It only took Marina George to send one of her tracks via Hello Demo for it to be signed to Coyu’s renowned label Suara in just a few months. This was Marina’s first-ever release and all we can say is that it is a BOMB.
Born and raised in Greece and of specially mixed descent, Ibiza-based DJ and producer, Marina George, embodies an array of nationalities and influences which steadily gravitate towards deep, dark and sensual techno. With a deep-rooted attraction to the unusual, Marina sets the stage within various shades of strange and a discrete touch of dark; a home far away from comfort zones, often blending heavy beats with her own vocals.
-You were born into a family background of ballet and opera, meaning music has always been present in your life. When and how were you first introduced to electronic music?
Yes, it was definitely a constant while growing up, and I’m so grateful to have been exposed to so many different genres and eras of music thanks to my family. Due to their professions, the women in my family shared a classical background, yet they were always so open-minded when it came to music.
It’s tricky to journey back to my first ever contact with electronic music. I remember being infatuated with Massive Attack when I was very young. It started when I first saw the ‘Teardrop’ music video on MTV. That made a special imprint on me. I was so captivated by the unique rhythm of the bass drum, the haunting vocal, and how the entire atmosphere of the track made me feel different from anything I had heard up until that point; and especially different to anything I’d seen on MTV while in primary school! To this day, it still gives me goosebumps.
-Tell us about External Body, what is it about? What message did you want to get across?
‘External Body’ is one of two tracks I produced based on questioning specific concepts that we, as a society, have come to normalize in terms of our individual identity. My writing – and spoken word – for both is essentially an inner monologue. In the case of ‘External Body’, the track is about being conditioned to tie our identity to our appearance. We grow up placing so much of our value on our external attributes. We’re targeted by this messaging on a daily basis, and I don’t think we take a step back frequently enough to question if the messaging comes from our own core belief system or from external influences.
It’s something I find quite sad. Over the years growing up, I often questioned why I put so much pressure on my appearance when I should know so much better that other components make me who I am and are worth equal value, if not much more. I would wonder why we spend so much time obsessing over our looks instead of cultivating other skills, and how much time, mental capacity and investment this obsession actually takes away from these other gifts.
In the track, I question the emptiness in placing our identity on just our ‘body’ and touch upon the pressures of unattainable perfection; appearance, body image, fear of aging. My perspective on this topic first came about when I read a book on Buddhism some years back, discussing how we tie our identity to rapidly changing things like our feelings and our bodies. These are constantly transforming, yet we are no less of ourselves.
-Suara actually received External Body through Hello Demo, what was the process of sending and communicating with Suara through the platform like?
Sending over my music was super straightforward and I liked that every upload opened its own conversation on the platform; it allowed for each track to get specific feedback instead of going unnoticed. Suara replied to the first track I sent them and asked to hear more music, and the conversation moved on from there. It was an exciting, ongoing process leading up to the release some months later and I’m really happy it happened as it did through Hello Demo.
-What would be a dream collaboration for you be, and why?
That’s a tough one cause I look up to so many artists. I’d love to work with Ellen Allien. I think she’s left such a profound, unique mark on her area of the industry as a woman. And her artistic approach and productions are so unapologetically her. There’s tons of variety in her work, yet when you hear an individual track, you know it’s Ellen Allien. And I just love that bizarre, deep, extraterrestrial dimension she brings into her music. It’s something that inspires me a lot in what I do, I’d find it pretty fascinating to get a glimpse into her mind.
-What’s the most important thing that you’ve learnt this year?
I learned how to properly tune in to what resonates with me. I developed closer communication with my intuition and have been discovering what it really means to be true to myself. In the past, I’d give the highest priority to my mind and just work from there. And a blend of anxiety and ADHD doesn’t necessarily make your head the ideal place to be at all times, especially when it comes to extreme self-scrutiny and criticism.
Artistically, it’s translated into honouring and embracing what resonates with me instead of overthinking and spiraling into what I “should” be doing. I’ve spent quite a few years working in various corners of the industry, which has taught me so much. But on the flipside, my knowledge/experience of that world can often make me overly critical of what I’m doing. For a long time, I’d allow the ‘external’ voices in my head to cloud my own voice, if you get what I mean. And right now I’m at a point where I’m making a conscious decision to stay very close to my artistic intuition, accept my imperfections, follow my own vision, represent what I value, and just fully express myself through my music. And I’m feeling more excited about it than ever before.
-Any advice that you would like to give our Hello Demo users when sending music?
I’d say it’s definitely important to know your audience. It’s always great to showcase your versatility as a producer, but it pays off to be specifically targeted with the music you’re sending out and to be properly familiar with the current sound of the label you’re sending your tracks to. And after that, patience is a big one. If you’re expecting to hear back from a label or artist immediately after your outreach, you’ll probably get discouraged which is essentially counterproductive. It’s important to understand the volume of music they may have to listen through, and that the whole process – from initial feedback to a potential signing – can take quite a long time. But it’s definitely worth it!
-What’s next for Marina George?
Lately, I’ve been busy being back on the radio in Ibiza. I miss playing out and feeling peoples’ energy around me, but I’m using the downtime to materialize a number of ideas for new projects I’m really excited about. I’m experimenting with new concepts through my music; diving into my heritage, playing with new formats of inspiration and experimenting differently with spoken word and vocals through my writing. I approach every new project with a message in mind, and some of the new material I’m working on is relevant to now, so I’m pretty hyped to bring that to life and eventually get it out there 🙂