Who is Asia Mari? Hmmm…good question! Good effin question! Yes she is a twenty year old Virginia Beach native. Yes she is a singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer. And yes…she is an openly lesbian artist who gives no f**ks about what no one thinks about her. Not only is she this fierce, fiery entertainer who’s hotter than that Virginia Beach sand piercing between your toes, but an old soul living in a youthful, yet mature and sexy body.
The weather in Virginia Beach is currently 90 degrees and by the time this article gets read by you, it’ll either be cooling down or just as hot. By the time you listen to Asia’s music, you will either be in tears or with your middle finger in the air yelling “F**k the haters!” as loud as you can. That’s just what her music does to you. It transports you to places you’ve never been, leaves you there, and throws away the key to return to present reality.
Everything that glitters ain’t gold-that is- until you meet Asia Mari! I had the privilege to interview the next big thing outta V-Beach, the city about twenty minutes from Norfolk which birthed greats such as Timbaland, and pick her brain on her sexuality, her music, today’s Rnb music, and much more.
Tell me. Who is Asia Mari? Likes? Dislikes? Pet Peeves?
Asia is where goon meets glitter! I love Hello Kitty. Dislike rude people. And my biggest pet peeve is when people come into my room and leave without shutting my door back closed the way they found it. Drives me NUTS.
When did you know music was something you wanted to pursue?
I’d have to say I knew I wanted to pursue music back in elementary. I used to get so excited to go to music class and I used to take it so serious when we would learn new songs I can remember still how I used to fight with my classmates for being disruptive when I was trying to rehearse. Haha!
Who were/are some of your musical influences growing up?
I’ve always LOVED Disney so a lot of my influences came from that area. Not so much of the music but the actual person behind the music. Don’t get me wrong now. I loved the music. I loved singing along, singing my little heart out in my living room but what I really loved is how it always made me feel like their equal. I could do what they did and be great because they were regular human beings just like myself. I still dream of being on the Disney channel today.
The one thing that is very admiring about you is that you are very open about your sexuality. How important is it for you to stay true to who you are and not conforming to what society feels or perceives about gay entertainers?
Well, of course staying honest and true to who I am is 100% important to me. I always stress to my fans how important it is to be themselves and do what makes them happy even if the whole world is against it. And as far as what society feels or perceives about gay entertainers-I don’t really take notice to a lot of those things because I thank God we are living in a world where being gay is becoming so much more accepted.
Being an openly gay artist, how do you connect with both male and female fans?
Funny you ask that. I actually get asked that question all the time. I don’t find it hard to connect with males nor do I find it hard to connect with females. I don’t throw out that I’m gay every two seconds. If people want to know that, I am very honest with them especially my fans. But honestly, I love my guys and they love me and I love my girls and they love me too. I don’t act differently towards either one of them and I think that’s why it’s so easy to connect with them. No one feels like I’m forcing anything on them. We are all here to enjoy good music and that’s it. And the way I write my music, I don’t sing about boys and I don’t sing about girls either. I sing about people. That way anyone can listen to my music and anyone can sing my songs whether they are gay, straight, transgender, bisexual, polka dotted or aliens.
Your voice is amazing. If I’m not mistaken, you are operatically trained?
In middle school and my earlier years in high school I was a part of the chorus and I took some classes for a few semesters but other than that I never had a personal vocal trainer.
What are your thoughts on Rnb music today? What’s missing or what needs to be changed?
I think R&B music is missing its guts. I feel like people are not as honest as they used to be. People sugarcoat things and beat around the bush. Again, I like to be very honest in my music and with my fans so I say whatever I’m feeling. In other words, I guess what R&B music is missing is simply me.
What is your favorite song you’ve ever wrote and recorded?
My favorite song of all time that I ever written and recorded hands down is my song “Forward.” It is literally the soundtrack of my life. It’s the theme song for my EP. In that song I literally was really upset one day in my room and I just started free styling about whatever was on my heart-And it turned out so beautifully. I love it and it is my favorite because I love the fact that someone can listen to all my music and then play that song and hear my entire story and get a very clear picture of who I am.
Would you ever write for other artists? Be a ghostwriter?
That is a tough question. I like to write what I feel in my music and because it comes straight from my heart, I like people to know that that is exactly what I’ m thinking. I can’t really write someone else’s feelings and again I think music should be honest. I bet it would be a really cool experience though. I’m kind of split down the middle with that one so I guess I will cross the bridge when I get there.
How important is it for you to write your own music? Would you find it difficult to connect with the song if it wasn’t written by you?
This kind of goes along with the last question’s response. It’s very important for me to write my own music because I like people to know me as an artist-Another human being,exactly what I’m feeling and what I’m going through. I feel like if I was to Sing-A-Song completely written by someone else, it just wouldn’t be honest enough-which I do have songs that other people have helped me write-but to completely sing a song about something I’ve never been through… it’s not always the best feeling. But that is just me.
What is one thing Asia Mari wants fans to know about her?
I want my fans to know that I am human. That I laugh. That I cry. I get happy. I get upset. I fall in love and I fall into depression. I get my heart broken and more. I want them to know that I am human and no matter how many times life knocks me down and no matter how many times I get into the worst situations ever, I pick myself back up and I keep moving forward. I want them to know that they can do that too. I want my fans to know that they can always come to me and come to my music for help in any situation and that I love them and that I care about them. I want them to know that they are important.
Musically speaking, what can we look forward to from Asia Mari this year and next?
Actually really big exciting news. I am releasing an EP before the end of 2015. So definitely be on the lookout for that. The name of the EP is “Forward” and I’m so excited for everyone to hear it. Also with the release of that, I should be doing a lot more shows and traveling a little bit more again from the end of 2015 into 2016.
How can fans keep in touch with you?
My fans can contact me through Instagram @asiamarimusic. Twitter @lindseylindseey. I do live broadcasting on YouNow. Also I have a Fan P.O Box
Asia Mari Fan Club P.O. Box 7141, Hampton, Virginia 23666
Anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?
I would just like to say I love you guys. Thank you so much for all of the love and support you have shown so far and for all the love and support that is yet to come. Stay strong. Stay beautiful and know your worth, and if you ever feel like nobody’s there for you or cares about you or loves you just know that I do and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. -Asia Mari
With the release of Ms. Mari’s EP approaching, her fans are more than ready. We all love good music. But how about music that changes your whole outlook on life? Makes you happy again after you thought you would never smile? Makes every heart break a life lesson and every betrayal means for motivation? Listen to her music and you will figure out exactly what I’m talking about.
Interviewed by: Simone Grant