I remember when I first came across the music of unsigned artist, Maria Emilia. I was instantly taken aback by the power and strength which she portrays within her music. Her lyrics are beautiful poetry; delicate and elegant yet bold and unafraid of any consequences. An enchanting dance between the innocent and the twisted. Tracks like The Shadow of the Pillow Man are incredibly hard hitting and emotional. Even her demos hold you in mid air, effortlessly chilling and eerie. Cherry Blossom and The Moon and Purple; stunningly violent, songs of a sweet self destruction and sacrifice leave you in a state of melancholy bliss.
The dark romanticism she conjures in her music is also evident in her music videos. Her latest video, Doll Eyes directed by Sabb Adams, perfectly captures her dream-like and hazy aura. Maria plays a beautiful role within this art form, both comfortable and confident in what she wants to create.
Maria plays at 'The George Tavern' in London on the 2nd of February, FREE ENTRY!!
I spoke to Maria about her forming a band, the struggles of being an unsigned musician and who she would most like to collab with, check it out bellow!
When was it that you first 'discovered' music, in the sense that it inspired you to make your own?
It all started when I was around 8 years old and I went through a huge Avril Lavigne phase. I wrote my own love song and showed it to my mum and she just laughed at me. I started writing properly a couple of years ago after I started getting more into poetry and reading.
It wouldn't be the same without a 'phase' or two. I understand that you are of Russian descent. Do you think Russian music has influenced your own music in any way?
I think Russian poetry and writing has influenced me more than Russian music, but I have been listening to a lot more traditional acoustic folk things recently which have helped me adopt a more raw approach to my sound. After listening to stripped back Russian folk I think I want to release an acoustic EP or something in the near future!
As an unsigned musician, how are you finding getting recognition for what you do? What are your thoughts on the music scene in your area and is there anything you would change about the exposure of smaller artists?
Being an unsigned musician and trying to get recognition is really hard unfortunately, it's all a huge popularity and edgy contest in London at the moment. At the beginning nobody would come to my shows or share my music and I felt like I was getting nowhere with what I was trying to do- it made me feel both dumb and incapable. As soon as I stopped caring about how many people came to my shows, more would turn up. I guess I'd want the London scene to be less divided, and for more people to support each other and help each other out, that would be really nice.
Speaking of gigs, have you got any coming up?
Yeah! I'm playing a show at this really cool historical venue called 'The George Tavern' in East London on the 2nd of February in support of Saint Leonard's Horses. That should be quite fun, I love performing!
Do you see yourself always being a solo musician, or do you hope to involve more people in the future?
I do want to be in a band because it's really restricting being a solo musician, however its hard to form one. I'd also love to collab with people who make different types of music in the future. I don't just want to focus on one genre as that's quite restricting too.
Who would be your ultimate artist to collaborate with and why?
Probably Archy Marshall because he's someone who works across all genres which would mean that I wouldn't be bound to one style of music. Also he seems so fun to hang out with, but I'm not cool enough to collab with anyone anyway haha!
Great choice, I'd love to see that happen. Now, your music videos are beautiful pieces of work and your style is brilliantly captured within them. Do you have a lot to do with the production?
Thank you! Every single one of my music videos apart from the most recent one for 'DOLL EYES' is directed by me, meaning I had full artistic control over the production and imagery. I find the process really therapeutic, it's like making my own little world in video form.
That's amazing! Okay to sign off, would you be as kind to leave us with a quote from your favourite poem?
My favourite poem is this poem by Dylan Thomas and this whole stanza makes my heart and brain flip around and make 360 turns!