Seemingly everything about Marianne Keith is genuine. She is genuinely intelligent. She is genuinely talented. She is genuinely beautiful. She is genuinely caring. And, she is genuinely a musician in the game for the love of music.
This love affair was first spawned as a youngster in church choirs and the school band where Marianne played the clarinet. By the time she was in junior high, she made the conscious decision to pursue music as a career and opted to pawn said clarinet for an acoustic guitar and taught herself how to play. “I did try to take lessons, but the teacher would sit me down, start to play and ask me to sing along. I think he just wanted to jam.” Even though learning an instrument didn’t come easy, her drive and persistence paid off and soon she had a vehicle to begin writing her own material.
She started to gig around her hometown of Redlands, CA and garnered a local following, press and accolades. Her first opportunity to record a full-length album came when she signed to Unison Music Group, helmed by industry veterans Bruce Witkin and Ryan Dorn.
We had the pleasure of talking with Marianne Keith about her music, who she’d love to tour with, and her favorite television shows! Check it out below!
If you had to describe your sound in three words, what would they be?
Marianne Keith: Passionate, Expressive, Melodic
Who would you say your musical influences are?
Marianne Keith: Carole King, Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder, Aimee Mann, Rachel Yamagata
Your new album “Cathartic” is a lot darker than your previous and you’ve said that the relationship this album discusses has changed you forever. Do you think this is where your sound is to stay?
Marianne Keith: That is a good question, I never start out with an intention when writing a song, I kind of let them take the form they are meant to. My world-view is very different now than it was when I wrote “Beautiful Distraction” and because of that my songs will be different, but the songs I have been writing since “Cathartic” have been a mixture of dark and airy, so we will see!
What is your favorite song on your new album, and why?
Marianne Keith: This is so hard for me because i love them all for different reasons. Right now, I would say “Cage”. It has such a funky feel with heavy lyrics and I like the juxtaposition.
Is there a particular way you go about songwriting? Anywhere in particular you go or something you do that inspires you?
Marianne Keith: I generally start with the lyrics, but I just wait for inspiration and whatever form that comes in, whether a melody or a train of thought, I go with it. Generally being outside inspires me so I love to just be in my backyard or a park or even just outside at a coffee shop.
Do you ever find it hard to share such personal thoughts in your music?
Marianne Keith: Yes. Especially with this album, I felt a bit uncomfortable putting all my deepest fears and even secrets out there for the world, but I think that is what makes music so special. It is a safe and capable medium in which to express those things. I feel that when you express something genuinely, people will be able to relate and that’s really my goal.
You have a lot of YouTube videos where you perform cover songs; do you have a favorite to perform?
Marianne Keith: Yes, I like to do covers for fun and fans seem to like them. Right now I am really enjoying the Lady Gaga “Bad Romance” one. In general, my favorite cover to perform is Susan Tedeschi “It Hurt So Bad”.
Who would you love to tour with in the future?
Marianne Keith: You know, I would love to tour with Lifehouse. They are a band I have always loved and I think it would be a good match musically. I also would love to tour with Brandi Carlile or Aimee Mann.
Do you have any favorite TV shows that you keep up with?
Marianne Keith: Right now, it is all about Big Love for me. I also love Heroes.
What are you looking forward to next?
Marianne Keith: I’m most excited to just get this album out there and share it with people. I can’t wait to get on the road again and do another tour, this time hopefully
with a full band. I’m looking forward to taking things to the next level.
Marianne Keith Official Website: http://www.mariannekeith.me