Meet Upcoming Singer/Songwriter: Soma. “I want to express nothing but my truths.”

In this interview I get the chance to speak to NYC based singer/songwriter: Soma. Having known her for more or less six years I can attest to the dedication and love she puts into her craft whether it be her music, poetry – anything having to do with the arts.

I would personally like to thank her for believing in what this site could be (even more than I have at times) and for helping me throughout the entire process. She’s always been someone that I could speak to when it came to my writing – for both poetry and music.

In this interview we get to catch up and speak on some of her dream collaborations, concerns of being a singer versus a songwriter, and she even gives some advice to aspiring artists!

Enjoy the interview!


Q:  Before we start off, can I get the backstory of Soma? – Is she something like an alter ego?

A: Soma is a deity of the moon. Growing up, my dad always used to call me ‘mi luna’ meaning my moon. It was always something that meant a lot to me. As a child I was always fascinated by the moon and it continued as I grew older. Dia Reeves said, “She was like the moon—part of her was always hidden away,” and I resonate with that deeply. I feel that am a child of the moon.

 

Q: I’ve known you for around six years and I knew that you dabbled in writing but I had no idea that you were interested in music until 2017. Is music something you’ve always wanted to take on professionally?

A: I’ve always loved singing growing up. I always wanted to pursue music, but never really felt the push until this year. I feel as though it was something I was made to do.

 

Q: When did you start writing music? I know that you wrote poems for some time – did it gradually stem from that, or were you always writing whole songs as well?

A: It all started from poems. I thought I wasn’t good enough to write songs until my best friend told me that poems and songs are no different. Now when an idea sparks, I can differentiate whether I want it to be a poem or a song.

 

 

Q: Do you go through a process when creating a song? How do you decide what you are going to write about?

A: Most of everything I write about is personal to me. I would say about 99%. It’s an emotional release for me. I usually get a few songs about what I’m currently going through. Lines always hit me out of nowhere—when I’m least expecting it. One of my favorite artist, Banks, mentioned that she gets some of her inspiration like a mantra before falling asleep and so do I. I’ll be half asleep and quickly jot down something in the notepad on my phone.

 

Q: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote? If so, what was it about?

A: The first song I wrote was about classic middle school drama. A loss of a best friend. It was terrible by the way.

 

Q: Have you ever gone through a creative block? If you have, are there any artists/songs you listen to to help give you inspiration?

A: I am completely inspired by different artists. I’ll listen to SZA to Charli XCX to The Smiths. I think different genres of music and writing styles can help spark something inside of me and I will begin writing again.

 

Q: Are there any artists you want to collaborate with? Do you have a dream collaboration?

A: I have so many dream collaborations. I would love to collaborate with SZA, Banks, Sia, Billie Eilish, Charli XCX, Cupcakke, Tove Lo, Raye, Wafia, Broods, Lana Del Rey and Tara Carosielli. There’s so many different amazing women in the industry.

 

Q: Is it important for you to draw inspiration from you real life?

A: It is very important to me. I want to express nothing but my truths. For me, listening to songs that I relate to help me through difficult times. I want to be that type of artist for other people.

 

Q: What kind of advice would you give writers who are just starting out?

A: There is no right or wrong way to write anything, whether it be a song, poem or short story. Just say what you want to say, don’t try and limit yourself, but also don’t try to push yourself too hard. Give yourself some time. Be patient with yourself.

 

Q: Aside from being a songwriter, you have dabbled in being an artist as well; Do you ever think you will release your own project?

A: That’s my ideal goal. I’m hoping for this year.

 

Q: When you decided to take music seriously, did you have the support of your family and/or friends?

A: I haven’t told my family yet but my friends are completely supportive of me.

 

Q: Because you are both a singer/songwriter – would you ever consider collaborating with other writers when it comes to YOUR work?

A: Absolutely yes. I am incredibly open to hearing about other people’s ideas. I’ve already collaborated with two of my friends and they bring the best writer out of me. Sometimes they say things in ways I couldn’t even imagine and I’m just like, “I never would have thought about that.”

 

Q: If you have any, what are some of your concerns when it comes to being in the spotlight as a singer compared to being behind the scenes as a songwriter?

A: More scrutiny. I’m a very anxious person who unfortunately cares a lot what people think about them. I believe there’s a lot of pressure for singers to be perfect whether it’s their appearance or their lyrics. I don’t want to let anyone down.

 

Q: There are a lot of aspiring artists out there, many of them too afraid to put out their work in fear of their own self doubts, is there any advice you can offer them?

A: You have a lot more to offer than you think you do. There are a lot of people out there waiting to hear what you create. A lot of people who need to hear what you have to say. Always pursue your dreams or you will regret it. I’m rooting for you.

 

Q: Are there any artists that you listen to that you’re hoping gets more attention in 2018? If so, who and why?

A: I’m hoping that Wafia gets more attention. Not only is she incredibly talented, but she writes songs about important issues. Her song “Bodies” is about the Syrian Refugee crisis. I also hope Billie Eilish gets the credit she deserves as someone who is so young but is incredibly talented both vocally and lyrically. Raye and Tara Carosielli as well.

 

Q: What are your plans for 2018?

A: Music, music, music.

 

Q: Last but not least, is there anything you would like to say to your supporters?

