Interview: 5 minutes with Maria Domark
Image credit: Daniel Ben Shimon
The best thing about the music industry is that it attracts such a vast array of people from different walks of life. Take Maria Domark for instance, who is launching her career with the fiercely independent song, ‘Mieway’ followed by the upcoming EP Flawless. The artist was born in Russia before moving to Israel at a young age, where she would go on to create a lucrative career as a high-end model. However, the superficial world soon became wearisome and the calling for her true passion (music) grew stronger. Maria Domark is launching her career with hyper-modern 3D art from artists like Razorade and Sevi Domochevsky, who have worked with the likes of Grimes, Charli XCX, and Arca.
The EP in all its glory will be available on the 3rd of September via P.O.F CORP however, you can catch a glimpse of what to expect as well as get some insight into the uniquely creative mind in the interview below
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I always had issues expressing myself and art was always the solution.
I was always a quiet person but my mind was filled with sounds and colours. Whenever I go through emotional struggles, I stay where I am but escape inside. Writing lyrics could take a while for me at the count of being a perfectionist and also not very good with words. Producing, writing melodies and building projects is easier because I love thinking through abstract concepts.
You’ve recently taken the bold step of embracing music and creating an entirely new career in the industry. What would you say to other people who love the art but are unsure of where to start?
Not to sound cheesy but, in the end, everyone knows you just got to follow your heart. I’ve been holding on to the status quo as a model even though my heart screamed “DONT”. but I was scared of the change. After all the work I put into the life I had and tried so hard to hold on to, fighting my inner voice left me a hot mess. You always know when you don’t belong, and the more you fight it the worse you feel. It’s in your hands to craft your own happiness, no one is coming to save you, so take care of yourself and do what makes you happy.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
Usually at the same time. Rarely does it just pouring out of me, but I often start with a melody and improvise some lyrics, and once I get a sense of the idea or story in mind, I create a visual world around it together with my producer and best friend, modern god.
We try to craft a whole unique universe inside each track which is filled with a unique soundscape that wraps the listener in its own colour palette, making them feel like they are a part of something special that was created just for them.
What’s on your current playlist?
What’s on my playlist: Grimes, Linkin Park, Poppy, Ashnikko, Muse, HEALTH, Dorian Electra, Rezz, Varien, Slayyyter, Royal & The Serpent, anything with Travis Barker, Dylan Brady, Caroline Polachek, SOPHIE, CHVRCHES, Oklou, Allie X (without a particular order)
Tell us how you came to work with Razorade and Sevi Domochevsky. What about their style stood out to you the most?
Sevi is hands down the best artist I have ever known. This guy is just stupid talented, it’s unreal. From the first time I saw his work, I hoped he would work with me! It has been a dream and an honour to work with him and get to know him as a friend.
He introduced me to Razorade, which introduced me to Daniel Benza, who ended up doing most of the work with me on the 3D animations. Not only is he super talented, but he is also one of the nicest and most professional people I’ve worked with!
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
We like making a lot of our own samples from scratch or use a lot of niche or really old sample packs. We rarely use Splice (maybe just for specific things) though I don’t hate anybody who does use it: as long as it sounds good in the end, who cares right? I usually find a sound I like and chop it or play around with it. Other than that, I stick to an idea and will not compromise on anything until it feels just right.
How long have you been playing the guitar and what inspired you to learn it?
I started playing when I was 11, after reading that Avril Lavigne started playing at 13 so I wanted to beat her to it. I was such a fangirl – I built an Avril dedicated website for her and worked super hard on advertising it and it got really big all of the sudden. I was also jealous of her and copied her every move, wrote my songs like her and generally wanted to be her so badly
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
I usually record my own vocals by myself at home and it’s kind of a spiritual session for me. I’ve learned so much about myself through the recording process… The biggest step for me was opening up and feeling comfortable in my own skin, messing up without judging myself so damn hard. I’m still learning every day but it’s a pretty fun process.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
I had a lot of ups and downs with my confidence, but It was up just enough times for me to admit that this is what I want to do. I came from a whole family of strict artists and I always knew that singing is my favourite thing in the world. When I got my main solo in kindergarten and saw the proud look on my mom’s face when the teacher told her how talented I am… I remember feeling so blessed, my mom was super strict and judgmental with me before that. Later as a teen, I performed in front of her again and she just ripped me to shreds, judged me to the ground, which just made me quit music altogether for a really long time. This is what I always wanted to do. I just had to grow as a person to really be able to know what I want and feel confident doing it.
Tell us your thoughts on mass media and the pressure it places on people
I think we’re so deep inside it that it became hard to even see the problem. Yes we’re connected more than ever now but we’re all watching the same content stuck in that loop, going for the same beauty standards, behaviour standards and the pressure to fit in grows bigger and bigger. A lot of our first impression is built around social media presence and it’s definitely harder to grow up like that as a kid. It’s hard to step away from it when this is our only reality now. You have a lot of people on TikTok talking about these topics and get millions of views, followers and fans just to keep posting more videos to preserve their status because social media approval is highly addictive and we’re all infected.
Any emerging artists on your radar?
Daine is amazing – she just feels like my alter-ego, the combination of everything she puts out just feels right. HVDES is a mid-tempo queen. Levitate is one of my fav producers. Omega Sapien is also one to watch. Alice Glass is incredible. Wouldn’t call them emerging but Slush Puppy & Pinkslip are fire.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Nothing in particular. Sometimes It comes to me and sometimes I have nothing. My best melodies just came up when I started to hum to myself and the best lyrics come when there is something that I feel like I have to say, simple as that.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
More singles, covers, art, collabs, remixes and many other stuff. I can’t wait to share more of my project
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