The LA-based indie-pop band The Marius is no stranger to collaboration. Drummer Josh Conway and musician Maria Zardoya (who likes to go it alone with her first name), have been writing and producing songs together since a creative and romantic partnership from an opportunity meeting in 2016.
Maria shared on the phone, “Josh and I were both working on our own project. That night it was Bill’s sixth (or seventh) slot in the infamous adjoining cocktail lounge in Canter’s deli. He was playing the sound for the Conway show.” We started recording very soon and the songs we wrote were not put on any film or TV show. Luckily for us, we were able to use them and let them go. “We can get these songs out. We should actually call it a project and make it a thing. And so Marius was born.”
This is to make a soundbater
The band’s latest collaboration is their upcoming debut album titled Cinema, an endorsement for their founding story, which will be released this June. But before that, they laid the groundwork for their music and introduced themselves to the audience through two EPs, Superclean, Vol. I And Superclean, Vol. II. With tracks like “Carino” and “Cleoles”, the band leaned towards their pop genius, supporting Marius Ethereal bilingual vocals, with funk grooves and heartwarming jazz tunes.
While creating those tracks, they ran into a challenge. They wanted to push their sound to where they knew it needed to be before it was ready for release. They felt that bringing in a mixing engineer would give them a new perspective on the tracks that they have been working on forever and brought new life to their sound. The problem was that as an independent artist they didn’t know who to go to for sound mixing. That’s when they discovered the music-talent platform Soundbetter – Although the jury found it first.
“I think Josh actually discovered it,” Maria shared before handing the phone to Conway.
“Actually, I’m pretty sure [it was] Maria, “Conway stopped before they both broke into laughter.” Either Maria or I was just Google searching for the mixer. At first, I was confused about what it was and almost thought it was too good to be true. I was, wait, so have all these mixers, then I saw that it’s not just a mix of engineering and vocalists, everything. It was like postmates for music. I started scrolling through all the options I came across and saw Brent [Kolatalo] Who did this Kendrick Lama’s song, And that kind of sells for me.
They were confident that Grammy-nominated mixing engineer and producer Kolato, who also worked on the tracks for Kanye, Drake and Taylor Swift, was suitable for their music. Although they never spoke on the phone and maintained their contact via text and email, Conway described the process as “very easy”, that the switching time was fast, and that the Kolatalo mix was quite well received. Not only were they happy with the skills, the Marias were happy to find someone who could trust their point of view.
“If you’re a more specifically a producer, let your instincts guide you,” Conway shares while advising him on keeping the artistic vision intact while collaborating. “The goal of a mixer is to extend as much as you can. If you want to add their own flair to a mixer and take it in a new direction, I will set quite a bit on what you want. Trust the mixer to improve what you’ve already made.
Build a connection
Thanks to Soundbetter, The Marius was able to collaborate with someone who could perform the best version of their music. Is their advice to other independent artists thinking of doing the same? “Why not.”
“Thanks to social media everyone is connecting a lot more and you can get the best friends in the world by talking to each other. So, as far as soundbetter and music is concerned, it also applies. Opens the door to many possibilities of collaboration and hopefully will help them find the sacred particles so that they can cross the finish line. Press to get there? ”
Enjoying the process
Marius knows how important it is to continue, and how cooperation and perseverance can help you overcome any obstacles. They’ve done that from the beginning, starting with syncing movies first and starting a band, and more recently, by expanding the boundaries of their music with Soundbetter. For them, tackling challenges is just one part of the process.
“I know it’s a clich বা or whatever, but I’ve always said that everything happens for a reason,” Marius reflects as he looks back on the band’s career.
“If you miss out on an opportunity, it means that there is another one along the way, as long as you enjoy making music and doing whatever you can. It’s not just about making music. The second is that if you decide to make that music public, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. So, if you enjoy that process, there is nothing to stop you. Even if you deny an opportunity, it does not mean that it is over, it means that there is another one that is going to take its place.