Artist Spotlight - Mara Connor
(Photo Credit - Beatrice Helman)
We got to chat with Mara Connor, a folk rock musician who's brand new EP 'No Fun' drops everywhere Friday! She's a rising star on the Americana scene and an artist to watch in 2020.
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"I've been singing and writing since I can remember. I picked up the guitar when I was 11. I joined my first indie rock band the summer after high school and fell in love with live music. I recently started releasing music, and No Fun is my debut EP."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"For me it usually starts with a strong emotional feeling, which inspires a melody, lyrics and a strumming pattern on my guitar. It typically comes comes all at once, so I just try to sit down and capture it before it disappears."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"So many. To name a few, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, George Harrison, Elliott Smith and Willie Nelson."
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"I love my Gibson ES-140T from 1961. I was searching for one for years and finally found it on eBay. After asking a guitar expert friend, I took a shot in the dark and hoped it would show up in good condition. It's featured in my 60s-inspired "No Fun" music video."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"I love playing live, sometimes I play with a full band, sometimes I play solo. There's really nothing like the feeling you get from that shared experience of being under the same roof with a room full of people celebrating music. I love my LA music community. There are so many talented musicians out here. I really enjoy having friends get up on duets or guest on an instrument. That's something I'm missing right now with the Coronavirus situation (but of course I'm glad we're all staying home to help flatten the curve)."
6. What is one thing that you want people to know about your music?
"This EP is a collection of songs in which I was finding my voice as a songwriter. I like to think of songs as emotional time capsules that capture a specific moment in time and a feeling and that's what these songs are for me. These are trying times. I hope my songs can bring a little comfort or distraction to someone who needs it."
7. Tell us all about your debut EP No Fun.
"No Fun was mostly recorded in East Nashville at The Bomb Shelter, with one song recorded in LA at WAX LTD, which used to be called TTG studios (where legends like The Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix, and Neil Young recorded). I was inspired by the production of the 60s and 70s. We recorded mostly to tape. It features three original songs and a Rayland Baxter cover. I was lucky to work with some incredibly talented friends on this. I can't wait to share it."