Marike Kotze : Songs from the city, songs from the heart.

Written on 03/17/2020
Kobus Kotze

Marike Kotze is a performing musician in Hanoi. She talked to us about her music, influences and creative writing process. Marike is currently in the process of recording and EP. She is also releasing a music video for the attached song. As an active member of the Hanoi music scene she looks forward to grow more as an artist. As an indie musician Marike is hard working and is currently in the process of rebranding her online presence to go with her above mentioned album release and music video. We are looking forward to it and will for sure share all of this with you. 


Tell us a bit more about how did you start out as an artist - how and when did it begin?

I have been performing in front of an audience for only a few years now, for the past 6 years or so.  Last year I started writing my own songs for the first time. It took me a very long time to realize that this is really what I wanted to do. Now I know I am singer/songwriter that want to share my heart with others. 

What is the song you recently performed on DiscovrTV Hanoi all about? Is there a story behind it?

The song is called ‘Don’t fall in love with the Moon’ and it is inspired by my move to Vietnam, specifically Hanoi. Sometimes it is tough to pinpoint what we mean with lyrics and songs but I guess it is about losing yourself. Within that process of losing yourself you also find parts of yourself. As a traveler, expat, nomad and individual there is a constant push and pull towards and away from ourselves. I guess I am trying to acknowledge both. There's some references to drug and alcohol abuse as well as falling in love, sex, disenchantment and a few other things one experiences or experiments with whilst on this journey of discovery.

 How does your writing process work? Is it stream of consciousness type of writing or more planned and thought out? Are there underlining themes in your music? 

I think it is more a stream of consciousness I go through, and then a song or a story develops from there. I usually get inspired by an idea; things I see or hear or feel or think about; or by people. I then start writing about it. It's quite challenging for me to bring lyrics and melody together, but if the theme is strong enough then it sometimes comes together more easily.

Where was the new release written?  How does place and time influence you and your writing process?

Places and landscapes definitely inspire me a lot. The city or country I live in or travel through and the people living there are my sources of inspiration. There are of course also landscapes within the self and this also emotionally changes.

Tell us more about your musical influences? Are you hoping to achieve a certain sound or theme on your new release? 

I am very much influenced by female vocalists. I’m always striving to become a stronger vocalist, and artists like Janis Joplin, Alicia Keys and Bjork have inspired me a lot. My themes or inspirations come from out of my own life, community and surroundings. But still, the way in which certain artists express themselves musically and lyrically is definitely inspirational. I look up to people like Tori Amos and Michael Stipe in how they melodically change pace and build up moments of almost climax in their songs. I love that. I think I also strive to create a very significant atmosphere within my songs, in the same way the artists I have mentioned do.

Tell me more about you and your successes as an artist? 

I have played a few festivals in Vietnam as a solo artist and some festivals in South Africa, but with a band. I am playing regular gigs at some of Hanoi’s finest live music venues and I am in the process of recording an EP with êch êch Studios here in Hanoi. I am also starting to perform with a few other musicians who accompany me and love this growth.

Where can we hear some of your music?

I am currently in the process of rebranding my social media pages and with the new EP and music video being released I will be sure to send you all the details. Thank you so much for talking to me.