Written by Sophie Wyatt
Usually based in South-East London but speaking to us from Belgium, is singer-songwriter margomool. Having grown up half Italian, half British, margomool’s lyrics combine these two elements of their life, alongside transcendent, ethereal sounds. Having grown up with a family that embraced music, mainly folk style songs from Ireland, Scotland and Italy, margomool found solace within music from a young age.
While only having been officially within the music scene for around two years, the artist explained that they’ve “always been writing songs and creating poetry” and went on to say that it’s something they “can’t live without“. It would be a disservice to label margomool’s music under simply one genre. Their music is so multi-layered, improvisational and unique that it simply cannot be confined to the constraints of a single name, with Folk, Jazz and Electronic influences meeting all at once. When discussing where their inspiration first came from, margomool explains that Tracey Chapman was the first musician that they really connected with. “The first person I vibe with was Tracey Chapman, who is a massive a gay. Which is great. I didn’t really clock that at the time, my little queer baby self. Her emotion and the simplicity of her writing, and just being an absolute legend. Being a black, lesbian woman in the 70’s and 80’s busking on the street, singing songs about queer love and revolution.”
The London Jazz scene is growing. More marginalised groups around the city, and the country are beginning to claim their place within the scene. But margomool went on the explain that trans and non-binary artists are more inclined to gravitate towards a more alternative creative scene. And explained that there are many factors causing this, such as sharing the vulnerable tool that is your voice. “There’s a lot more trans/non-binary people making music, but they’re more in the punk-grungy world. And I’m really lucky to be able to intersect a little bit with those scenes. I’ve mainly been brought up in the South London Jazz scene. I think I know 5 non-binary artists in the scene which is a tiny percentage. Being a vocalist, it’s a lot to share your voice. It’s a very vulnerable and gendered thing your voice. It is a very cis scene, it is getting queerer.
I’ve had a lot of transphobia at gigs and people getting my pronouns wrong on radio or in articles. It’s just another layer of having things said about you correctly, which should be quite basic. There is more representation, but I think there needs to be more representation in the jazz, instrumental scene.”
Describing their music as “world-building“, margomool explained that their music is something they want to be a full body, otherworldly experience. “I’m always trying to paint a story or narrative. I like to create an atmosphere with each of my songs so you can feel a colour or a texture or a literal place. That’s how I perceive music, through visceral feeling.” Using different layers of sounds, techniques and a range of well-thought through lyrics, margomool is definitely keeping their listeners on their toes, and inviting them into this new universe they are creating.
“Ascolta” is the first song that margomool has written combining both their Italian and British language. Meaning “listen“, Ascolta is part of margomool’s most recently released project “Aspetta“. When speaking on creating the song with a mixture of languages and cultures, the artist said, “I grew up very culturally Italian. Often parents who are immigrants will either really go in on the language and culture when teaching their kids, or they’ll feel alienated. So my dad didn’t really speak Italian to me growing up, so I’m just really discovering it now. Ascolta was a really easy way of my accessing singing in Italian.”
Finally we discussed when the future has in store for margomool. Having just had a year of heavy performances, margomool explained that they’ve set themselves a goal of having a year of making. “I’ve got this new creative urge that I’m being pulled in, merging more electronic, folky styles with Jazz. I’ve started renting out a studio once a week and I’m going to hone in on creating this kind of sound. I have lots of ideas around making music videos with trans dancers. A lot of the music is about how queer people have to find themselves, a lot of the time by being alone. In those feelings of being isolated and shunned out, you realise who you are and then you come to know other people who you feel connected with. And then do a sick night where we all come together and just dance,” they laugh.
Head over to margomool’s Spotify to hear their latest tracks.