“We have times in life that are real high and then others are lower than you think you’ve ever been. I think I took the path of letting music be my outlet. I wrote when I was happy, I wrote when I couldn’t even sing a line without my voice cracking. Letting those times help switch my thinking from ‘this is a hobby’ to ‘this is my life now.’” –Saint Marie
Saint Marie is a Bronx-born, Jersey-raised singer that became acquainted with her musical talents after moving to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. A friend with a studio approached her after hearing her sing and play piano, “I remember thinking it could be a fun side hobby, little did I know I would be in love with creating music,” she says.
As a child she found that her interests varied, from science (particularly archeology) to more of the creative realm. She bounced from hobby to hobby, searching for the ideal creative outlet, and after having moved from baking to painting and finally writing, she knew she had found her calling. “I think I realized I loved writing and it was only a matter of time before I picked up an instrument. That obsession won’t wear off,” she says.
“One of my biggest inspirations was Lauryn Hill,” she says. “I remember watching her for the first time ever in ‘Sister Act.’ I just kept rewinding the part where she chokes a little but continues on singing ‘Joyful Joyful.’ I was floored by the honesty in her voice. I believed what she was singing. I told myself then, I wanna sing like her and I want people to believe what I’m singing.” And with that inspiration, she realized that Sheboygan wasn’t the place for her to take her music to the next level. She wanted to be somewhere that already had a music scene, so she packed up her car and headed south to Dallas. She didn’t have a job or living accommodations lined up; she just went because she knew that she had to make a change.
Having overcome her career’s geographical obstacle, she now works to define her sound and set herself apart from everyone else. She realizes that looking around and comparing herself to others can be limiting and that it “trims you to be just like the cool stuff that’s already out.” In this case, her original sound makes her the new cool stuff still coming out, and she attributes that to her musical background. “I think the years in indie folk and my love for soul has sort of fused this ‘let’s make something crazy sounding’ inside of me.”
Saint Marie, in the next five years, expects to have released multiple albums and have a tour under her belt, but her legacy is more important than anything to her. “I specifically remember a few years back in Wisconsin, I was getting off stage and met a girl that said my music got her through an eating disorder,” she says. “She was on her deathbed and one of my songs gave her the courage to believe in herself and move forward. That to me is the picture of success. If EVERY other album of mine flops and I have no career, I would count that as success. That moment is why I do this. That is the legacy I want.”
We #COSIGN Saint Marie for not only creating her unique sound, but for being focused on the bigger picture. She puts her musical passion ahead of accolades, to be able to express herself and reach others.