FEATURE: Spotlight: Amber Mark





 PHOTO CREDIT: Immstagramer 

Amber Mark


IF you have not affiliated yourself…


IMAGE CREDIT: Getty Images

with the brilliant Amber Mark; ensure you correct that and get involved with her music. The New York-based artist has come a long way since her beginnings. A couple of years ago, Noisey spoke to Mark and asked where she recorded her music:

What's the most enjoyable part of the process for you?
Yes, 90 percent of the times it's been in my bedroom. I've had the opportunity to work with other producers, but I feel I've produced my best work on my own, such as Space. For me the most enjoyable part would be the production side. Don't get me wrong, I have many days where I sit for hours and get nowhere. But when I feel the beat is good and I'm vibin' with it, its almost a mediation for me”.

Love Me Right is the songwriter’s current gem and shows what development and evolution have taken place since her introduction. It is a mix of eclectic, tropical beats and a summer-ready feel; vocals that are chocolate-rich and divine. One gets impressions Erykah Badu and some of the finest female artists of the past couple of decades. It is a brilliant song and one that shows she is ready and able to handle everything chucked her way. There is a lot of interest in the American songwriter at the moment.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Rachel Cabitt/Pitchfork

Handling devastating loss can be tough for all of us. There are artists who tackle that pain and channel it into terrific music: most like to retreat and not really open up about it. Amber Mark lost her mother in 2013 and, following her death, poured her talented and sadness into music. What arrived from that transition was a stunning sound and imaginative palette. Her first track, S P A C E, was released last year and proved an instant hit with critics and fans. It was like nothing out there and, listening to it the context of her current material; one can hear that confidence and talent early on – she has grown and blossomed since then, too. Zane Lowe picked up her music and, after a few months, so many people were flocking her way. Her debut E.P., 3:33am, is out (released last year) and demonstrates what a consistent and alluring proposition Mark is. Each of the tracks on her E.P. is about stages of grief. There is the dealing of isolation and grief; having to accept things and realise she (her mum) is gone. The number ‘three’ plays a big part in Amber Mark’s life – she was born in 1993; her brother in 1983; her mum died on 3rd June, 2013. The aspiring star has managed to turn that anger and loss into something genuinely brilliant and spiritual. There is a lot of maturity and confession in the E.P.

Amber Mark has been hot on the interview trail and has not long left the U.K. – promoting a song, one hopes, leads to another E.P. She has taken advantage of some our best spots and, fingers crossed, she comes back and plays real soon. The New Yorker will not have a lot of time to get to the U.K. – what with 3:33am loved by many and gaining a lot of traction. The young artist, I know, was obsessed with Michael Jackson growing up. One can imagine her parents playing some great vinyl and exposing the impressionable music lover to wonderful sounds. Based in the U.S.; Amber Mark is competition with some incredible artists. We have brilliant Soul and Pop artists out there – to me, there is something different, refreshing and long-lasting about Mark. She has the strength and fortitude to bridge any problems and tackle the barriers and strain of the music industry. Mark breathes tenacity and natural spirit, which means she can negotiate any hard sell and cheating tongues – get her music out to the world and navigate her way through music on her own terms. Mark recently talked to Pitchfork about making the E.P. and how it got started:

I didn’t really have the intention of writing an EP. “S P A C E” was one of the first songs I’d ever written, mainly because I had been dealing with a bunch of emotional roller coaster shit within myself. That was a way I could express myself properly, and it felt like a release. I was also really frustrated with myself, because I knew I wanted to be in music and to write music, but I wasn’t finding any producers that were working for me. So I just took matters into my own hands. Someone had given me Logic, and I started to do it all on my own. Writing by myself in my bedroom is definitely where I feel most creative”.


IMAGE CREDIT: Getty Images/Amber Mark

She went on to assess what the E.P. means and how she wants 3:33am to connect with other people:

I want this EP to have a bigger meaning, and I want people to feel even more emotional with this than they did with the previous one. Like, I still have drama. It may be all, like, love drama now. But it’s still drama”.

Mark will tour through North America through the spring and summer. It looks like we can expect her back in the country later in the year. Many fellow songwriters will take guidance from her and be inspired by what she is doing and the sound she throws done. There are elements of Sade – who she has covered and, after being written to by Mark, recognised her as a torchbearer and natural soul – and you feel, when listening to any of her songs, alive and exposed at the same time. Her seven-track E.P. talks about everything from drinking heavily and losing patience; having to shoulder the loss of an idol and assimilating grief and numbness into her life. One might read those words and assume everything is gloomy and hopeless. Instead, what we get is an E.P. filled with hope and passion. Amber Mark’s voice has so many layers and colours constantly bubbling, fizzing and swooning.

I cannot wait to see where Amber Mark goes and how the music world reacts to her. She is not naïve and an ingénue artist: there's a fierceness and understanding that goes into confident and assured music. One listens to her perform and it is like she has been doing this all her life. I can imagine her domestic scene being rather adventurous and fun. She revealed in an interview – with NME, I think – her boyfriend neglecting to put down the toilet seat is bugging her! You can sense that charm and humour that emanates from Mark. More than anything; in a year where female artists, in music and other industries, have to fight harder for recognition – it is humbling seeing Amber Mark among the leading voices in music. Barely singing a word; she proves what incredible female talent there is in music right now. There is a definite gap in the industry that requires filling: the sumptuous vocals and deep songs of Amber Mark are there to take the breath and resonate with the listener.

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3:33am is out and, rightfully, it has accrued some massive love. This is the first big time for Mark and her career. From here, she hits the road pretty hard and will get to see a lot of new faces. I hope she is okay and gets some great reaction. I am confident people will fall for her music and take her to heart – it is only right! I am a big fan for a number of reasons...Mark has that intriguing and engaging personality that makes you want to listen to every word she says. The music gets into the soul and is unlike anything out in music. Finally, and importantly, there is a durability and a sense she will continue to reign and influence decades from now. I can hear that star quality and iconic sound from her debut E.P. If you have the time, and are so inclined; let 3:33am fill your ears and see why so many people…


IMAGE CREDIT: Getty Images

ARE tipping her for big things.


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