A: Thank you for rooting for me because even I don’t believe in me sometimes.

Meet Pop Artist: Mariami. “Don’t focus on the end result and just begin.”

I’ve been songwriting for around nine years but there was a point where I didn’t see the type of music I was writing being accepted. Yes, I appreciate the music that stays in heavy rotation on the radio but I also enjoy music that allows be to think, music that allows me to relax and just focus on lyrics – especially, because I’m a songwriter. Around 2014-2015 I took a brief hiatus when it came to creating, and focused solely on finding artists that could cater to me. One of those artists I happened to come across was Mariami, a musician from Georgia, Russia based in New York City.

She had just released her debut project Gates, which covered genres such as jazz, pop, and soul. Normally, it takes me a while to warm up to artists but from the very first song I heard , I knew she was one of those artists I would gravitate towards when looking for inspiration and she undoubtedly has.

When I decided to create Arcane, I knew that I was going to talk about Mariami – whether it was through an article, a review, or an interview – I knew I had to introduce you readers to her music. I did not think that I would be able to get an interview with her but I reached out and since then she has done nothing but support me and what I want this website to become.

In August she released her sophomore project Vortex that was noticeably different from her first, as far as sound, but just as good. In this interview we briefly get to speak about her career beginnings, the inspiration behind Vortex, and much more!


 

Q: For some readers, this is the first time they are hearing about you, would you like to introduce yourself?

A: My name is Mariami, I’m a Songwriter and Recording Artist from NYC, by way of Georgia (country, not the state)

 

Q: How would you best describe who you are as an artist and the music you are creating?

A: I would describe the music I create as soulful, retro + reflective. I aim to tell stories that will stick w/ my listener as something they can relate to, but use musical language + tools unique to me and who I am.

 

Q: Is music something you were always interested in? When did you decide you wanted to become a professional?

A: Always. I got militant about it in 2012 — that’s when I started writing Gates. It was a steady build up until now.

 

Q: I know that you are based in the United States, but you are a native of the Republic of Georgia. Do you feel having this background has somewhat influenced your music?

A: Absolutely. The Gates album was influenced by the legacy of Queen Tamar. I was also really influenced by the landscape + the grandness of the Caucasus Mountains. Nature plays a big part in my art. Georgian church music is also very vibey + rich. Lots to draw from.

 

 

Q: In January 2015, you released your first project Gates, were you nervous about how it would be received?0007722529_10

A: Yes. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make everything epic. I quit all my part time jobs when I released that album and thought upon its release, I’d become famous. Looking back, it was a slow burn to achieve recognition for that writing. I wrote every song and produced the album myself and can humbly retrospect and take pride in the sacrifices needed to make that vision a reality.

 

Q: Did you write all the music for the project yourself? If so, are you open to collaborating with other writers?

A: Yes, I write everything by myself and only in 2016 began collaborating. Wish I had started that sooner. A larger portion of my projects are collaborative now.

 

Q: What kind of advice could you give someone who wants to release their own project but has no idea where to start?

A: Get the pen + art out. Any form will do — voice memos, notebook jots. Don’t focus on the end result and just begin. Upon doing so, the next steps present themselves.

 

Q: This project included a range of genres such as reggae, funk, and pop; with this being said, who are some of your musical influences?

A: List is way too long. Sade + Pink Floyd hover on top.

Mariami - Vortex

Q: Skip to August 2017 with the release of your second project Vortex, was there any significant difference in your creative process between this and Gates?

A: Massive difference. Gates came out of a real studio, I recorded Vortex in my apartment in Bushwick. I built a studio in my closet and tracked one of the songs in a hotel in Sedona, Arizona. Vortex is pure spirit + destiny. The EP came out of a break up w/ a person who played a significant role in my career + life. It had to be gritty, raw and honest. I didn’t aim for perfection.

 

Q: Rather than being another project filled with dance and soul music, this EP is predominantly alternative pop – was this intended?

A: I didn’t set pre-determined expectations for how Vortex would be received. The project was a reflection of a moment, a time capsule to capture what was happening in 2016. It was a completely different effort than Gates.

 

Q: Do you think it is important for artists (both aspiring and mainstream) to explore different types (ranges) of music?

A: It’s good to explore all music, it’s not imperative. When I wrote Gates I didn’t listen to other people’s music for nearly a year.

 

Q: Who are some current artists that you enjoy?

A: Rae Sremmurd, Kendrick, Frank Ocean, Chris Stapleton

 

Q: Are there any artists that you want to collaborate with?

A: Frank is and has been at the top of my list since Nostalgia.

 

Q: Since your newest project release, you have already released three more songs, do you think it is important to be consistent in this industry?

A: Consistency is important in any career, but I also think that strategy and doing things with purpose is just as powerful. If releasing contrasting sounds is part of larger picture or goal for an artist, then do it. Being random seldom works.

 

Q: What are some tips you can give aspiring artists?

A: Listen to your gut, whatever it says is typically the key to unlock any door.

 

Q: Last but not least, is there anything you want to tell your supporters?

A: My gratitude is really grand. Thank you for your love + support.


Make sure to support Mariami’s latest singles:

To stay updated on Mariami by following her on Instagram & Twitter.

Also, to hear more music from her make sure to follow her on SoundCloud & Spotify.