From Dreams to Reality: The Journey of a Young Music Artist | Unveiling the Story Behind Marli

Meet Marli: Pop music’s newest up-and-coming bilingual artist. Fusing her eclectic influences from her upbringings in Puerto Rico and Tampa, FL, Marli brings you along for a journey through her fearless expression of honest emotions and personal anecdotes.

Growing up, Marli spent most of her time feeling misunderstood and would manifest those feelings into poetry and journal entries. Today, she has taken it a step further by turning her writing into art that transcends its ability to resonate with listeners. In contrast, to display her animated personality, she juxtaposes her lyrics with diverse, energetic productions drawing from her Alternative Pop/Rock and Electro/Dance-Pop influences. Distract’s new Journalist Steven Cuoco (SC) sat down with Marli for a 1 on 1 chat

SC: What inspired you to become a music artist, and how did your journey into the industry begin? 

I knew since I was a young girl that I wanted to be an artist. I remember being four years old watching Belinda, Rebelde, and Britney Spears and just knowing I was going to be doing the same thing one day. As time passed, I developed both my voice and vision. I have realized that besides having an extreme passion for performing, I find purpose in sharing my life experiences. Being able to make something beautiful and creative from the most vulnerable parts of my soul means everything to me. I genuinely feel that people can be helped through art, as it has helped me, and that inspires me the most. At 18 I moved to LA to attend an art school but after a couple of semesters, I felt LA wasn’t the place for me at that moment. That summer, I moved to Miami and jumped head first into the music scene, taking any opportunity I could to work and make music. Finally, I met my engineer with whom I developed my project and continue to work every day. 

SC: Can you share a memorable experience or milestone in your career that significantly impacted your trajectory?

When I hit 100k streams on my new single Kbrona it was a dream come true. Being an independent artist and achieving this milestone within a couple of months of releasing I believe put me in a position for new opportunities and to be taken seriously as an artist. It was also just so exciting and motivating to see that people are enjoying and resonating with a record that I made with so much love. 

SC: How do you balance staying true to your unique sound while adapting to different platforms and audiences, especially on social media? 

I’ve always felt that genuine art is going to find its audience. The industry is always evolving so I never shape my art based on what is trending at the moment, but rather what I’m feeling and envision for the record. It can be exhausting when you are trying to keep up with the new trends and I just stay in my lane and draw from what inspires me. In 2023, content is key and you have to do it, so I organize myself to create the content efficiently and also not take myself too seriously when I’m doing it. I try to make it a fun thing to do because it can be overwhelming otherwise. 

SC: What challenges have you faced in the industry, and how did you overcome them to achieve the success you enjoy today? 

Being a young female doing this alone has been the most difficult challenge as it is a male-dominated industry. I’ve found myself in so many situations where I was disrespected and opportunities taken away from me because I wouldn’t give in to what they wanted. It was very taxing mentally, as I’m someone who struggles with mental health already, and it would happen so often that I genuinely thought at one point that I wouldn’t make it and I even started feeling guilt and many negative emotions towards myself. Regardless, I could never extinguish that fire inside of me and I somehow kept going.

SC: How do you approach collaborations with other artists or musicians to create seamless and dynamic music? Or are there music artists you would like to work with? 

So I have never collaborated with another artist, I always co-produce with a producer and write or co-write if I’m working with a writer. That being said, I would love to collaborate with Lady Gaga, Tate McRae, MGK, Yungblud, and Oli Sykes. 

SC: With your visibility, how do you navigate the intersection between being a performer and connecting with your audience? 

To me, performing and connecting go hand in hand. The audience will best remember the shows they’ve been to where they felt connected with the artist. When I’m on stage performing, I try my best to be as present as possible in the room, with the audience, and create an intimate environment. When Marli performs, she’ll give you one hell of a show, but it’s still the same Marli that you would run into at the grocery store, just with more adrenaline. 

SC: Can you share insights into the creative process behind your most successful mixes or projects? 

Usually, songs start as a poem in my journal. I’ll then start fitting those words and concepts into melodies with just chords played on a piano or guitar. Once I feel like the music and lyrics are there I then bring it to a producer to start collaborating with on the beat. After the beat is finished, I go back and record the final vocals with harmonies, oohs, and ahs, as libs, riffs, etc. Then I’ll sit down with the producer and the engineer to finalize any transitions, vocal effects, and special moments within the song. Once the song is deemed “finished” it moves into the mixing process where sometimes new ideas come about and get added. When the mix sounds great on various listening systems, it goes to mastering and then it’s officially “Done” and gets submitted for release. 

SC:  As a sought-after music artist, how do you stay updated with evolving music trends and ensure your sets remain fresh and innovative?

I try not to pay so much attention to this because I feel that it can hinder my creativity. I never like to make a record that I feel sounds like another artist. Since I always like to experiment and reinvent myself with my records, staying innovative will come naturally.

SC:  What advice would you give to aspiring music artists and young women looking to make a mark in the industry?

If it’s what you feel in your soul you are meant to do and it brings you happiness, don’t give up. You don’t want to live a life dreaming of what could’ve been. There is room for everyone and if others have achieved it, you can as well.  When times are difficult, believe in yourself more than ever because you deserve to keep going. Don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing and be kind to yourself. You are worthy of respect!