Here's my interview with musician, Marianne Kesler
I have a background in classical viola, plus am a self taught guitar player. My mother loved singing and taught me to sing and harmonize together. Later on,
my name was selected in a nationwide drawing that I had signed up for where the first prize was a week long intensive songwriting school called Doulos and the op to record an album of covered tunes (songs written by other artists).
It was a wonderful learning experience, and once I had an album, I started getting invitations to play out. I would perform songs from the album plus the songs I had written. The audiences seemed to really affirm my original songs. These small beginnings launched a busy season of touring the US, plus two
international tours in the Netherlands and Australia, plus 6 CD projects.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
As far as my singer-songwriter influences, I was rooted in the folk music scene.
In writing and performing I have expanded my sound to incorporate folk & pop, as well as a touch of rock. I think the folk base is still underneath the sound at some basic level.
I love to describe my organic vibe as a quirky meeting between some of my favorite music artists: “Imagine if Joni Mitchell got together with Leonard Cohen for a writing session at the coffeehouse where Neil Young and Counting Crows were playing, folk artist Jan Krist was singing, Tori & Fiona were pouting, and Over The Rhine & Aimee Mann opened … Yeah, it sounds something like that!”
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
I was told at the songwriting workshop I attended, to “develop a tough skin, but keep a soft heart”. That has been so helpful. I still struggle with jealousy and getting hurt by others within social media or the music industry, but I try fiercely to remain open and honest in my heart and to share my music in hopes it can bring a sense of encouragement to listeners and fellow strugglers.
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
I think sticking to “who I am” and allowing myself to be unique, not always in a particular genre box, helps. I am learning to do what I do best (songwriting, performing solo acoustic gigs) and simply keeping at it.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
Just got booked at 2nd St. Market again for January 15th! I love that venue! For several years in this digital age, I have been releasing songs as singles as I create them, rather than whole albums. I really miss the whole album concept, cover design, etc, but try to put my efforts into the recordings, plus videos to go with the songs. I just released “If I Could Fall Into The Skies” in October, and am working on a new one ‘just for fun’ called Katydid (a follow-up to one called Dragonfly, haha!) Also one in the writing stages called “Invisible.”
To check out her music here are the following links below