Marika Hackman is a singer songwriter and multiinstrumentalist. If you look her up online, you will commonly see the label ‘folk’ somewhere next to her name. Yet, she doesn’t associate herself with this genre. She explains to me how it seems to be an association a lot of women in the industry get when there’s a woman with a guitar, which has frustrated her throughout her career.
Her music is something quite refreshingly unique to the music scene, with sounds of experimental and alternative rock, with melancholic, yet dreamy and hypnotic vocals. Since the age of four, the Hampshire born musician has been playing the piano and towards her teen years began to play bass, drums and guitar. Having grown up with parents and grandparents who were creative and musically talented, it seemed natural that this was something she’d be good at.
Marika is an artist who strives to bring something new to the table, and she’s successful at doing so. Ever since she started out she would experiment with unconventional chord patterns and melodies, pushing the boundaries with each song she wrote. She even formed a cover band with model Cara Delevingne for a short while when they were at school together (Hackman also used to model for Burberry, being chosen as one of the new faces for an ad campaign).
Hackman’s career started out in 2012 after she was signed by Transgressive. Since that point she has worked a lot with Charlie Andrew, a music producer who also works closely with bands like Alt-j. She tells me they have an “easy relationship. He inspires me and I think I inspire him” and how she finds him “exciting and intriguing” to work with. She has also toured with Laura Marling, and appeared on one Alt J’s albums along with performing at various festivals. Barcelona was one of her favourite places to perform this summer, it being a place she had never been, let alone performed.
Marika is still young and exploring the world as a musician, but I can tell she will go far with her work as continues to creatively develop her style.
Her debut album, We Slept at Last, was released in 2014 and is softer and more acoustic than her latest album, I’m Not Your Man which was been released this year and is instantly more recognisable as band heavy. The Big Moon, an up and coming girl band, have played the music for her tracks on the album.
Hackman became good friends with the group after hanging out with them after one of their gigs a while back. Her live band for her new tour, beginning this November, have also added a new dimension to her gigs and so it feels like “a bit of a rebirth tour”. She explains to me about how as being a solo artist you miss out on the fun aspects of being in a band “I want to be having fun on stage and jump around playing my guitar loads. Not just having to hold up a room by myself with my voice and an acoustic guitar” – a pressure I think often forgotten by fans. It’s nice to hear that Brighton is a city she’s especially excited to perform at, as she hasn’t for years, having studied art foundation in the city when she was 18.
Marika is a woman who alongside her musical talents is easy to chat to, and simultaneously interesting. She strikes me as someone who stands by staying true to herself, and its admirable that she is trying to banish stereotypes against women in the music profession. When we discuss musicians wanting to make it in the industry she advises the importance of being able to say no and “not jumping at every opportunity just because it feels like something that may forward your career.”
Marika Hackman plays The Haunt Brighton, on Mon 13 Nov.