Get To Know: Etoile Marley
Multitalented songwriter and performer Etoile Marley is making her mark on
the music scene, with music enriched with dark and dreamy tones and sultry vocals. As
we eagerly look forward to her upcoming EP this November, Etoile and I dive into her
first few singles of the album, ‘Cuffing Season’ and ‘LockItDown’ as well as her many
other hidden talents as an artist!
You’ve said that you draw inspiration from a diverse range of musicians, from
Dusty Springfield to Portishead. Would you say any particular genre(s) influenced
you most for your upcoming single ‘Cuffing Season’?
It is a Pop album with a Jazz and RnB influence. The title track has hip-hop and funk
influence so the whole EP is quite diverse! I wanted to make an EP that is quite
eclectic and took the opportunity to experiment a little with different styles to see
what resonates the most with people.
With your experience as a dancer and actor, you must be such a natural
performer! What inspired you to shift your focus to writing and performing music?
Well, I actually "broke up" with dance about 5 years ago after severely injuring my
back. It was a long-standing injury from a previous event but after the first physical
job I took on here in the UK (when I moved here in 2015), I badly damaged my back
and basically had to kiss dance/circus goodbye. It was hard at the time, but in a way,
it was a blessing because I always had a question mark hanging above my music
and wondered what would happen and how far I could push my music if I gave it my
full attention. I have written my own songs as a hobby for many years, but I thought if
I want to turn pro at it then I would like to get a degree in Songwriting, especially
being in a city where I knew no-one and vice versa. Going to study has been the
best thing for me and has helped me start to build a network of industry connections!
I hear through the grapevine that you used to be a circus performer and may still
have a few cool tricks up your sleeve! Can you tell us more about that?
Hehe yes! I joined a youth circus when I was a teenager, that's where I learnt aerials
(web and trapeze) and basic acrobatics and manipulation skills (juggling/hula hoops
etc). As a young adult, I worked for a stilt-walking dance company doing shows and roving performances. I've been in several performance troupes over the years,
where we did hula hooping, juggling and fire twirling. I used to teach adults and
children basic acrobatics and manipulation for Circus Oz.
Before pursuing your solo career, what was it like to be the front-woman of a
French Gypsy jazz band?
Oh, I loved it! It was a Cabaret show that was based around the life of an Australian
war heroine "Nancy Wake" and all the songs we wrote were about the incredible life
she lived. Her courage, strength and ability to drink any man under the table made
for fantastic material to base my performances off of. It was always a riot!
Coming from such an enriched background with Australian and French heritage,
do you ever dip into those roots in your songwriting?
Absolutely! My EP 'LockItDown' (coming out Nov 27th) has a song with some
French hooks in it and I'm wanting to delve more into writing bi-lingual pop songs.
When I was part of the French Gypsy band, I wrote half the songs in our repertoire
completely in French. I'm also influenced by what goes on in my “motherlands”. For
instance, I've written a song called "Mr.Politician" which is about the horrific bushfires
that happened at the end of 2019 and how the prime minister responded to the
situation. (I'm hoping to release it early 2021 — it's been a long time coming!)
What is the most exciting performance you’ve ever done? Has this lockdown
period sparked any new ideas for future performances as live music slowly begins to make a comeback?
In terms of performance, the most exciting would have to be when I performed in the
Hong Kong Chinese new year parade. Literally 3 million people lined the streets to
watch us dancing on stilts down the streets. It lasted about an hour and I was
absolutely gob-smacked at the amount of people — they loved us! Afterwards, the
most crazy thing happened like something out of the film "Beraka"... When we were heading back to the hotel, we jumped on the escalator that goes down into the
subway, I could see that the train platform was packed, so much so that people were
not able to get off the escalator. But the escalator kept moving, and people kept
stacking up hard against each other, we all started shouting "stop the escalator" and thankfully someone did. The platforms in Hong Kong have glass doors along the platform so no-one can fall on the tracks but they literally use physical force to push
people onto trains when it's busy! Lockdown has definitely made me think a lot more about the visual aspect of my music and finding creative ways to make music video interesting on a small (independent) budget! Something that I'm really enjoying because it's just another
The release of your singles ‘Cuffing Season’ and ‘LockItDown’ over the next few
months will give us a sneak peek into your upcoming EP. Can you tell us what we
can expect from the album?
Well as I mentioned, I was wanting to experiment and play around a bit with different
styles. So you can expect some rap, a sexy love ballad and songs about being a
mum and the pandemic!
If you had to pick between dancing, acting, being a circus performer or making
music (or all of the above!) forever, what would you choose?
Is there anyone that you would like to collaborate within your music in future?
Absolutely! There's a young London girl who is coming up fast called "Mae Muller”.
She's got a real sassy style and I'd love to write a diss track or a love song for her. I'd
also love to write with Plan B, Chet Faker, Ed Sheeran and a young Australian artist
called G Flip.
What would you say is your main drive and goal as a songwriter?
To write bangers but also to write music that comes from the heart, with real emotion,
the stuff that's hard to write about. I always aim to write with depth :)
Check out Etoile Marley on Spotify HERE
Keep up to date with Etoile Marley on her WEBSITE HERE
Find Etoile Marley on Facebook HERE
Etoile Marley's Single 'CUFFING SEASON' is OUT 18TH SEPTEMBER