Q&A with lead singer of Théa Marie

Between her mom’s Gospel and her dad’s love for jazz, franco American singer-songwriter, Théa developed a passion for soul. At an early age, she entered a music program to remedy her shy nature. There she learned to play several instruments (guitar, piano and drums) and was encouraged to compose music of her own.

Her move to London in 2017 to study songwriting marked the next stage of her career. In 2018, she formed Théa Marie with Julianna Hopkins and Peter Napper. Together, they perform soul-rock music with influences from Amy Winehouse, the Cardigans and Norah Jones.

Théa Marie have just released their album Then. Enjoy it below and read on to get to know more about the band’s lead singer Théa.

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

I was an extremely shy kid, so at a young age, my mom put me in a music program called the On Off Association. There, I learned how to play several instruments and sing with a band and we would play a live concert in our hometown about four/five times a year. I believe that the first rehearsal I had with my band at the time was when I grew a passion for music. I think I just loved how connected it made us all feel, without having to say words.

As for music production, I grew a love for it when I studied at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. Since I studied music production, I quickly realised that it was easy to make a whole track by myself. I like how liberating it is to have a musical idea in my head and be able to put it to sound using Logic Pro.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I usually start my songwriting for Théa Marie with a melody and a chord progression that fits the soul/rock style I’m aiming for. My lyrical choices usually revolve around putting myself in the shoes of someone else. For example, one of the newest tracks we have is about an old man on his death bed, telling his long time wife that he’ll miss her when he’ll fly away. For some reason, I feel uncomfortable singing about my own feelings, so I’d rather sing about someone else’s feelings.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

I’m not quite sure yet… I feel like when someone gives me a motivational speech, I get very creative. When I’m desperate for a song, however, a little bit of wine usually helps.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

I totally agree! I wish being a musician was more about music than just building a brand and making sure your style suits what your audience would expect from you. But that, I feel with social media, isn’t going to change any time soon. 

I wish smaller music venues in the UK would pay small artists a fee that doesn’t depend on the crowd you bring, OR pay you with actual money and not pints of beer.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

It depends on my mood! I have to say though, these days, I dream of performing in front of a crowd again. The last gig we played was in February!

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

“I cried when I listened to your album this morning because I’m so proud of you” – my mom

What’s on your current playlist?

With Then coming out and being all about my nostalgia, I’m currently listening to James Vincent McMorrow’s album called Early In The Morning. I used to listen to it on repeat when I was 15.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

There are some collaborations coming out in the near future – which is very exciting!! Also, we are currently working on our second album and on a different style of performing…

Famous last words?

‘Théa’ is pronounced ‘Tay-a’

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