Maria Neckam is an indie-pop artist out of Brooklyn and recently the New York native released her new single ‘Happier‘, a song Maria created during a time in her life when she “was in a period of major transitions”.
Speaking to Eat This Music in a recent Q&A, Maria expressed how “everything seemed to be falling apart” and she “wasn’t sure how to figure things out, since many of” her own “challenges at that time came completely unexpected,” including things she never thought she “would have to deal with.”
“Then I realized there is no figuring it out. I just had to get up each day and fight. Just start somewhere! And amidst all the anxiety and uncertainty, I suddenly realized that I was happier than I’d ever been before.”
“I learned that when your life is truly tested to the bone, and you show up and fight, you bring out strength, wisdom and courage that you never knew you had, and the universe responds,” Maria adds.
Diving deeper into the story of the single, Maria explained how she is “forever grateful for this experience, because” she now knows “that challenges are nothing to be feared.” Instead realising “they are the very path to living a life of authenticity, growth and joy.”
Going into detail on the creative aspect of the single, Maria explained to Eat This Music how she “felt an urge to return to the sounds” she “had grown up with,” which “was a lot of alternative and punk rock” tunes.
Maria expresses how she “wanted that gritty rawness,” so she decided to “write a song with only power chords, something” she had “never done before.”
“I think the first lyric that came to me was “So many sleepless nights” (I laugh), because I love my sleep, and when I don’t get much, I feel like a zombie. But hey, I learned that even then I can be, if somewhat grumpily, enjoying life.”
With all the joy that went into creating the single, Maria points out the importance of why she released ‘Happier’, explaining how she believed “its message is something that isn’t talked about much in my genre of music.” Expanding on the aforementioned, Maria explains how “indie rock seems to stay more on the melancholy, whiny side of things,” but what Maria wanted to do with her songs “is encourage people.”
“I want to make my listeners feel that they can also transform whatever challenge they are facing and create something beautiful out of any situation.” Maria continues.
Not only does Maria “feel strongly about the message of the song,” but she also believes “it’s super catchy and energizing.”
Especially after the feedback Maria had gotten about the single, explaining how people loved the song when she would “play it live,” so it was “only natural” that she turned it into a single.
While Maria decided to release the single because of the message, Maria expanded on why she wanted to release the singlw now, explaining how “we live at a crazy time in history.” Expressing her statement with how the “world, and Western society in particular, is facing many huge challenges right now,” including the likes of “climate change, violence, a loneliness epidemic due to loss of real life connections” and also the “incompetent, ruthless politicians in power in many countries.”
“I think that now, more than ever, we need to encourage each other to not give up. On a personal, societal and global level.”
Coming off the release of her upcoming album, ‘The Leap‘, due out for release September 27, Maria assures fans of her music that the “album is a collection of songs that are both introspective and powerful” and will evidently take “you on a journey through the complete emotional spectrum of a modern young woman.”
However, there will be “some heavy grooves in there (Paris Monster’s Josh Dion is on drums on most of the songs.),” also “some super catchy hooks (Familiar, Happier, Hidden)” and also “one that’s only with pump organ and French horn, all played by producer Jon Cowherd.”
“I love that you can hear the sound of the air-pumping pedal on “She’s Sensitive.”,” Maria adds about one of the singles on the album. “The last song on the record has kind of a 50’s/David Lynch vibe. Overall, there is definitely a retro feel happening. Vintage is a lifestyle! But seriously, I’ve always loved old things. They have more soul.”
The remainder of 2019 looks to be busy for Maria Neckam, as she has the “album release show coming up September 18 at C’mon Everybody in Brooklyn”, which Maria assures Eat This Music that it “will be so much fun,” seeing as she will “have the full band and some special guests,” and after that, she will “go on tour in the US and Europe,” and also “maybe Australia too … who knows!”
With all that said, Maria had one last message for you to take away:
“I was born and raised near Vienna, Austria, which gives me a certain directness and tendency for deep philosophical exploration. Perhaps one can hear that in my music, which is very honest, but also corky at the same time. I like keeping it real, but always with a sense of humor … :)”