“I’ve got a funny story about songwriting, you’ll like this,” you can picture Marin Daley-Hawkins nudging an imaginary pal and sipping on a glass of wine on the other end of the line. “I take the tube and I’ll listen to instrumentals and I’ll look at all the people on my tube carriage. People who look a bit pissed off or sad or maybe someone will be smiling, which is completely out of the blue for London, I’ll have a think to myself about what’s happened to them and go off into my own little world.”
Daley-Hawkins’ world is a fluid hybrid of before her years and the manufactured beats of the present. After being forced into some, any sort of academic musicality at school, “even just playing the bloody tambourine,” she discovered her talent for singing aged 12. Hidden from the commercial allure of pop by snobby tutors, she slid into old jazz standards as a compromise against classical songs suited to more operatic voices.
A bootleg of Zomby’s “Witch Hunt” became Daley-Hawkins’ first creation, “Prevail”, is a soul-licked bare vocals punctuated by gunshots. What followed was “Day 42”, on her first single proper, Daley-Hawkins sighs after who she’s been waiting for with an effervescent electronic track of bubbling pops and creaking synths. This combination of jazz influenced top lines and a softly pulsing bass has become a signature of hers.
Despite being almost classically trained away from the computer and switchboards of the studio, Daley-Hawkins strives to participate in as much of the production as possible that’s central to her sound. As for working entirely independently, that’s coming, “one day, there’s too many buttons!”
The head-spinning speed of the industry and the saturation of London’s scene pushes artists to churn out release after release, something Daley-Hawkins is wary of, “I’m a firm firm believer that you shouldn’t rush until you know exactly what you want to do and get it absolutely as near perfect as humanly possible,” she relays her mantra. “There will be an EP sometime soon and live shows, definitely definitely can’t wait to do them and expect them to match perfectly to the music. Less is more.”