Melbourne singer-songwriter Maribelle has returned with a groovier pop sound and a very personal storyline. ‘I’m A Mess Without You’ opens up about her sexuality and explores her current relationship with her girlfriend and how she realised she was being a little crazy when she wasn’t with her. This is the first time she has publicly opened up about this and It’s a very cute track of pure adoration and realising you’re in love and can’t do anything about it. it’s a massive departure from her alternative pop EP ‘Overtake’ as it steers toward a heavier pop sound with a groovy, funky and catchy hook. Not only has she been working on a new sound for herself but she’s also been co-writing for other artists and running her own independent label to help grow up-and-coming artists. So she’s a little bit of a saint.
I recently chatted to Maribelle about opening up about her sexuality in her songwriting, what inspired her heavier pop sound and running her own independent label. Check out the chat here;
TB: Your new single ‘I’m A Mess Without You’ hears you going towards a groovy and funkier production with a massive pop polish. What was inspiring you sonically when you were working on this track?
M: I was heavily inspired by Tove Styrke’s ‘Say My Name’ when I walked into the session with Mario Marchetti. I played that alongside others for him and he instantly got the vibe I wanted.
TB: This song also hears you addressing your sexuality openly for the first time. Were you nervous about how people were going to react and how did you deal with that anxiety?
M: I wasn’t really nervous about the reaction I would get. I felt more nervous about how I felt sharing that much information about my life. I’m a very low-key person so Trying to express my sexuality was a really awkward feeling for me. Not to mention, my whole family would hear the release.
TB: This song does such a great job in going towards normalising these experiences because it’s quite subtle in its delivery and it’s the way it should be. Artists and people alike shouldn’t have to hide their sexuality to make people feel comfortable and it should just be a normal thing. Do you think we are heading towards a place in society where it won’t be “abnormal” or “looked down on” to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community?
M: I definitely think that we’re headed towards normalising everybody. I would’ve never been able to open up like I have if it wasn’t headed in that direction.
TB: I feel like with the way the world is right now there has never been a more important time to stand up for yourself and be true to yourself. So what would you say to young women who are scared to be themselves or are confused with the current state of the world?
M: When you know who you are, don’t let anybody else tell you how you should be or how to be happy. Nobody knows you like you do. Do what makes you happy and be proud of that.
TB: You’ve written for a couple of other artists like Young Franco, Kilter and Armand Joubert. When you are writing for/with someone else do you channel your personal experiences or do you try to leave your thoughts behind and try to story tell through them?
M: My sessions usually start with “what are you thinking?”, “what are you feeling?”, and the song goes from there. Whether it be something I’m going through or what somebody else (or the artist) is going through, otherwise I just write to how the beat feels.
TB: What would you say has been your most vulnerable moment as an artist and songwriter?
M: I think releasing ‘I’m A Mess Without You’ has been one of my most vulnerable moments. I’ve really never talked about my sexuality to anybody. I bring my girlfriend around with me but I’m always too awkward to bring up the conversation to others. Usually people just think we’re best friends so after releasing the song people who know us have had like an “OMG” moment.
TB: In between all your musical projects you’ve also established you’re own independent label Crush Club Records. So what was your idea behind that and how are you finding it?
M: I first released ‘Shout’ in collaboration with my friend Djemba Djemba. I wanted to release the song just for fun and not think about the sales or how well it’s gonna do. So I created Crush Club Records. A platform where I could drop a song that I felt so passionately about but didn’t know if it was good enough for a Major label or anybody else.
We dropped ‘Shout’ and Warner Music really loved it so I then signed the song to them and we released it as my first official single. The platform really worked for me, with no stress, so I want to share this platform/bridge of opportunity with others. No big, scary deals, just one song to put out there in the world.
TB: You’ve done some writing sessions all over the world and are opened up to so much music. So who is an artist that you think we should check out that we may not be familiar with?
M: I recently got the chance to meet RAY BLK while we were in Bali. She’s so dope, you should definitely check out her music
TB: Let’s play a little game when you answer these questions with the first thing that comes to mind.
TB: If I could have any superpower it would be…
M: To fly
TB: Most people think I…
M: Am a lot older than I really am
TB: The emoji that best describes me is…
M: The crying emoji. happy tears and mental breakdown tears
TB: If I could form a supergroup with any other band or artist it would be…
M: The Pussycat Dolls. I’d be the awkward girl in the back that can’t really dance
TB: Most mornings I…
M: Check all my emails and then avoid them till I’ve had a coffee
‘I’m A Mess Without You’ is out now through Warner Music Australia