Interview: Marika Hackman
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A Marika Hackman gig is a gig where you come out feeling like a) a Sylvia Plath poem or b) Sylvia Plath. There’s a beauty like no other lingering in her exposed brick lyrics; meaning and power and emotion cowering in every cobwebbed corner of every lyric. The sound is incompletely complete and completely incomplete, an amalgamation of what should and shouldn’t “be” in music, to form, what I consider, one of my favourite sounds. Having previously toured with alt-J and best friend Sivu, Hackman is currently on the road without her band for a stripped back tour. This is where I meet her before her show in backstreet Birmingham. “We’ve just done the two shows, with tonight being the third, but they’ve been so great. I’m doing it solo so it’s going to be more emotionally charged and intimate. It’s more fun with the band but holds more meaning like this”, she tells me as we chill on some funky smelling leather sofas. As mentioned before, the singer-songwriter previously toured with Sivu last year. If you haven’t checked this guy out, you definitely should. “It was amazing, one of my favourite tours”, she tells me. “He’s a good friend of mine and it was cool to be hanging out with him on the road and playing our duets together”. Having previously interviewed Sivu, we drop in conversation how he raved about her as we chatted in a similar setting. “He’s so sweet”, she bursts out and throws herself back on the sofa. For someone who creates music so deep and poetic, you wouldn’t expect such positivity and life amidst the meloncholy. From one tour to another, we chat about her tour supporting alt-J last September. “That tour was fucking amazing,” she begins. “They’re the biggest shows I’ve ever played with a band I love. It was just a dream from start to finish and they had AMAZING backstage catering. Every night we ate the most amazing food which really does make a difference when we’re all on the road”. Which leads to THE question, what do singers and bands eat while they’re on the road? “I try to be healthy”, Marika tells me. “I don’t eat gluten or sugar which means when I’m on the road I don’t just plough through sandwiches and donuts”. Such talk blurs into us chatting about the best vegan restaurants in Birmingham and where to find them. It is this kind of stark honesty and realism that seems at odds with an artist who has definite star-quality. This quality was picked up on for a campaign with British fashion institution Burberry a few years back.
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