NYC based artist Maŕa takes the reins in the latest instalment of the SFS mix series.
I caught up with the Cultivated Sound first lady to talk about favourite club memories, records and film soundtracks. You can read our q&a, peep the tracklist and listen to the mix below.
I.F.R – Intro [Field Experiment]
Maŕa – Ethereal Vocal Edit
Maŕa – Noise Excerpt with vocal
Maŕa – Tape [Always Human Tapes AHT106]
Arca – Sin Rumbo
Maŕa – Ethereal Instrumental
Solpara – Psyzch
Maŕa – Leaving me [Always Human Tapes AHT106]
Krishna feat. Maŕa – She [unreleased]
Maŕa – Without my clothes [ Always Human Tape AHT100 compilation]
Maŕa – cry me to sleep [Always Human Tapes AHT106]
Maŕa – And you [live improvisation]
Thanks for having me, excited to share with everyone some new material! Well my name is Maŕa and I am based out of Brooklyn, New York, I moved to Bushwick about four years ago and that’s when I started throwing parties at Bossa Nova Civic Club under Cultivated Sound. This lead me into a deep exploration of my love for music and the realness of the scene here. I was completely blown away of how powerful the music community was here and I was interested to help shape that even more. As I sunk into this creative peak in my life I really found my true love, which was my music. I am a multifaceted artist; I am a producer, DJ, vocalist, designer, poet and creative director. As an artist, you’re not only releasing music that describes you but also the way you feel presently or the way you think. I want listeners to understand me and I can do that through my musical approach, photography, poetry, and fashion.
Tell us a little about the mix. Did anything influence you while recording it?
While recording this mix I wanted the listeners to fully convey the way I felt, falling into the sounds, exploring and walking with me in a sense. Whenever I’m making music there is a powerful healing process happening but in order to heal I need to release all of that stuff building inside. I guess for this mix it was about the love I had and the love I lost, my want to forever be alone and learning to be happy with myself. My life is always fluctuating and I’ve hurt so much so it difficult for me now to really let anyone in. This mix describes that for me, travelling through experimental composition with vocals and field recordings. I have a ton of unreleased material here as well some I made in the past and some for AHT EP, a few new tracks that I made primarily for this mix and a few tracks from some great producers that really inspire me right now.
What was the last record you bought? And, where is your favourite spot to go record shopping?
The last record I bought was Massive Attack – Blue Lines from a homie Jeremy who works at Human Heads but my other favorite shops are Halcyon which we play and have CS showcases there, A1 Records and Detroit Threads!
What is your earliest memory of the club?
My earliest memory, wow. Probably one I do not want to remember but here it is haha. I use to coordinate a ton of my friends in high school to go to NYC to these cool ‘teen nights’ since we aren’t allowed to drink in America till 21. This club was near the city somewhere and we would all drive, normally have a crew of 5 cars and before entering the venue we would drink and smoke weed by our cars. Things kind of got out of control a few times with the guys fighting after the club so I ended up getting a fake ID and going to the real clubs after that since people can’t hang.
Tell us a little about Cultivated Sound?
Cultivated Sound is an underground collective working with avant-garde visionaries both locally and internationally. Born from a love of dance music, Cultivated Sound began as a way to give back to NYC scene. We work with established artists & those breaking through — we are at the forefront of what’s next subculture, our vision is to influence & inspire with sound, art, and live performance. We are under a small rebrand right now and have a dope team working on a ton of new material, events, mixes, and compilations, extremely excited for this year and we can’t wait to share with you all!
What was the last book you read? And, does literature influence your music at all?
Right now I am actually reading Pablo Neruda – Selected Poems, I am again very inspired by poetry and being able to describe myself correctly as English was my second language. Most of my recent and new tracks I am working on contains a lot of poetry and vocals that can describe the track more.
I’ve become really obsessed with film scores recently! Whats your favourite film score/soundtrack at the minute?
My favorite soundtrack at the moment is Mica Levi, she truly inspires me and also has a similar characteristic of sounds like mine: cosmic, atmospheric dark punchy, experimental.
Also a few months ago I finished my first sound score for a Brooklyn film called Trauma.
And finally, next for Maŕa?
I just release my first EP with Always Human Tapes – Without You and right now I’m working on a small tour to Berlin, Paris, and London hopefully in August, my next steps, I really want to start traveling and touring, I want to be able to showcase artist but also begin writing with artists all over the world. I am also currently working on my first vinyl release with Vent Records in Turkey.