We love the wonderful Marla here at EQ. Her track "Lipstick for the Vampires" was an absolute favourite of ours last summer and her new single "Betty The Raver" is clever and perceptive pop. In this EQ Interview with Marla, we talk about her tracks, her love of rising songstress Oh Land and working in LA on her debut album.
EQ: What inspired you to write the track "Lipstick for the Vampires"? Was it written about you or someone you know?
Marla: A friend of mine did inspire me to write the song although I took a bit of poetic license with it too. We met when I fist moved to LA. She spun into a bit of a whirlwind of a Hollywood mess. The vampires equals the industry, putting on lipstick, losing you’re innocence and so on. The verses are light hearted-ish and roll out like I look back and remember it. It's weird how the two songs that I have out right now, "Betty The Raver" and "Lipstick For The Vampires" are my only songs that I have written about other people and not about myself. Maybe musically that’s where I’m at, but I am all up in those lyrics too. Just got to listen closely!
What other artists are catching your eye at the moment? Anyone your particularly impressed by?
I’m loving Oh Land and her song “Sun of a Gun”. She is a ballerina turned songstress from Denmark. Her voice is insane and she looks like Elle Macpherson – her live shows are super creative. She is touring when I’ll be in the states, so I will defiantly be checking her out.
I heard you did some film work in LA. What kinda stuff did you appear in?
I worked behind the camera so to speak – I’m not an actress. Unless you count a fake MasterCard commercial, which weirdly got crazy amount of hits on YouTube. Look it up under "indecent proposal". I do a weird American accent in it. That was funny stuff. I worked as a Production Designer on films like “Still Waiting” with Justin Long and “The Passage” with Stephen Dorff. I’m currently finishing up my passion project. It’s a documentary that I’ve been co-directing for years that is finally coming to the end stages. Not quite ready to chat about it but ask me in a few months and hopefully I’ll have a big smile on my face. I love film and the way it can escape us to another place.
You've worked with some amazing producers/writers/artists, care to tell EQ readers about some of them, and what you did?
I’ve been really lucky with collaborating alongside some amazing writers/ producers. I went on a trip to Denmark to write with Cutfather and Pilfinger. Cutfather is pretty legendary as a writer/ producer/ DJ, and wrote everything from big Kylie / Robyn / Christina Aguilera tracks to Mark Morrison’s "Return Of the Mac" – which was my guilty pleasure jam. It was an inspiring trip and I ended up jumping in on other writing sessions to pitch for some big artists as well as my own stuff.
Who's Betty? And why is she a raver?
Ahhh Betty. The short answer is that she’s the life and soul of the party. The kind of girl who walks in the room and no one can help but take their eyes off her. Not because they fancy her- well maybe they do… but because she has “it”. We all like a bit of the “it”. The long story which I wont make too long is that Betty was my gran’s best friend from back in the war days. They grew up in Birmingham but lost touch soon after the war. My aunt and I tried to look for Betty after gran told us how much she would love to see her again. She told me stories of Betty being this girl in shining lights who rode on the back of moter bikes and danced till dawn. I always thought that Betty and I would have been great friends. Sadly we didn’t find any leads on the real Betty but maybe the song will find her. One of my best friends, Agnes Brucker plays Betty in the video and she got the “it”.
What can we expect from Marla in the future?
I want to get out there and go on tour. Play the festivals and later this year put out my record.
When are you performing next?
My "Betty The Raver" release show is on February 21st at The Bowery in London. Are you coming?
I'm thinking…YES. And finally, any chance we'll be seeing a Marla album anytime soon?
Yes – its all written- just got to tie it all together in a nice little bow. Thanks for having me, follow me on Twitter?
"Betty the Raver" by Marla is out on iTunes on the 21st February.