The Rising Star Of The Los Angeles Hills, C’Marie

By Rahul Gowthaman

C’Marie, at Little Lunch in Venice, CA. 

Los Angeles has been well known for its lure to creatives, challenging artists of all mediums from around the world to test their chance at making their dream a reality. Many even come for one reason and stay for another. In the case of rising star Carly Marie, or better known as C’Marie, she first touched LA ground as a young child with her family, intent on focusing on her pathway to professional dance.

As we all know, life tends to throw us curveballs when we least expect it, whether we decide to collide with this force or use it as momentum to further our ambition, interests, and goals, is solely up to us. Fraying off the pathway to dance, C’Marie found herself evolving in other realms of the creative space, from finding love in drumming, and passion in singing, she continues to push her abilities and grow through any constraints. With real-life experiences and genuine people around her, there is a constant, and steady stream of inspiration for her music. Raw and untouched, C’Marie is adept at conveying her emotions and experiences to those of the greater audience, a rare feat in the music industry of today. 

Meaningful experiences orbit around the center of her music, we’re able to catch glimpses of C’Marie’s personal life on her most recent of releases. On ‘Grow’, she alludes to her love of plants while simultaneously touching on her growth as an artist, all while delivering a captivating melody. Her verses on ‘Extreme Boy’ speak to an intimate relationship, yet with an honesty and appreciation, anyone would respect. On her final release, ‘Own This’, she delivers her most personal of lyrics and exudes a level of confidence that could only receive admiration from the masses. 

I spent the day with C’Marie visiting some of her favorite locations (and people), to truly get a sense of where her musical purpose derives from. Our first stop was Little Lunch, the coffee shop her long-time boyfriend, and inspiration for ‘Extreme Boy’, spends his time working and mastering the fine detailing of latte art. We then visited a local nursery, where I witnessed firsthand C’Marie light up and so naturally fade away into the flora that inspired ‘Grow’. C’Marie’s final inspiration was the easiest to see, openness in our conversations and the confidence she
carries showed me how ‘Own This’ came to be.

To speak to an honest artist is always a blessing, an opportunity for me to peer into the mind of a fellow creative, to see their unique process from the very beginning, their reasoning and purpose for it all, what drives them to the future they can’t wait to grasp. In C’Marie’s own experiences, she has reinvented her music, her style, and herself several times, developing more and more progressively with each iteration. To find out more about her journey, I sat down with C’Marie to find her purpose in this crazy game we call life. 

Location: Little Lunch, Venice CA. 

Featured: Hemincuff Bag

Without further ado, the rising star of the Los Angeles hills, C’Marie.

Why do you do what you do? 

I like making a difference, in my music I like to portray what I go through, because what I go through I think a lot of people go through. I just want other people to know that they’re not alone. Whatever you’re going through in life is normal, and it’s okay to not be okay. 

What would you say is an integral part of you being an artist? 

As an artist, you’re being watched 24/7, and you have people left and right constantly telling you what to do to be successful, I think knowing your intuition and knowing you’re the face of your brand and what you do really matters. The people around you, the decisions you make, at the end of the day you’re a role model.

What are your real life inspirations that have inspired you and your music? 

The last few songs I released are projects that I have been through personally, like ‘Grow’, ‘Own This’. Past people I’ve worked with in my career have mentally affected me, just by things that they’ve said, so I’ve really had to overcome those things to be able to still continue to do what I do. The music I’ve been recently putting out is like my ‘moving on to the next chapter’ phase. 

What was ‘Grow’ inspired by?  

In my past, I’ve worked with producers who knocked me down for trying to be a better artist, which is strange because you would think they would want me to be better. They never gave me the opportunity or time to grow as an artist, write, or even be a part of making the music because it just took too much time. They just wanted to be done quick, get the money quick, and be done. So working with my new producers, I have that opportunity to be able to write, and I’m able to sing what I want to sing about, say what I want to look like, so this is my growing experience. 

Who are some of your favorite artists and how did they inspire you and your music? 

I love Kehlani, I think her confidence and how she knows who she is as an artist is so inspiring. I love what she talks about, I just want to kick it with her honestly! I love Jhene as well, her music style and how she brings her life experiences into her music. She uses sound bowls a lot which I’m really trying to get into, I want to learn how to use them and find a way to incorporate in my music too. I also love Rihanna, she is a rolemodel to me in everything she does. 

What is your studio process? 

It’s changed a lot, but more recently I’ve found what works for me. I’ll go in to the studio, have a team of people that do the beats, and I’ll have someone that does the writing process with me because I am still new to it. I’ll usually pick a track and have a theme of what I want to write and sing about, could be random or specific, and then find a way to incorporate that into the writing for the day. We’ll usually go in and try to find different melodies, I’ll go in and record it and make sure to go over the song with my vocal coach before going to the studio to be prepared. We just go line by line and what’s really nice is I’ll repeat a line until I’m comfortable with it and we’ll go on once I’m happy with how it turned out. The process is a lot slower that way but it makes me feel so much better about everything. 

What’s your favorite part about creating music? 

It’s my outlet away from my brain, it’s the way I express myself and I’ve always been artistic since I was born. My mom didn’t even try with school with me she was just like ‘I understand you’re artistic,’ I grew up dancing so music was a huge passion of mine and it’s been a part of my life since I could remember, so music is just like a different way I could express myself. 

How does your background inspire what you do today? 

Dancing brought me to LA, I grew up competing and literally travelled the world dancing. I came to LA because I wanted to pursue it professionally, I started homeschooling so I could go on set, and I booked a few jobs but it just wasn’t enough. I was just tired of being in the back and wanted to be in the front,  I had dabbled in singing before but I started taking lessons again, got put into a girl group and did the whole thing. Music has never been a doubt in my mind that it’s something that I don’t want to do, music is all I know. 

Finally, if you weren’t doing music what would you be doing? 

Haha, I have no idea. I literally don’t have a backup plan, there’s just nothing else I’m this passionate about so I’m just trying to be in it in the moment and cherish it. Whatever happens, happens.