Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Music was my first language. As a child I did not talk until I was 3, but I had a magnetic attraction to pianos. As a toddler, I would toddle my way to any piano I could find, and start writing music. I can literally say I was "born with the music inside." I bought my own guitar when I was 11, and taught myself to play. I then had an instrument with which to accompany myself as I wrote songs, including my 8th grade class' graduation song. I bought my own piano when I was 13, and have written music accompanying myself at the piano ever since.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Not sure it is crazy the way you mean it...but I met my first musical collaborator who became a lifelong best friend and soul sister on a bench at a laundromat when I was 21 years old. She was sitting on the bench outside the laundromat. I was shy and did not want to disturb her as I put my newspaper on the bench. We started talking and ended up at my piano just a few blocks away. And for 3 years we co-wrote music, which I arranged, performed together, and started a lifelong musical friendship has lasted long after we stopped playing music together.
What has been the high point of your music path?
This year my 11th studio album, Home, charted at #18 on the Folk Charts, I was invited to join the Recording Academy (Grammys) in the Class of 2022, and my song "I Can Only Imagine" won Best Song, World Music in the World Songwriter Awards. ALL of those those achievements are very meaningful.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
The spark for a song comes from something that captures my attention or touches my heart. The Uvalde shooting inspired "Our Children's Prayer." Amanda Gorman's poignant inaugural address inspired "Be The Light." A friend with bad COVID going into the ICU inspired pandemic anthem "Prayers." The death of a grammar school friend inspired "I Can Only Imagine." People's stories, vision and possibility, what it's like to be a child growing up in the world today, gun violence, current events....lots of things plant song seeds...
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?
The ability to make a living as an indie artist or even earn enough to pay for the costs of producing high quality albums and collateral (like videos) is virtually non-existent. When I was in my early 20's in my first chapter as a professional musician, I thought it was hard to earn a living, but it was MUCH better then than now. With all the virtual streaming platforms and with a pandemic world, ways to make real money are few and far between. It forces me to have two full-time jobs.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
I would love to share the stage with Lady Gaga because she is so versatile, creative and multi-genred. I would love to share the stage with Carole King both because she was an inspiration when I was a child, and because since I am a curly haired blonde piano playing singer-songwriter, people have always compared me to her. I would love to do a gig with James Taylor and Carole since a musical colleague photoshopped my face into Carole's hair in a photo with James Taylor years ago and people asked me how I got the gig....
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I work with a vocal coach weekly to take care of my voice. I have the opportunity to work on new material there too. I do a weekly livestream (have been doing so for 2 1/2 years since the pandemic started) and that gives me a chance to practice lots of material--new and old. If I am playing a big show with a band, I always have a band rehearsal before the show. Playing and singing and practicing regularly is the best way to be prepared for a live show
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
"Prayer For My Son" was really challenging because it was born of my son going through an incredibly painful and scary period of crisis time. It is truly written from a mother's heart and is a good example of music transforming pain into gold. "Coat Hanger Abortions And People Shooting Guns" was hard to write because of the subject matter. I realize just writing the lyrics and performing the song is triggering for many people--a kind way of saying it is evocative. If it gets people to talk and have conversations, that is great. But it is scary to be so public writing and performing a song on subjects that hit such raw nerves.
What's coming up in the future?
My 2023 album, Everyday Legends, is now moving into mastering and mixing for 1/1/23 release. I am very excited about this album. It has really great songs on it, including one that already has won a songwriting award. I am going to Phillie on August 4 for a photoshoot for Everyday Legends. I am excited that Erick Balkey of Hudson Harding Music and double Grammy winner Glenn Barratt of Morningstar Studios are doing the mixing and mastering. I am also embarking on an exciting new show which is a collaboration with two musical colleagues, Kemp Harris and Willie Sordillo called Songs At The Heart Of Our Times: Bringing Hope And Uplifting Community Through Music.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
About Linda Marks
Linda Marks is a healer at heart, both a singer/songwriter, and a somatic psychotherapist. Known for her heart-to-heart style of songwriting, an emotional alchemist, she transforms sadness into gold through lyrics and music. Linda has released 12 studio albums with a 13th, Everyday Legends, awaiting 1/1/23 release, is a member of the Recording Academy (Grammys) Class of 2022, is the Regional Representative for the Boston Chapter of ISSA (International Singer Songwriters Association), and is the co-founder of artist-alliance group Women In Music Gathering (#WIMG). Her song "I Can Only Imagine" won Best Song, World Music in the 2022 World Songwriters Awards and "Let There Be Love" co-written with Mike Greenly was a semi-finalist in the Talent In Timeless Awards. Her 1/1/22 album Home charted at #18 on the Folk Charts. Linda believes music is our common language and it can connect us more deeply than words and bridge all divides. Linda loves writing songs for good community causes, especially non-profits and projects that help children and four-legged animals.