Ida Maree - 10 Questions Interview
From the clubs of the Gold Coast, to the theaters of Sydney, and into Black Gospel Churches of Melbourne, Houston, DC, Birmingham, LA, the Australian Gospel artist, Ida Maree, has had quite a musical journey. Her travels and singing have encompassed the true path of a musician searching for truth in her life. Her debut album, Saving Grace, was acclaimed as 'The Album of the Year' by Australia’s leading Christian Radio Charts. Now with Grammy Producer, Billy Smiley, at the helm, her anticipated album, Chapter 2, is scheduled for release on September 18, 2020.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
It was on a Sunday morning at church, where I was singing, that I was encouraged by a visiting pastor to start writing a song. In all honesty I was overwhelmed by the challenge as up until that point I had never even entertained the thought; I never saw myself as a songwriter. Both he and his wife became dear friends of mine, and they continued to encourage me to believe that it would come to fruition and have faith. Whilst that first song certainly didn’t happen overnight , it was definitely the catalyst to not only to start writing my first song but in writing and recording my first album. Sadly he never heard the song as he passed away suddenly…it was played at his funeral prior to its release. So my 1st song carries many precious memories.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career? I was performing on evening on a beautiful luxury resort of the Whitsundays Islands here in Australia, when out of nowhere a young man in the audience, carried me off the stage onto the dance floor whilst he sang the song “Girl from Ipanema”! - Let’s just say it work’s better in the movies…
What has been the high point of your music path? There’s been many highlights along the years but most definitely my standout would have to be collaborating with my amazing producer Billy Smiley in creating the album “Chapter 2”, and of course my favorite song “Watching & Waiting.” I could have never envisioned that the journey to date would impact my life in such a remarkable way.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I’m a visual person and inspired by the melody of a song (there’s an instant connection); it’s there, and I find a connection to the mood, and a theme or image will surface. I then start to connect the music with the topics/song ideas I want to write about or what’s I’ve already written. It’s important for me to draw from my personal experiences or issues I can either relate to or feel passionate about; it's the transparency and vulnerability that drives and commences my writing process .
The lyric has to sing well, so there are many times where I may have minimal or not lyrical content or set melody and I’m starting from scratch, I’ll improvise both the lyric and melody and find what marries the two together naturally, which is another creative process. Either way, whether I’m writing solo or cowriting I like to have an open mind, without being adamant to following the same formula. Every song has it’s own personality so for me it’s about being flexible with the creative process, allowing the freedom to breathe and flow, so I can hear where it wants to go.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be? If I could change one thing it would probably be to take the pressure off myself; sometimes I feel pressure to deliver, when your voice isn’t in that perfect place, but yet to let go and just be secure to let the hours of performing and singing take over. Billy helped me do that in the sessions, and I really want to take that freeing attitude wherever and whenever I sing.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why? This is such a difficult question to answer my list is so long.. So I’ll have to go with my first pop star crush, who sadly is no longer with us, George Michael. He was such an great singer and songwriter, and producer, with just amazing vocals - loved his tone, range and emotion.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Productive! I want it to be a positive environment for everyone, stress free!! That’s why my personal preparation is imperative, ensuring I know my material inside out and I’m vocally prepared so as I’m not putting any unnecessary pressure on myself or anyone else. That means I’m well disciplined with my vocal health and training whether it be a rehearsal or performance. Not only on the performance day, but in the lead up to I ensure I’m eating healthy (no dairy/artificial sugars - no fun food), vocal training (warmups / songs) daily, staying hydrated (room temperature water/herbal tea - no artificial sugars), early nights - vocal and physical rest. Let’s not forget the outfit, gotta love what you’re wearing!!
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
In all honestly on the “Chapter 2” album there were no songs that were troublesome in creating - rare, but true. The only one that took a little extra time for me was creating the melody line and lyric in the bridge for “
”It just meant I had to step away from it for a day. I had a hook for the melody knew what I wanted to say but it was the “how”. It was when I stopped trying and let the conversation in the song just flow naturally it then came together in a couple of minutes, thankfully!
What's coming up in the future?
Once lockdown is over I can’t wait to start touring overseas and back into the studio in Nashville!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Find on Apple Music.