Marina Kaye Interview: “You have to constantly prove yourself as a woman in the industry”
French artist Marina Kaye is just 21, but already has a multi-platinum selling career in the bag. Thanks to wig snatching performances on French talent show France’s Got Talent, Marina was able to captivate and connect with audiences, building a fanbase and scoring a record deal with Capitol Music. Her debut album Fearless, which quickly became certified double platinum, earned comparisons to Lana Del Rey and featured the Sia-written banger ‘Freeze You Out’ as well as the Lindsey Stirling collab ‘Sounds Like Heaven’.
After touring with the likes of Thirty Seconds to Mars, Marina is ready to branch out internationally with her phenomenal new single “Twisted”, a personal song based around a real experience Kaye had in a psychiatrist’s office. The powerful, self-directed accompanying video powerfully details this experience, marking Kaye out as a talent to watch.
We caught up with Marina about “Twisted”, connecting with international audiences, as well as how her reality show background helped her become the artist she is today.
SheBOPS: Is there a quote you consider to be your life motto?
Marina Kaye: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
What’s in your Recently Played list on Spotify?
Halsey – ‘Graveyard’. Two Feet – ‘Quick Musical Doodles’. Eminem – ‘Without Me’.
As a French artist, how do you connect with international audiences?
I sing in English, which makes it way easier to connect with people who are not French speakers and I recently signed with a label based in the UK. They have offices pretty much everywhere in Europe and elsewhere, so we’re starting to get moving internationally.
What are your favorite sounds to incorporate into your music?
I love moody sounds. I love piano and electric guitars. I love when a song is produced but you can hear there are real instruments in it as well.
What emotions do you hope your music conveys to the listener?
I hope people feel how much love, life and passion I put in every song I write and I want them to be able to relate to my lyrics and connect to my emotions.
What is the toughest part of creating new music?
Putting your guts on the table can be terrifying sometimes. Telling your story to everyone is scary but it’s also liberating in a lot of ways.
What is the message behind your new single ‘Twisted’?
‘Twisted’ is about my personality. I have twisted thoughts. I think a lot and it makes my mind go places which I sometimes can’t get back from – and somehow I love that.
Where did the inspiration come from for the lyrics on ‘Twisted’ and is there a line in particular which is your favorite?
I released two albums in the course of three years and I realised that I had never sung about what was going on inside my head, and I just thought it was time for people to get to know what I’m going through on a very personal level. That’s why I wrote this song. My favourite line would be “Babe I gotta warn you, you don’t know what I’ve been through and know what’s in my head.”
What was the biggest difference in terms of writing and recording your newest project compared to your previous albums?
With this album, it just felt like everything was “new” again. I felt free to experience anything I wanted to experience musically. When I released my debut album, I was 17. Now I’m 21 and I’m on such a different level in my mind, it almost feels like I’m another person and you can hear it in the sounds I’m using, in the way I sing. My writing has improved a lot, it’s classier. Everything is just better now.
You collaborated with Lindsey Stirling on your debut album Fearless – how did that happen?
We were both signed to Universal’s Capitol Music and I opened for her in France when I released my first single. We sympathised and decided to collaborate on my song “Sounds Like Heaven” and it was everything I could’ve dreamed of. I admire her so much.
Coming from a reality TV show background, have you ever felt pressured to fit a certain ‘mould’ as an artist?
Not at all. I always knew that if I was stepping into the game, it would be to do my own thing. I knew when I became Marina Kaye that I was an artist and that I had the responsibility to be myself and never fit any mould. I keep full creative control over my music.
During your career, have you noticed any double standards when it comes to gender in the music industry?
Well I just realised how hard it is for women to be heard and respected in the game. They’re asked to play instruments, to dance, to look perfect, which is not the case at all for male artists. But we’re working on it, slowly but surely.
How do you feel about the representation and portrayal of female musicians? Is there anything that you’d like to change?
Like I said, I don’t like the fact that you have to constantly prove yourself as a woman in the industry; as a man, you can just walk in and sing your song. No one’s gonna ask you to dance or to play any instrument. I want this to change.
What challenges do you think female musicians are facing today?
I think we have to work twice as hard as men to get heard and respected.
Are there any up and coming female musicians you have your eye on?
No up and coming. I’m not good at seeing them coming, but I really love Halsey who I think has been huge in the US for a while but is just starting to take off in Europe.
What advice would you give to young girls and women looking to work in music?
I would tell them to believe in themselves no matter what, to build a strong entourage around them and to make sure they listen to their loved one’s advice.
What’s left to come in 2019 and what’s planned for 2020?
I’m gonna keep promoting ‘Twisted’ and will release my album in 2020 along with another single.
Marina Kaye on Spotify