MaryAnne Marino | Just Persevere

prof_maryanne-marino_sm.jpgIf you keep going, I think it pays off, I really do. 








In the past few years, MaryAnne Marino’s life and career have taken some drastic turns. Since her teens, she’s been a favorite within the New York music scene. Her clear, smooth vocals and sweetly sincere diary-entry lyrics have gained her a considerable fan base. Recently, positive and negative changes have persuaded Marino to expand her regional and artistic reach. She may be sailing in cloudy waters, but it hasn’t left a dent in her direction or determination.

How would you describe your music to MaryAnne Marino newbies?

Organic, honest and touching. It’s earthy with a little bit of a pop tinge.

Who are some of your influences?

It’s so vast. I’d say Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox and Sarah McLachlan. There’s a little more than a handful of artists I listen to the most, like Leonard Cohen and Roy Orbison.

These days, you’re jumping between New Orleans and New York. Why?

My husband and I thought it would be nice to move there. He came to New York after Hurricane Katrina and that’s how we met. He wanted to go back and it seemed like a good idea, especially with the change and constant growth that’s going on.

Is anything big happening in the New Orleans music industry?

It’s kind of like the small Hollywood. Since film is here, I think the music supervisors and placement companies will follow within the next five years. The city has so much culture and so many amazing musicians. It’s obviously very different from New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. It doesn’t have much of a clerical business community for the arts, but I think film is changing that.

If someone wants to see you perform, where should they go?

I have a great [New Orleans] gig coming up on May 20, an outdoor concert at Lafayette Square. Every Wednesday, it draws around two or three thousand people. I’m actually opening for Letters to Cleo. It’s my first big kickoff performance in New Orleans. I’m also going to Los Angeles at the end of May.

Are you looking to be signed?

It’s not the first thing on my list. I think with the way things are now, you can have a nice career, tour and distribute music without necessarily being signed. If it happens, of course it will help with resources. My main priorities are to make good music, gain more fans and keep the ones I have.

Tell me about your signed-to-unsigned transition.

A lot of things were going on with Lava Records. Basically, it was no longer going to exist and so many people were losing their jobs. Some moved over to Atlantic Records, but not all artists were able to follow. My production company was let go and so was I. It happens more often than not. More artists are let go than those who come out. But if you keep going, I think it pays off, I really do. Just persevere.

Do you have any advice for unsigned musicians who are trying to survive?

Unless things are set in stone and you’ve been offered a deal, don’t quit that restaurant job. Always see it through to the finish line. Make sure things are in place, stay focused and know why you’re in it. | Lauren Beckerle

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