Interview: Marí

Marí im Interview und Review

Marí im Interview; Fotocredit: Aske Stubkjær Madsen

Linda Marí Josefsen, so der bürgerliche Name von Marí, wuchs auf der Insel Mors in Nordjütland auf. Wir hatten dir Marí bereits hier auf dem Blog vorgestellt. „Uncertainty“ war die Single, die ich dort besprochen habe. „Making Peace With Uncertainty“, so hat sie nun ihr Album getauft, welches Anfang November erschien. Die Unsicherheit, das Ungewisse spielt eine gewichtige Rolle. Sich unsicher zu fühlen wir in unserer Gesellschaft ja gerne mal als Schwäche oder schlechte Sache betrachtet. Dabei hat Unsicherheit eigentlich auch etwas Gutes. Neue, unbekannte Dinge auszuprobieren oder sich in neue für mich ungewohnte Situationen manövrieren, das bewirkt immer Ängste zu überwinden. Und ganz oft geht es ja genau darum im Leben. Nur so wirst du vielseitiger, zufriedener und man spürt sich – wie man so schön sagt – endlich auch selbst wieder.

Feeling uncertain is not a bad thing. Uncertainty is good (maybe not in math terms, but you know what I mean).

Es ist ihr Debütalbum und die Platte erforscht das Gefühl, ein Außenseiter zu sein und den Kampf mit dem Selbstwertgefühl in einer Welt zu führen, die von sozialen Erwartungen geprägt ist. Musikalisch setzt sie das düster um. „The Morning After“ ist schon fast angsteinflößend düster und schleppend traurig. Marí zeigt sich als klassische Songwriterin, lässt Jazz-Elemente aufblitzen und sorgt dafür, dass wir wieder ein klares Bild vom Nordic-Folk bekommen.

Im Interview spreche ich mit ihr über zwischenmenschliche Beziehungen, die große Angst in dir und welche Rolle „Freundschaft“ in ihren Songs spielt.

With “Making Peace With Uncertainty” you release your first album. How great was the anticipation and was there also fear about releasing the album?

Marí: „I’m not sure what the anticipation was. I’m not a well-established artist and this is my debut, so I tried to adjust my anticipation with that in mind. I don’t feel entitled to people’s attention, so I’m beyond grateful for everyone giving the time to listen to the album and furthermore for those of you who took the time to review, write and share. Maybe not fear, but I am a very worried person, and if I’d spent all those hours practicing tennis instead of staring at my ceiling while worrying, I’m pretty sure I would have been a pro by now. I expose myself a lot in the lyrics, and that was something I worried about. I’m a fan of autofiction, but it’s different when it’s about yourself, sometimes it feels sickening. I’m from North Jutland so my anticipation is in general that everyone will hate my music and nobody likes me… alright, I might be exaggerating a bit, but there’s some truth to it. Therefore I’m genuinely grateful, surprised and happy that the response so far only has been positive.“

Uncertainty and the unknown. These are usually two things that massively prevent us from trying new things. They say you have to allow exactly this uncertainty and fear in order for your own life to change. To what extent is this true for you and your debut album?

Marí: „Absolutely true. I’m a late bloomer, when it comes to this realization: feeling uncertain is not a bad thing. Uncertainty is good (maybe not in math terms, but you know what I mean). Even though the uncertainty sometimes makes you feel insecure, unsafe and at times even drives you crazy, it makes life unpredictable and fun. I don’t think we should be afraid of it. It forces us to reflect and allows us to connect with our true feelings, because that really is the only way to wisely handle uncertainty. I realized this while making the album, since it became a process of making peace with uncertainty – which explains the title. More importantly, if we were more open towards the unknown and were brave enough to lean into it, it could even change the world for the better. We have to change the structures and patterns of society. We can’t just keep going with the flow. We messed up the entire planet, and we can’t afford to keep ignoring that fact. The more we’re willing to embrace
uncertainty, the more open we become towards taking new turns.“

Your songs are a lot about human relationships. Was there a milestone for you where you realized what human relationships are all about?

Marí: „No, not at all. Human relationships will remain a mystery to me. We can be self destructive while living a healthy lifestyle, wise while acting studpid, kind but still hurting others. Like, how can we be stupid enough to start wars but clever enough to invent vaccines? We are extremely irrational sometimes and our feelings are complex even when it comes to the most simple things. And all these feelings get even more complicated in human relationships. I understand cats and lizards to a certain extent – but not humans. Maybe that’s why I feel the urge to write about them, human relationships – not cats or lizards.“

What role does “friendship” play for you and how do you implement that musically?

Marí: „A lot of my songs are about friendships – even though you might think they’re about a
romantic relationship. But that’s the thing, friendships can be romanticized and they can end terribly just like the classic lover-relationship. Friendships are fascinating. They are completely voluntary and can feel like the family you chose. They can feel like a huge burden, and a close friend can easily break your heart. Friendships are not easy to get out of, but very easy to lean into. Having friends I’ve known since childhood is one of the greatest privileges I have. They’re always able to remind me of who I am, when others try to convince me I’m someone else, and they inspire me in countless ways and have helped me through difficult times. My love for them is the most pure, because it arose when we were just kids – before everything became so complicated.
Musically, my songs about friendship tend to be more light, jazzy and playful. I also think lyrically I romanticize old friendships more than relationships with ex-lovers. But the song is never about a specific friendship but depicts experiences with different people that evoke related feelings.“

What were the first reactions to your album and what do you take from it for the production of new songs?

Marí: „My dad didn’t like the first 8-9 songs but liked the rest, he said. I don’t think he realized there were only 11 songs in total… Nevertheless, he also said it was not the worst he’d heard, which is actually a huge compliment coming from a man like him. In general, family and friends have been extremely supportive.
The writers and reviewers highlight different songs, which is thrilling, since I’m assuming the explanation could be that each song possesses some quality for different moods and personal preferences. I’m glad that there’s not just one song that stands out. The response has been extremely positive and I’m not sure how to handle the praise. I told my best friends to let me know if my ego suddenly blows up, so I can get down to earth again. Joking aside, I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to make the album I dreamed of, and this is really thanks to producer Albert Finnbogason and all the incredible musicians I got to work with. I feel like I could go anywhere from here. That’s the advantage of being an artist, that no one knows about and no one expects anything from. There’s definitely room for improvement, and my main focus for future work will be the songwriting itself – the lyrics and melodies will remain the most decisive to me.“



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