We discovered MARTI WEST a year ago and we fell in love with his haunting track “Give Me Light” that spent several weeks at the top spot. Today he returns with a brand new dreamy track “Out Of My Head”.
Tell us about the journey up until the release of “Out Of My Head”
Well, this one took a little while. I started recording almost a year ago, but something in the track just wasn’t locking together in the right way. I must have recorded dozens of guitar, vocal and keyboard parts before it started to feel right.
When something’s not clicking, I find that the answer is not to add another part but to take something away.MARTI WEST
Tell us about the inspiration behind your latest single
I’m a huge Fleetwood Mac fan, and I thought it was time I did something with a bit of a groove. If you listen to Rumours, you get this incredible rhythm section coupled with some unashamedly honest and poignant lyrics. In the past, my songs have often tried to hide personal details behind imagery and allusion, so this time I thought I’d try being more transparent in the lyrics, and hide behind bass and snare instead.
“Out Of My Head” is about unrequited love. When you fall for someone and they don’t feel the same way, a little madness can creep in.MARTI WEST
You might say and do foolish things, you might feel simultaneous elation and despair, determination and self-pity, and the song was an attempt to fit these paradoxes into 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
That makes it in many ways this is the most honest song I’ve written. The lyrics don’t hide behind imagery or allusion, and I think this is one of the reasons why I’m happy with it. It’s been distilled to the essence of what I was feeling, and how I imagine countless people feel every day. A document
of emotion with 26 lines and a catchy chorus.
What does your creative process look like?
Chords – Melody – Lyrics – Record – Delete Recordings – Re-record.
OK, that’s maybe a little reductive. It feels a bit like a jigsaw puzzle at the beginning. You have all these ideas flying around, and you have to keep trying them out until you get to the right one. Sometimes finding the right idea takes years, and sometimes you get lucky and it’s the first one you try.
What are your musical inspirations?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Dustin Tebbutt and Novo Amor recently. They all have this ethereal, intimate grandeur in their sound that I just love. But inspiration can come from anywhere – I’ll be listening out for rhythms in a HAIM track, or how The 1975 treat their vocals for example and think “Oooh that’s cool, I wonder if I can incorporate that into one of my songs”.
Don’t think about trends too much, just make the music you want to listen to.MARTI WEST – Talking about the best advixe received
What is the biggest challenge for you as an independent artist?
You have to do EVERYTHING yourself. Whether it’s writing songs, studying Spotify algorithms, registering for and tracking royalties, or writing lines of code for your website you have to do lots of different jobs. Luckily I’m a control freak and I love it.
What is one album you cannot live without?
I’ll go for Graceland by Paul Simon. Sublime stuff.
Do you have a song, that when you hear it, you’d say, “I wish I’d written that”?
So many songs. I wish I’d written anything by Bon Iver or Ben Howard probably, but if I had to narrow it down to one song, I’d say “Most Of The Time” by Bob Dylan.
What artists would we find on your playlist today?
I’ve always been really into soul and rock’n’roll. I’ll never get tired of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin or Elvis.
When did you realise that you want to be a singer-songwriter?
Late. I think the penny dropped when I was around twenty-two. I’d just finished studying Music and English at university, and I decided to sign up for a songwriting diploma at BIMM in London. That was the first year I started to take it seriously and share my songs with other people, but I wish I’d realised sooner…
I’m so jealous of artists like Billie Eilish who’ve been writing absolute bangers since they were eleven.MARTI WEST
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
My dream would be to do something with Dustin Tebbutt. I first started listening to him around 2017, and I just fell in love with the songwriting and production. Just beautifully crafted songs dressed up in such a simple yet sophisticated way, which is something I’ve always aspired to. I later discovered he also spent time living in Sweden, so that only deepened the connection I felt with his music.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
That’s a tough one – being part British and living in Sweden, talking about your own achievements goes against years of social conditioning…. But I’d always aspired to have a song in a TV show, so when Feels Like Home was used in an episode of “The Village” on NBC, and then Copenhagen in Netflix’s “The Rain” I was pretty chuffed.
What you got planned for 2020?
Well, I’ve got a few songs in various stages of production, so there’s plenty of new music in the pipeline! I’d also love to get back into playing live more regularly, so the plan is to start putting a show together and figuring out the best way to bring these songs to life on stage. See you out there!