‘Live, Laugh, Loving Life’
Songstress Kaylah Marin is breathing life back into soul-music with her debut album 'Loving Life'. A groovin’ blend of R & B and neo-soul, Marin’s passionate vocals poetically groove alongside funky bass riffs, uptempo jazz percussion and syncopated brass instruments.
Reminiscent of a new Motown revival, Marin belts out honest and fervent lyrics with her unpretentious, naturally strong vocal abilities. An effortlessly cool and robust gospel, 'Loving Life' is sure to reverberate Marin’s idea of true-blue sunshine soul into the hearts, minds and spirits of listeners.
Exclusive Magazine recently sat down with Kaylah Marin and discussed her deep musical roots, love and drive for political awareness and just what she’s lovin’ about life.
Your music has it’s roots in R & B and neo-soul. Who were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? " When I was little my mom would play blast Aretha Frankiln, Stephanie Mills, Barbara Streisand, Kim Weston, Whitney Houston, and even Frank Sanatra. Music was always playing in my house."
You’ve just released your debut solo album 'Loving Life.' As an up-and-coming artist, how would you describe the sound and style of your music? "This CD is definitely a nod to the old soul music i grew up on with that eclectic edge of todays Soul sound."
You’re no newcomer to the arts scene. After performing with techno band, The Riots and co-founding the non-profit performance arts studio, The Butterfly Project, breaking through as a solo artist seems like the next logical step. What solidified your decision to create a solo album? "I'm a painter, a playwrite, a poet but music and songwriting were always at the core of everything. And when my executive producer Laurie Andrewsen offered me the opportunity to bring my artistry to the next level and work with amazing talent i saw this as a sign that this was the right way to go."
Your music has been used for several recent social-awareness campaigns, such as French filmmaker Laurent LeGall’s documentary on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and as part of the compilation “Eye of the Storm”, a CD to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina victims. How do you think artists can use their music to create interest in political and charitable causes? "I believe that Art is Our power to manipulate energy, whether it is towards clubbing, or falling in Love, or being kind to eachother. Art directs our focus. Inspired Art is powerful enough to direct the minds and hearts of millions towards a THOUGHT an IDEA."
You were born in San Francisco but recently relocated to Los Angeles. How are these two California cities different, both within the social and music scenes? "San Francisco is Love, comfort, and beauty, definitely Home, where i feel able to take artistic risk and know that the audience is open to taking different journeys. LA is fast, hard, flashing light, where you earn the right to take risks, where you have to be on and ready. I love them both for different reasons."
You’re very proud of your Guatemalan heritage and your Garifuna (Central American) roots. Please tell us how this unique culture weaves itself into your life and your music "I grew up with so much music and rhythms which was one of the reasons i really wanted heavy rhythms infused in all the songs on my Loving Life CD. I also grew up with strong sense of self and pride from coming from such a strong history of Survival and triumph, and a deep connection with my ancestors."
How easy or hard is it to create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderments and accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "I think that you have to not try to create something new you just have to be open and doing what you are guided to do and the rest will take care of itself. I really believe that you have to simply be open and centered enough for spirit to work thru you and your output will reflect the highest."
You’ve worked with five-time Grammy award winning producer Narada Michael Walden on several of the tracks for Loving Life. Tell us a bit about this exciting partnership and what it means for direction of the album "Narada is amazing, he made me work so hard and it was the best experience. Also i learned so much about songwriting as he puts songs together like drinking water, at this stage of his life it is just effortless."
Your parents instilled in you a love for music and dance at a very young age, your father as a Jazz saxophonist and your mother as an educator and lover of the arts. How do feel this has driven your musical career? "I grew up with music, I grew up with respect for the process of creation, and appreciation for the works of great artists. My bedtime stories were edgar allen poe, Dunbar, et cetera, my father would put me to sleep playing his saxophone to me, there was art in our home, my greatest wish has always been to have a career in the arts and god gave me a voice."
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today...and why? "'Man in the Mirror,' many years later and the lyrics are relevant to all feeling conscious humanbeings trying to do our part."
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins...do you? "I love penguins. I even have a painting of penguins that I did!"
Interview: Erin M. Stranyak
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