October 29 2019

Annie O Presents: Marieme

New York-Standard Sounds
Marieme left Africa as a youngster to come to the United States with dreams of pursuing a music career. She strives to become more conscious about the world around her and connect people with the healing potential of music which is reflected in her songwriting. Currently based in LA and NY and fast becoming a household name in her home country of Senegal, having shared the stage with numerous notable players such as African music legends Youssou N'dour as well as Akon and Baba Maal, she will be releasing a visual acoustic EP on December 13th. Annie O caught up with Marieme before her performance at The Standard, East Village on November 4th.
The Standard

When did you discover your love and talent for music?
I’ve always loved music since I can remember, but I know for sure that I loved music when I came to America and didn’t speak English, when I used to cry whenever I heard beautiful music. Music is powerful.


Tell us a bit about your new EP? When is it coming out?
The new EP is an acoustic visual representation of my Marieme EP. It’s raw; just me and one instrument and beautiful visuals. It’ll be out in mid Dec.


Your family escaped from Mauritania because of war, went to Senegal and moved to the USA,  where you joined them when you were 7 years old. How did these events influence the path you took in music?
It made me realize how important it was to sing about positive uplifting things that will help us be better humans, so that we as people won’t engage in atrocities like wars and treat each other better. 

What is the song Leave about?
Leave is about loving yourself enough to walk away from negativity. It’s about knowing when love is not right but not losing hope of it. 

You did not listen to music at home before coming to the US. Who are your biggest influences these days?
Still Whitney [Houston], her voice was insane. Lauryn Hill, still one of the greatest.

"I didn’t know how much anger I was holding in. I had to let go of all of that before I could truly sing, and in my message, I try to relay the importance of being yourself, loving yourself and following your dreams!" - Marieme
Is it true that you joined an after-school choir secretly?
Yes I did, lol.

You studied journalism and communications at the University of Buffalo, and then later travelled to Peru for a meditation ceremony. How does it all connect with the music?
I studied journalism and communications because I didn’t think I would be allowed to follow my passions, so naturally I was never really happy and found ways to be self-destructive without even realizing it. Years later that led me to Peru to get my mind and heart right. I didn’t know how much anger I was holding in. I had to let go of all of that before I could truly sing, and in my message, I try to relay the importance of being yourself, loving yourself and following your dreams! Studying journalism and communications helped me to be a better writer, which is vital now because I write my own lyrics. 

Do you return to Senegal often?
Yes, I was just there a month ago. I’m working on music there and the Art scene is popping! 

What tracks do you have on repeat these days?
Black Coffee.

What can we expect from your show at the Standard, East Village as part of the Annie O Music Series?
Emotions, you’ll definitely feel things. You might cry you might laugh... you’ll feel.

The Standard
INTERVIEW BY
Annie O