Interview: Seasick Mama

Credit Seasick Mama’s momentous 2013 to serendipity and strut. A recording studio employee moonlighting as a model, when Seasick Mama decided to ditch her daily New York City hustle for music making the results were inherently chic. Her first of two EPs, Dead Like Money, reeled in ‘80s synth-pop under fierce command and even cavernous moments of howling post-punk. Enlisting David Sitek (TV on the Radio), Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet) and Peter Wade (MNDR) for her follow-up Tip Top Shape, Seasick Mama played with bright synths, dancehall one-two, and electro-soul in a rush of pop sophistication.

Select interviews will be printed in the Premium Guide Book and CD samplers of  Brite artists are available as a Kickstarter reward. Get them both with the Music Lovers Pack and support Brite Winter on Kickstarter here. // Interview by Nikki Delamotte

“The songwriting element I don’t think anyone can really perfect, or find their peak. It’s a therapy. It’s a release.” – Marial Moon aka Seasick Mama

You got your start working in a recording studio before you started making music. From experimenting with songwriting and developing your style over time, do you feel like with you’ve finally found your own voice? Something tells me you’re not one to settle into a groove, though, based on the scope of artistic projects you’ve had your hands in over the years.

I have to admit, I have not yet found my voice. I have found my confidence and the reward in being a musician, but I am still exploring “my voice”. I watched some old videos of me singing the other day and it really made me laugh. Vocally, I still have a lot to learn, but it’s an art form that I will always practice. The songwriting element I don’t think anyone can really perfect, or find their peak. It’s a therapy. It’s a release.

How was the experience of working with David Sitek, Peter Wade, and Sam Farrar as an artist in her early stages?

I really got spoiled working with David Sitek, Peter Wade and Sam Farrar so early in my career and it was all very eye opening. To be brutally honest though, as talented as they were, the connection and creative process wasn’t as authentic as I wish it was. It was more like, “Let’s put Marial in with some heavy hitters and she will write some hits!” I prefer the writing process to be a genuine connection, an unbridled collaboration. I have been writing with Nathaniel Hoho and Dan Krysa from the Walking Shapes this winter and we have been making magical songs. I can’t wait to share.

When questioned about covers of artists as diverse as Frank Ocean and Tom Waits, you said you’re “not blurring the lines of genres, just exploring” and in interviews you’ve seemed apprehensive about the “pop” label. Is that changing with the release of Tip Top Shape? You’ve cited Mass Appeal, Grimes, and Little Dragon as noteworthy examples of musicians who are shaping the genre.

I was never apprehensive about the “pop” label – I just wanted to identify the fact that there are smart “pop artists” out there; more unique then your Mileys and Rihannas — don’t get me wrong, I love them BOTH. But artists such as Grimes and Little Dragon should be the ones defining pop music. The new artist Lorde is doing a great job! I love her new album “Pure Heroine”, itss the perfect mix of pop and just being a smart, real songwriter.

What’s been your most memorable gig so far?

My most memorable gig was our record release party for Tip Top Shape last September 2013. The place was packed, filled with my friends and family and new faces. The band was super tight and my outfit was obnoxious. Someone said I looked like I was attending a “hip-hop communion”, I am not sure what the means.

If you could play one place – your dream gig — where would it be?

I look forward to playing on late night television. Some day.

What always seems to make its way back into rotation?

My current rotation is Allah-lahs, Lorde, Little Dragon, Kendrick Lamar, Talking Heads, Gardens and Villa, and Banks.

What’s your dream collaboration?

I would really like to write some psych rock jams with Tame Impala.

Brite takes place every winter. What’s your favorite thing about the winter season?

My favorite thing about winter is the indoor snuggling.

Find Seasick Mama on her official website, keep up with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.