where I actually played the comic character and then it wasn’t until way later — I took my first acting class when I was 26 and I was hooked.  I was incredibly shy as a kid so I held back a lot especially doing anything in public.  Although I did run for office in 6th grade and became the school Vice-President — one of my campaign slogans was ‘Touch Every Base with Marla Mase’  (thanks Mom — who didn’t realize what the implications of that were ) - but I WON! 

How would you describe your style of music to someone who had never heard of Marla Mase 

Psychotic (hah — that’s what one of my friends called it when she first heard A Brief Night Out—because of all the genres.) But seriously, I’d say it’s rock-n-roll with a mix of everything else, funk, world, pop, punk, spoken word —because in reality rock-n-roll is only a piece of what I do -but yet I’m seen as a ROCKER, that’s my essence and I agree with that.  I’d say my music is VERY MASE.   



What has been the biggest highlight of your musical career to date? 

Wow, hard to say, to pinpoint, because truly I love performing, I love giving all that I have on any particular night and when I do that AND I can feel the audience feeling it and giving back, or stopping dead in their tracks wondering who is ‘that creature on stage’, there’s nothing like it.. That energy between me, the band and the audience.  Still, the highlight is all of it, the fact that I have TWO albums in less than a year, that I have a reggae track (never would I have believed I’d be doing any of this and yet it feels so right; like I’m finally finally in the right place. That’s the miracle.)

If you could do a duet with a famous singer, who would it be and why? 

Funny, that this question I know the answer to immediately.  I want to work with Eminem.  I think we’re similar in many ways — both of us are very intense, in your face, very real, very raw, very personal.  I think we’d hit it off.   And we have the same birthday Oct 17 AND we are both MM.

If you could write your own headlines in a magazine in under 20 Words, what would you want it say about you! 

Honestly, it’s already been written in some of the press I’ve received—I’ve been called a Rock Goddess, an ICON, A Lyrical Messenger for the Masses, Fearless, Enigmatic, The Next Big Thing --- ok but what I would I want it to say?  

"Marla Mase’s song AnnaRexia Raises 20 Million in Scholarship Money so kids with Eating Disorder’s can afford TREATMENT"




 


Has there been any events in your life that has determined the type of music that you play? 

Every song/every word I write is determined by what is going on in my life and that ‘going on’ has a feeling, a mood, a genre — thus my eclectic musical styles — for example I Fell in Love was written when I was passionately/madly in love with this person and it felt like an old movie, some Film Noir, where the characters can’t but help and be together no matter how many lives they may ruin in the process — or DFWME (coming out of my complete ANGER, BREAKDOWN, FREAKING OUT over my life—my daughter’s illness, my love being an alcoholic — and my saying STOP, THIS IS KILLING ME— and so first it was written as an 8 minute rant and then turned into hard core rock-n-roll.)  I can go on and on but that’s the way I write—I have an impression, a feeling, a glimpse and that feeling, impression has a mood, a sound, a vibe and so I go with it and that’s the direction the song goes in.  I am not one to follow the rules in art. (in most everything else in life I’m a complete rule follower but with my work I let it lead me, I don’t lead it.)

Where does the inspiration come from your work? 

From every second of my life---it comes from outside of me that I know—I get the ‘glimpse’ and it’s up to me whether I choose to stop what I’m doing, grab it before it passes on by.  For me everything stems from the word. I’m a writer/poet first—

 


What message do you want to send out to your listeners? 

My songs/my work speaks for itself (each song has a different message although I don’t write to give a message I write to express what’s inside of me, what’s been given to me, the audience can do with it, interpret it as they like)  but as an artist in general I want people to know that it’s ok to be themselves, that they are enough, they don’t have to look outside, that they have everything they need and who they are is desperate to come out and come alive. It wants to SPEAK.  LET YOURSELF LIVE -  I want people to have the courage to be who they are, to love who they are, to recognize that each one of us is absolutely unique---to take risks, to not buy in to all the messages we are bombarded with each day.  This must change soon.  I think we are heading in a dangerous direction if we don’t start feeding/selling people something ELSE.

Where do you want to be in 5 years time? 

I’d like to be doing what I love—writing/performing—touring --- the Woody Allen of music—angels/supporters behind me who believe in me, my work- who give me artistic license to be MASE, to have a good sized following, a niche,  and putting out one album and/or one show a year.  And to be able to GIVE BACK. ( raised a lot of money via my tune AnnaRexia so that kids suffering from Eating Disorders can be given the money to afford residential treatment.)

Where next for Marla Mase? 

Right now I’m working on my SPEAK tour/show – which will be based on my songs from that album with a few others as well—a multi-media piece-fusing music, spoken word, visual imagery — it will mess around with the question of WHAT IS A BODY? (the good, bad and ugly), along with themes of confinement – physical, emotional and spiritual--   ; I’m looking to do a run in various cities in EU of my rock opera A Brief Night Out — as well as straight up music gigs. (I love this!) This goes hand in hand with my new tune, project AnnaREXIA — (a very dope reggae tune if I do say so myself) -- I’m in process right now of gathering the support, endorsements  to bring this tune to the MASSES — what better way to raise awareness than through music  --- AND of course my 3rd album.