Written by Sophie Wyatt
After joining underground trailblazers ‘TOPS’ back in 2017, keyboardist Marta Cikojevic (aka Marci) has released her debut, self-titled album. Produced by fellow band mate David Carriere, the album takes listeners on a journey through Marta’s retro touched sound. So, calling us from her current home made in a room in London’s iconic Laylow, we caught up with Marta to discuss the album in more depth.
Marta greets us with a bright smile, her long dark hair framing her face against a dark blue hotel room background. After learning that Marta usually frequents Montreal when she’s not living out in LA, we wanted to know how she was finding London. ‘I love it here. There’s a big park called Hampstead Heath that I want to visit.’
We then got on to the topic of Marta’s blossoming music career. She explained that aside from learning piano from a young age, her grandpa introduced her to not only to listening to music, but also creating it. ‘He was a musician and sang a lot of traditional folk songs. And he had this whole set up in their apartment where he could record on to tape. So, he showed me how to record and would record with me. Probably at the age of 10.’
Then after finding her feet in the music industry, Marta joined soft-rock band TOPS. She explained to us that it is following her stint as a keyboardist with the band that she built up the confidence to release her solo work. ‘When I started playing in bands like TOPS, I realised I really enjoyed doing it. It made me realise that I could do this in a more full-time way. But me doing my own thing – starting Marci – it was something I always wanted to do but didn’t know how to go about it. Being in TOPS really helped push me into that direction. Especially David [Carriere] he’s been really supportive with it.’
And this album certainly leans away from TOPS rock-ier sound. Admitting ‘I wanted to make a pop record. I wanted to make hits – catchy pop songs without it being too modern, or too retro,’ it’s safe to say that Marta has achieved that with this catchy, pop-filled collection of retro-twisted tracks. She went on to explain that while she went into this knowing how hard it is to get into the world of pop. But that is where her music led her it’s safe to say that her other fear of it being ‘cheesy or something, I don’t know’, has been avoided altogether.
We went on to speak about some of the specific songs from the album including ‘Immaterial girl’. ‘I wanted everyone to feel good. I wanted there to be a good energy, high energy. There was the whole concept of going out with your friends and having a good time. Maybe you’re at your friend’s house and you’re getting ready to go out or something, I don’t know. It’s a fun, nice, easy-going time while still feeling really cathartic and like you were able to be yourself.’ Admitting that this track is her favourite… before eventually thinking about the album so much that she had to retract her answer altogether.
Another track that caught Marta’s attention when talking about the album was ‘Pass Time’. This track is particularly special to her because of her recently released accompanying music video – filmed and edited by Marta herself.
With her North American tour coming up, Marta explains that new music might be coming sooner than we think. ‘I mean I love releasing music and I’m obsessed with it now.’ So, we very much look forward to that, and in the mean time we will be listening to ‘Marci’ on repeat for the rest of the summer.
Head over to Marci’s Spotify page to hear the rest of her self-titled album.