If you've been living under a rock and are unfamiliar with Talia Mar, by the end of 2023, we are sure the musician's name will be on the tip of your lips. The incredibly talented songstress has many strings to her bow including sweeping audiences with infectious single Forget About Your Ex, a soulful melody with empowering lyrics. Beyond her impressive body of work (that include tracks Sweet Lies, Stay The Night and Self-Portrait), Mar has shown an impressive ability to master the art of crafting a sound that is uniquely her own.
With a fusion of diverse influences and personal experiences, Talia Mar sits down with Vingt Sept, to peel back the layers, unveil the secrets of her creative rituals and craftsmanship, and speak on how the BRIT school, renowned for fostering exceptional talent, played a pivotal role in shaping Mars career.
Can you summarise the new single, Forget About Your Ex, in three words?
Fun, dramatic and sassy!
Could you tell us a bit more about the new single, and why it’s one of your favourite
songs that you’ve made?
I wrote this song with some of my favourite producers and writers which makes the song extra special because it was super fun to create and we really went over the top with the lyrics.
What was the creative process behind Forget About Your Ex?
We went into the studio and one of the writers suggested the title Forget About Your Ex and immediately I was excited and had a bunch of ideas. When it came to doing the melody and the actual song, I was handed the mic and I just kind of sang. The first verse you hear is exactly what came out and which is a good sign and makes things a lot more exciting when you're in the room.
Growing up, were there any artists that you looked up to as role models, and how have they influenced your approach to your own music career?
Definitely, I was a big Destiny’s Child fan from early on and I think a lot of my writing is influenced by the music they made because I love writing a super and fast intricate lyric. Also Taylor Swift and her storytelling massively influenced me in how I want to write songs.
Can you remember a specific moment that really influenced your decision to pursue a
career in the music industry?
When I was around 6, I was given a karaoke machine for my birthday and that was the defining moment. I knew I always wanted to sing but once I had the music behind me I was like yup, I’m sold.
You went to the BRIT School, did you learn any important lessons whilst you were there that still have an impact on your music and process now?
Less so an impact on the creative side of my music but it massively had an impact on how I view and navigate the industry. They teach you so much about music law, the ins and outs of the industry as a whole which is super useful.
Can you name three artists who are influencing your sound right now?
Ariana Grande, Sabrina Carpenter and Dua Lipa.
Do you have a dream artist that you hope to collaborate with one day?
Taylor Swift until the day I die.
You have a distinctive sense of style as well as strong aesthetics that come through in your music videos which feel very feminine and powerful – how important is style and aesthetics in delivering your music to a wide audience and to your self expression?
I definitely love mixing what people would class as traditional feminine and what people would class as traditional masculine to find a middle ground. I love mixing things that probably shouldn’t go together and I think that comes through in the music itself. I love putting a beat behind something maybe you wouldn’t expect to hear on a pop record. I think fashion is super important in music because people normally see you before they hear you, it gives them a good indication of what your sound will be like.
How would you define your personal style, and how has it evolved over the years?
My personal style is either massively overdressed and over the top or the comfiest
person in the room with the least cool looking outfit, there is no in-between. I don’t know how to exist in an outfit that is appropriate. To be fair, I have always been like that and I wouldn’t say it necessarily has changed it just has got stronger as I have got older.
Are there any fashion icons or eras that have inspired your wardrobe choices? How do you put your own personal twist on these influences?
90s and Y2K fashion is my absolute favourite! My twist on fashion comes through my makeup and hair – as a trained makeup artist I love doing fun looks with my makeup to try and match with my outfit.
Social media has played a big role in your career, allowing you to connect with fans directly. How do you navigate the challenges and benefits of being an online personality as well as a musician?
The best way to navigate these things is to be yourself, don’t fake yourself for a platform or a post and then you can’t go wrong. People will always like and dislike you so at least you know you’re always being real and not pretending.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are trying to find their unique voice and make a mark in the industry?
Make sure you really love what you do and learn as much as you can because learning to produce and play instruments is what really solidified my sound.
We know you're not only a talented musician but also an avid gamer. Can you share with us how you developed your interest in gaming and how it intersects with your music career?
I used to play video games growing up, watching my dad and then playing them with him. I wouldn’t say it intersects with my music career, it’s just a big part of who I am so it is part of my everyday life. Whilst they don’t necessarily cross over, it allows me time away from music so when I come back to it, I know I'm giving my best to the music I am making.
How do you find a balance between creating music and engaging with your gaming
I think the balance is fairly natural, music is my passion and gaming is a hobby that I love. The same way they balance themselves in my everyday life, they also balance themselves publicly.
You’ve recently got married (congratulations!) – do you see this new era of your life
having an impact on your music?
Thank you! Being married will definitely impact my music because I often write from real life situations. Equally, before being married and before knowing the people I know now, I obviously have lived different lives that I still like to write about and be inspired by.
Forget About Your Ex is out now
Interview & Words Gwyneth Green
Intro & Editor Jheanelle Feanny