Star Spot with Mari Nobre, Latin Grammy-Winning Artist
Insider Tips from a Latin Grammy Winner Mari Nobre: How to Achieve Music’s Most Coveted Awards
Hello and welcome to this special edition of Star Spot! I’m Merry, and today we have the pleasure of speaking with Mari Nobre, a Latin Grammy® winning and Bilboard-charted singer, and ethnomusicologist. Mari’s impressive musical career spans several genres, from jazz to pop, and she has received numerous accolades for her work. Her album ‘Vida’ has been certified Gold by the RIIA, and she has received awards from the American Songwriter and Jazz Ed Magazine as Best World music Album of the year.
In addition to her musical accomplishments, Mari is also a member of the InterContinental Music Awards judging panel. We’re thrilled to have Mari with us today to share her experiences and insights into the music industry. Also her creative process, and the path to success in a highly competitive field. So without further ado, let’s jump into the summery of the interview and learn from Mari’s wealth of knowledge and experience. Click here to watch the full interview is available on Instagram.
Could you please introduce yourself for those who are just joining us?
My name is Mari Nobre, and I’m known as “La Madrina” in some circles because I represent various Latin music styles internationally. I’m originally from Italy but have lived abroad for a long time, so I’m a product of many different cultures. I’m proud to be working on a Banda project currently, and I think it fits well with the theme of celebrating music from all over the world.
That sounds great. When can we expect your new album to come out?
I’m excited to say that before “La Madrina” comes out, I’ll be releasing an EP called “Sobran Las Palabras.” It’s a collaboration with Kenya Auntie and Ibrahim Ferrer Jr., and it features two songs I recorded with him as well as two beautiful duets. The EP should be out in September, and then I’ll head to Mexico to shoot videos for “La Madrina.” We’re planning to release that album shortly after the EP.
“Sobran Las Palabras” is more Latin Pop Flamenco Pop and showcases me as a songwriter with my original songs. “La Madrina,” on the other hand, contains a lot of original songs and some covers with very original arrangements of Banda music. It’s my debut as a Banda singer after two years of touring with the Jenni Rivera Legacy band “Joyas Prestadas.” So they’re very different projects, but I’m excited for people to hear both of them.
How has the music industry changed over the past few years?
The change in the music industry has been drastic, but it does not necessarily favor artists. With the availability of free music streaming on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify, artists do not receive much financial compensation from their streams. Although there are subscriptions to these platforms, they do not provide much monetary benefit to the artist. I’m a gold artist on Spotify with more than 5 million streams on the song “Vida,” which I released with Hammer Music in Italy. However, the streaming revenue does not provide enough financial support to artists.
Before the advent of music streaming platforms, people used to buy albums and CDs, and the industry was more focused on investing in the recording of music. However, now people invest in concert tickets and merchandise, which has become more profitable for artists. I hope that the music industry will change in favor of artists by providing more compensation for their streams. However, I don’t see it changing anytime soon.
Can you take us behind the scenes of winning a Latin Grammy Award?
Winning a Grammy is undoubtedly a big accomplishment, but a lot of hard work goes into it. To create a quality product, an artist needs to focus on meeting the supply and demand of their audience while pleasing themselves. This involves investing in the best musicians, producing good quality videos, and making sure to be well-prepared in the studio. For instance, when I recorded my album La Madrina, I was so well-prepared that I recorded all ten songs in just six hours, while it usually takes an average of two to three days.
I participated as a singer on the Latin Grammy-awarded album “Los Animales” by Mr. G, and I also received a Latin Grammy certificate for it. While it’s great to win a Grammy, it should not define an artist as it does not necessarily mean that an artist’s music will stay in the hearts of people. The Grammys have a lot of politics involved, and big labels have a great advantage over independent artists. So, an artist’s preparation should be for their own sake and not just to win a Grammy. Making an album to fit into a Grammy category should never be the artist’s focus.
What were some of the challenges that you faced throughout your career, and what advice do you have for young people starting out in the industry?
When I started my career at 14 years old, I faced the challenge of trust. As a young performer, I had to trust myself and those around me. Especially managers and others who handle money and image. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that not everyone can be trusted. So I advise young people to be careful about who they trust with their money and image.
When I moved to Milan and signed with RCA, I found that being with the label was reductive. I had to do the music that was selling at that moment, rather than the music I loved doing. Eventually, I got tired of it and left for New York, where I had to start over from scratch. I had to learn English and find a place to stay. All while dealing with money problems and working other jobs to support myself.
Later, I married the son of a legendary Latin jazz musician, which allowed me to meet many amazing musicians and learn from them. Unfortunately, my ex-husband was not a good person and I became a survivor of domestic violence. It took me a long time to talk about it, but now I’m excited to have the opportunity to process my trauma through my music.
Despite the challenges, I continued doing music and collaborating with other musicians, such as the Ricky Martin’s musical director. Eventually, I moved to Los Angeles and had to start over again. However, I find that life is all about transformation and I welcome the opportunity to rebuild. Now, I have amazing friends and shows, and I’m currently on tour.
Can you tell us about your proudest accomplishment as an artist?
As an artist, I would say that receiving the Dean Martin award in Italy five years ago was a huge accomplishment for me. I was a big fan of Dean Martin when I was growing up. Watching his movies with Jerry Lewis. And I was so in love with the romantic idea of the Italian-American gentleman. But the real reason why I’m so proud of receiving this award is that, at the time, I had just released my song “Corazon Inmmigrante,” which promoted the value of diversity through my music.
I believe that my song is still relevant today, given the current political climate in the United States where immigrants are not treated fairly. My heart goes out to all those who are struggling. And I feel fortunate to have been able to settle myself in a place where I have a home, family, friends, and support. It’s an important accomplishment for me to be able to use my gift from God to talk to people and help them see that it takes courage to do what we do.
Can you share some advice for those who are just starting their music career?
My advice is to study, be prepared, and not believe in luck. Luck is just being ready when the chance comes, and the chance will come if you are focused, work professionally, and aim to be the best at what you do. It takes sacrifice and years of studying and performing to gain experience. Give yourself time to learn and grow. If you are really prepared and ready for a long-lasting career, you’ll be more likely to succeed. Let me tell you a story that illustrates this point.
I interviewed my friend and colleague Dorian Holley, who was Michael Jackson‘s vocal director for 25 years. When he was younger, he used to sing in church and rehearse with his choir three or four days per week, every week, for years. He didn’t realize that he was really rehearsing for the chance of auditioning for Michael Jackson’s tour. He thought he was rehearsing for church, but he was actually rehearsing for that chance. So my advice for every new artist is to rehearse yourself, rehearse your music, rehearse other people’s music, and always be ready because the chance will come.
That’s great advice. Do you have any last words for our viewers?
Thank you for watching, and if you’re interested, please follow my page Marino Official and the Jenny Rivera’s Tribute Joyas Prestadas Band page. Also, continue to follow the InterContinental Musical Words because this competition will grow more and more. Believe in yourself, don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t, and love your haters because they will motivate you to improve, correct your mistakes, and do better. Thank you for having me, and best of luck to you and to your new album.
Mari’s Contact Info:
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/mari.nobre
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marinobreofficial
- Website: https://www.marinobre.com
Click here to watch the full interview on Instagram
InterContinental Music Awards Team