Published on April 2nd, 2020 | by MuzikScribe0
Marina Chello: The Journey
Now let’s hop right into your latest single / video, “Rain Down on Me” — Tell me about this particular composition? How did it come to fruition?
I actually wrote “Rain Down on Me” a little over 10 years ago…and at the time, I didn’t record it as it wasn’t its time to be heard I believe, and it wasn’t aligning with my project back then. But I always loved the song, and felt it was special. Only recently, I ran into my past label-mate, Donnie Klang, and I immediately thought of the song and that I should record it. It just felt like the right time. He produced the track for it, and we worked on the song together to bring it to life. I’m very proud of it.
How then does this new solo entry either differ and / or compare to previous Marina Chello efforts?
Well I’m in full control now, and it’s just me; no label, no manager. I’m just doing this on my own because I love it and will never stop singing. It’s my little baby. I’m working on a whole album.
Now I’m not too sure if you remember, but the first time I interviewed you was back in March 2010 so you’ve been on my own personal radar for a decade or more…
Thank you so much.
But for those who aren’t aware — Please tell me your whole inception into music; when did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Marina Chello?
It was just something I was born with. My father was a rock singer, and he passed down this love for music to me. And I’ve been singing and writing ever since I can remember.
Now you’re a native of Uzbekistan, correct? So growing up abroad, who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
Yes, I was born in a city called Samarkand. My musical influences – besides the local singers – were Michael Jackson and Madonna. And then when we moved to NYC, it was all about the divas, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. I’d never heard singing like that in my life, so I was absolutely floored and inspired.
How and when exactly did you migrate here to the states?
We moved to New York in 1992.
At what particular point in time did you opt to pursue music on a professional level?
After high school, I had to make a choice; it was either study Criminal Profiling at John Jay (College) or pursue music. I love criminal law and the whole science that goes into profiling, but I couldn’t do it knowing how much I love to sing. So I went on to record demos and shop for a deal, and I landed a few lucrative deals along the way and got to work with music legends and experience the industry.
That being said, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?
I sing…I sing in different languages, different genres. I don’t like to classify myself, but my recorded and released stuff is mainly Pop/R&B
Harve Pierre found me on Myspace, and we started to work on a record through his imprint Crazy Joint / Bad Boy. It was a great experience.
Why do you feel it is that nothing – at least album wise – really ever materialized from that working relationship?
There (were) many variables, and probably some I’m not privy to…but during my time there the labels shifted and Atlantic and Bad Boy were no longer, so the roster got lost in the mix of the move. And I was in limbo for a bit, but later was let go as Interscope wasn’t signing at the time.
Following your departure from the ‘The House That Diddy Built,’ you sort of vanished from the music scene altogether — How come?
I made a decision to leave music for a bit, and build a life around me. I had nothing really to show for myself, but written song. I wanted a personal life; love, kids…so I had to leave music – (’cause) that took up most of my time – and build.
I’d just been working and living life! *Marina giggles* I managed a family business, and still sang and gigged and wrote. The Voice came about outta nowhere really. I always adored the show, and did an Instagram hashtag thing they were doing at the time…and I got a casting director’s attention, and that’s how I winded up in L.A. on the show.
There was quite a bit of outrage surrounding your exit from the show — Were you yourself surprised?
Yes, I was. There’s tons that happens on that stage that gets super edited. But, that’s the nature of the show. All the contestants were prepped for possible outcomes like that.
What did you like most / least from your experience as a contestant being an integral member of Team Blake (Shelton)?
I loved my coach! He is so cool and collected. I liked his advice, and how he handles the room; taught me a lot. I would choose him again if I had the chance.
Switching gears here, how has not only the industry itself, but even more-so you as an individual, either changed and / or evolved since your whole inception into music?
I’ve changed in a sense that my priorities changed with me. I will always love music as it’s my first loyal love, but I write more now; as I lived more and have different views. I want to make music and enjoy it and gig more. The industry has changed dramatically as well, so artists drive their own product machines more than ever. I don’t have a grand plan for my music; I know I just want to make it and keep singing.
Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?
My love for song.
What do you want people to get from your music?
Portray my emotions, and make people feel something when they hear it.
Is there a hidden meaning / message in any of your music?
Nothing hidden; just heartfelt emotions laid out in the tracks.
As a songwriter, where do you actually draw inspiration from?
I draw it out of my own experiences; from friends, and just living life and listening to others. There’s ideas all around us.
Please explain your creative process…
I usually get a phrase stuck in my head or an interesting word, and I build a poem around it…then I sing it, and create a melody, “Rain Down on Me” was similar. I was actually in ATL in Jermaine Dupri’s studio for other things, and I got this hook stuck in my head and i just whipped out my computer and wrote it on the spot. I got tons of songs like that! If I get a track I really love, I write songs onto the track as well. It all has to feel organic and be emotional. I never gravitated to simple easy lyrics.
On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of music?
Honestly, not really. Perhaps I’m not fully informed as to what’s going on with music as a whole, but I do love many artists. It just seems like it’s very gimmicky, and once in a while a true amazing album comes out and saves the music world; like Adele or Ariana Grande, and I have something new and beautiful to listen to with meaning.
Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?
I really love what I do in the hall I manage. I get to do music that way as well, and be present during people’s happy life events. I want to write more songs; possibly for other artists.
I also know acting is one of your passions as well, right?
Yes, that’s another one. I’m working on something right now…we shall see how it pans out.
What has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far anyway?
To have amazing people believe in you and want to be on your team. That was always my most prized achievement with music. Your talent can only go so far. The right people have to fight for you day in and day out; I was blessed with that, even if I didn’t go as far as I dreamed. I got very close, and did amazing work thus far. Just being signed by Seymour Stein to Warner (Bros.), then later by Harve to Bad Boy, was huge in my world. Then to go on and take part in a competition in Russia / Europe, New Wave, and be a laureate, was huge in my community. The Voice was another big achievement. Just to get to that point; I mean, I had millions of people tuning in and seeing me talk about who I am, and sing for 20-30 minute segments at a time…that was amazing! The amount of messages and inboxes I’ve received for that alone was staggering. I’m forever grateful.
What’s an average day like for you?
I wake up and hang out with my 6 year old son and get him ready for school every morning, then depending on the week at work; I go to work and work events, and I gig in between that and write and record in between that, too. I’m very blessed and thankful for the gifts I have from God.
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…
It’s always surreal when someone wants a photo or writes to me on social media. I’m thankful and humbled by the support and feedback I get.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
I say never give up, ever ever. I know it’s been said many times over, but if you have a true love for something – whatever it is – work on your craft hard and never give up.
Lastly, what’s next for you, Marina?
More songs…hopefully an album soon. I’d like to get a live band together and do small local gigs, too; test my material.
Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?
My link to stream the new song “Rain Down on ME”: HERE 😀 thank you !!!!!!!
Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
Thank you for your support, and the outpouring love. I’m very thankful for everything, and I hope to always bring emotion through my music.