In our latest feature, we get to know Jake Marra from Melbourne, who’s just dropped his first ever single, ‘The Day That You Left’.
You know he’s a big pop fan when the feature name-checks the likes of Lady Gaga, ABBA, Britney Spears, Robyn, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Ariana Grande and many more.
So who is Jake? And what’s he got up his sleeve for his very first single?
Read on – and listen below!
01. Name : Jake Marra.
02. Where are you based? Melbourne.
03. How did you get your start in music? I actually had no idea I had any musical talent. I would only sing in secret when nobody was around to hear it. As I got older, I started to realise, “Hold on a sec, maybe I DO have something to offer”.
I started two YouTube channels. One where I would post vlogs, skits and covers of popular songs, and another one for mashups I produced. Since then, I’ve been performing at various venues/festivals with ‘Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir’, as a backing vocalist for Melbourne R&B singer/songwriter JAYDEAN and working on original music.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Queer, Sincere, Unapologetic, Unfiltered, Ambitious.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with getting the jump on all the new bops before everyone else. I actually used to check auspOp every single night, without fail (nawwww – Ed)! Whether it was pop, R&B, hip hop/rap, rock, I was on a mission to have the latest and greatest music library!
That has definitely played a huge part in shaping my sound, which is straight-up pop, no doubt about it. But listening to a wide variety of genres has allowed me to pick and choose elements prominent across a bunch of genres, and apply them to a big pop production!
06. What’s your earliest musical memory? I used to sit in front of my CD player every day and listen to artists like Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. Their singles were packed with huge background vocals, which was standard for the Max Martin-produced pop tunes of the late 90s/early 2000s, so not only would I sing along to the lead melody, I’d unknowingly catch on to the harmonies and start singing those!
07. Who have been your musical influences? Britney Spears, Troye Sivan, Robyn, Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, CXLOE, Allie X, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, the list goes on and on. Honestly, anyone that’s served up a sickening pop song in the last 20 years has inspired and helped shape me in some way!
08. What are your favourite songs of all time? YOU’RE GONNA MAKE ME CHOOSE?! Ahhhh! If I had to pick, in no particular order : ABBA – ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’, Britney Spears – ‘Oops… I Did It Again’ (which is a better song than ‘…Baby One More Time’. THERE, I SAID IT!!), The Carpenters – ‘(They Long to Be) Close To You’.
09. Where’s your favourite place to listen to music? Oh, in the shower, hands down! If you try to tell me you haven’t performed an entire multi-act concert WITH an encore in your shower, you’re LYING!
10. Who are your go-to artists when you’re feeling :
Happy? Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Spice Girls, Lady Gaga, Doja Cat.
Sad? The Cinematic Orchestra, Adele.
Introspective? Rufus Wainwright, Birdy.
Exhausted? Random piano/string instrumentals on YouTube!
11. What was the first album you ever bought? My mum used to buy all my CDs when I was a kid. We’d go to Sanity and I guess she just let me run wild because my collection was STACKED. I don’t actually remember which came first, but I had Mandy Moore, Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, Good Charlotte and a few ‘So Fresh’ compilation albums (Hits of Spring 2003 aka “The Purple One” is still the best one ever by the way!).
12. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I can’t believe I’m admitting this on the record, but when I was 12-13, I did hip hop/breakdancing classes for about two years. Let’s just say music was DEFINITELY the right career move, and I have the end of year dance recitals to prove it…
13. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? I actually don’t have an answer to this. I’d love to say something meaningful and impactful, but honestly, no matter what I do, I ALWAYS end up coming back to music.
I’ve had a bunch of different jobs over the years ranging from hospitality to administration, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t leave music alone, nor do I want to. It will always be an option. As long as I’ve got a voice and something to say, I’ll make it work!
14. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? Someone once told me that no dream is too big, no matter how far-fetched or impossible you think it is, there’s always a way there if you’re willing to put in the work. Focus on your biggest goal in life and work backwards.
For example, I would love to play Coachella someday, which I’d normally tell myself is a ridiculous idea, but what do I need to do before that? I’d probably need to play at some local festivals, and before that, I should do a heap of headline gigs, but before that, I should probably try and find some spots as an opening act.
Do you see where I’m going with this? When you put things into perspective like this, nothing seems impossible anymore.
15. What’s been the highlight of your musical journey so far? In 2015, I produced a mashup of Ariana Grande’s ‘One Last Time’ and Justin Bieber’s ‘What Do You Mean?’. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, I just uploaded my mashups, replied to a few nice comments from subscribers, and was on my way.
THEN it went viral (and has since been removed due to YouTube’s annoyingly strict copyright rules for mashups back then but she’s accepted it, she’s moved on…).
I had articles written about me by Billboard, MTV, and Teen Vogue to name a few.
In an interview with Ariana Grande, Ryan Seacrest asked if she’d heard it yet, to which she replied “I’m obsessed with it! Whoever did that is a genius”.
Having someone you respect as an artist say kind words about you is one of the most validating experiences. I still can’t believe it actually happened!
16. What’s been the strangest experience you’ve had in the business? I’m still a baby in this business; it’s all been sunshine and rainbows so far! (Awful answer, I know)
17. If you could trade places with any artist in the world right now, who would it be? Billie Eilish. That girl has cemented herself as one of the biggest forces in music today and I’d be so curious, yet also slightly afraid, to see what she has to deal with on a typical day, besides crafting certified bops with Finneas in a tiny bedroom in their parents’ house.
18. Tell us about your latest release. My latest release is actually my ONLY release. Debut single, y’all! It’s called ‘The Day That You Left’ and it’s basically the product of all the failed relationships I’ve experienced in my life.
It focuses on the denial you can’t escape when somebody is no longer in your life and the harsh wave of emotions that comes with it. Whether it be a falling out with a friend, a break-up, or a death, most of us have experienced the feelings that come with losing somebody and I wanted to channel that into a dark, pulsating synth-pop track (co-written and produced by the brilliant Ben Oldand) that you can still bop along to while simultaneously crying your eyes out. Think ‘Dancing On My Own’ by Robyn.
19. What do your future plans involve? I’m constantly writing and recording music, so I’d love to drop another single or two before the year is out! Maybe even a music video, but we’ll have to wait and see. Ya girl needs to save up that coin before that happens! Ahhh, the joys of being an independent artist!
Apart from that, I’m just taking each day as it comes. Trying to really enjoy each moment and really be present.
20. Where can our audience catch you live? Sadly, just those shower concerts for now. Playing some live shows is my goal for next year. Let’s see if I can make it happen!
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/JakeMarra18/
INSTAGRAM : https://www.instagram.com/jakemarra18/
YOUTUBE : www.youtube.com/JakeMarra18
SPOTIFY : https://open.spotify.com/artist/6Hgb3EW6qnUntLo3FKBeui?si=PFnDMTc1Try3_-0AGLL7IA