Funding herself with a 9-5 and producing her own music, videos and upcoming tour, this visually stimulating artist is the epitome of INDEPENDENT MUSIC. Mars Gana has been flying under the radar, refining her already definitive, deep, spectral and aurally stimulating sound. Her otherworldly music, her compelling, soulful, yet pitch perfect/radio quality live performance and virtuoso piano and guitar skills captures any audience that happens to be in front of her. She is releasing a new single this September, follow her on Instagram to stay in touch.
Entertwine: Could you give us some insight into your musical background? What inspired you to begin writing and performing in the first place?
Mars Gana: I discovered my passion for singing my heart out to whoever would hear it when I was about 3 years old. I started writing short stories when I was 5. By age 7, I had a lead role in a community play and that was when I first started performing for hundreds of people. It was like I sent myself down to Earth with a mission and I knew exactly how I could give back to the world while I was in the womb, haha. In my preteens, I picked up a guitar and a piano which led to me learning to produce my own music, down to every little frequency, by the time I had graduated high school. It’s seriously like I always knew and I had no other special skills to refine.
ET: What was it like growing up in Sacramento, California? What is the music scene like there? How has the area shaped you, both personally and musically?
MG: To be honest, Sacramento is a beautiful place to retire. It shaped me in the sense that most of my real friendships and half of my family is here, but I moved to LA three years ago; I’ve done most of my shaping, breaking and reshaping there. Sacramento is more like a nest to me.
ET: You produce your own music, direct your own videos, and organize your own performances; what does it mean to you to be a DIY artist?
MG: For the past 12 years, I’ve put strong, positive, vibrations into the universe that someone who can put up with me will come along to develop and uplift me. I’ve come to find that a) not very many people can put up with me and b) no one is going to save me. I was raised on $1100 a month by my disabled father so I never got anything handed to me. At all. I had to learn to produce better than a $1000/a song producer, because I couldn’t afford $1000 a song… but I had a vision to make more uplifting music for the radio. I had to direct my own video, because all I could afford was for a friend cinematographer to help me out. Organizing my own shows has been crazy, but it’s led me to selling out the House of Blues and winning awards at the Grammy Museum all on my own. Being a DIY artist is hard as hell, but if you come out the other side with a larger following and thicker skin – you’re doing it right. I would recommend the experience to anyone.
ET: Could you tell us more about the new single you’ll be releasing in just a few weeks? What life experiences and events led to the writing and recording of this track?
MG: This new single is some of my best works to date. It’s called, “A Man’s World.” My experiences that led to it are very simple – I’m a poor and oppressed 99%er like, well, 99% of America. The song starts out being about a woman who gives a man her mercy, because “this is how I have to be.” We have to be forgiving, we have to understand that relationships in this era aren’t what they used to be – so it takes a very ironically submissive view, “it’s a man’s world.” Then the 2nd half of the song gets very dark. It was inspired by being in situations over the past few months where the world literally crumbled beneath my feet and it felt as if everything was attacking me… it tells a story of being apart of a seeming inescapable machine attempting to crush you, but then I reply, “I’m a soldier with a model walk, I wear my scars like they’re stilettos and I’m much larger than I look.” After that, the hook changes from “A Man’s World” to “THE man’s world.”
My goal with this song is to activate humanity into WAKING UP, while still giving them something to dance to that doesn’t scream, “I’M FILLING YOUR HEAD WITH INFORMATION.” It’s a peaceful, sexy protest to the world that I honestly feel like anyone who has ever felt hopeless could relate to. May it bring all of its listeners strength, power and hope.
ET: What do the remaining months of 2014 hold in store for Mars Gana? Do you have any plans to record an EP or full-length album? Do you have any performance dates lined up at the moment?
MG: I already have a few full length albums that I’ve produced and written full lyrics for. Now, it’s just a matter of getting them professionally mixed down with the vocals recorded. Right now, because I am independent and I have dropped my label, I am focusing solely on releasing a song or two every month, persistently. I’m going to put up some really compelling, live YouTube performances starting the end of September. In addition to that I will be booking shows, playing open mics a couple times a week and traveling all throughout the West Coast to share my music so that I can build my way up and commence expanding my horizons to other parts of the world by this time next year.
I will have tour dates posted on my website: www.marsgana.com by the end of September. I’m really, truly excited to share my revelations with the world in a live setting. This is where I thrive. It’s proven – i’m more likely to steal your heart this way. 😉