Hiya Maria thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I have always loved singing, and music has felt like the place where I can be myself and process my emotions. 

Introduce us to you and your musical history 

I’m originally from Orlando, FL, and have been in Brooklyn for the past 6 years. 

I grew up with music all around me. My father plays piano and guitar and introduced me to a bunch of artists growing up – Billy Joel and James Taylor were some of the first. 

I got into theater as well at age 7 so I began to love singing musical theater and Disney princess songs. We had a piano in my parents house that I loved playing – I kind of taught myself and would write on it. 

I’ve probably written over 50 songs, but it wasn’t until last year where I was ready to start releasing music and here we are. My first single “Strangers Again” was actually written on that same piano so that was pretty special. 

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in. How do you feel you are doing?

I’m happy with everything I’ve put out so far. I do second guess myself sometimes because it’s hard to not compare yourself to other successful artists. 

I think I’m just enjoying every process I’m stepping into. I have yet to perform my stuff live so that’ll be the next step. 

We set up RGM USA and many other countries in the world to share music with America and the UK, good idea?

Yes definitely, I was actually born in the UK so this is a cool first interview for me. 

Ahhh brill…Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories? 

I don’t really but I went through a period where there were a conspiracy theory series on Youtube that I got into. 

Let’s share the love, what bands are doing really well in your City?

Daisy Grenade, they are based in Brooklyn and have brought back the nostalgic punk alt sound. They also come from a theater background which is cool. 

What advice would you give other artists starting out?

Keep writing and don’t be afraid to put your music out there. 

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

Yeah. I bought a Nintendo Switch Lite strictly so I could play Animal Crossing, and haven’t touched it in almost a year. 

What was the worst experience on stage?

When I was playing Vivienne in Legally Blonde, the week of the show I got hit with laryngitis and didn’t have an understudy so it was extremely challenging to navigate those performances. We even had to restructure my solo because I could not sing above the bass range with a voice that was completely shot. 

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

I don’t have my driver’s license – I have anxiety and a really bad fear of driving. I do have my permit though so I at least started the process. But it’s actually more common than I thought that a lot of people don’t drive and never had their license. 

If you had to describe your music to an alien how would you describe it? 

Do aliens cry? My music is good to cry to. 

What makes you stand out as a artist?

I’m a self-taught musician, I write my own melodies and my lyrics are very honest based on what I’m going through, and I like to use different parts of my voice. 

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

My new single “Haunting Me”, out October 28 is one of the tracks off of my debut EP. 

It feels different from any other song I’ve put out. 

My EP is about struggling with mental health while also going through a brutal breakup and wanting to enjoy dating again. So much of dating and sharing yourself with another person is dealing with your past, so I really touch on the challenge of this and each song is its own chapter. 

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune.

I wrote it back in January of this year. I had written the verse and the hook and came to my producer Julian and told him I’d really love us to restructure this together because I feel kind of lost about where it’s going. I imagined at first to have a very folky acoustic sound because that’s how it was written, but we ended up going a very synth route which I think is so perfect for it. The whole song feels like it had this call and response thing going on to carry that “haunting” effect which I love. 

What was the recording process like?

We kind of were improvising with parts as we were recording because we weren’t sure where it was going to go. I even would say “let’s try like a vocal stack here”  or “what about this?” and our ideas bounced off each other really well. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tune? 

I find it hard sometimes to write a full song. I can usually always write the first verse and the chorus but with this song, I couldn’t figure out how it would come together as a whole.  But it made sense once I brought it to Julian he was able to make some of the dialogue clear. 

Would you change anything now that it’s finished?

No, I try to never look back at my songs and think what could I have done differently, I always just try to trust myself that it landed where it should have. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Be sure to check out “Haunting Me” out October 28, and follow me at @marialane on IG to keep up with my upcoming EP release, and thank you to RGM for this interview!  

Photography by: Clara Jeanne Reed