The Darkwave artist, Mareux has found internet fame through his cover of The Cure’s, “The Perfect Girl”. Throwing him into the pool of Spotify’s goth playlists and further securing his status with his new EP, Predestiny Mareux has become the artist to watch. We sat down to talk quarantine, recording, getting a message from Molchat Doma and more. Keep reading to get to know Mareux!
Your cover of The Cure’s, “The Perfect Girl” helped launch you into the post-punk/ coldwave scene on Spotify. What inspired you to choose this song to cover? Additionally, the song takes a unique shape to the original with a space-age arrangement, what was the process of making this track more of a club track?
I wrote and recorded the instrumentals for that song first, with the intention of writing lyrics after. But once I finished recording the beat, I hit a block with the lyrics. I was tooling around with various lines and vocal melodies and looked at some Cure lyrics for inspiration. Then I sang a couple lines of the original song, the Perfect Girl, over the beat and it meshed so well that I decided to take a different direction and make it a cover. As for it being a club track, it was never my intention to make it one, but given the pulsing and aggressive bassline, it makes sense that it has been enjoyed in this way. I really just wanted to make something brooding and catchy that you could sway to.
Your EP, “Predestiny” was released a few months ago, how was the recording process for you?
It was amazing. I moved into a new apartment and was living by myself for the first time in years. It allowed me to dedicate all my free time to recording, without worrying about bothering anyone else. I’m a very nervous, self-conscious person, and I can’t record vocals or playthings on the monitor with someone else in the next room. I also found writing to be effortless this time around. I had just been accepted into school, had a new apartment, new job, so I felt very at ease and focused on the task of writing new music. I find it next to impossible to write music when my life is out of order and I’m under a lot of stress, so once the big stressors in my life were out of the way, the writing came very naturally.
Molchat Doma gave you a sweet shoutout to celebrate, “Predestiny,” did you feel starstruck at all at that moment?
I was overjoyed! To get that kind of recognition from one of my favorite bands in the scene is an incredible honor.
Your music is gaining traction in Eastern Europe and South America; Has it inspired your creative process at all?
Without the support I have gotten in the past seven or so years from these fans, I don’t think I would still be making music. I get letters of support from kids around the world on a weekly basis, and so my writing always has them in mind. Gopnik, for example, is a kind of tribute to many of my Eastern European supporters.
The track, “Gopnik” is lyrically exciting, there seems to be a narrative throughout the song, did you go into it with a story in mind?
It’s all about self-destruction and disenfranchisement. Making that song, I was picturing it set to the music video for Justice’s “Stress”. I talk about contempt for the state, jumping the people in your apartment block with your friends, and getting rejected by a gopnitsa. It’s a good song to listen to if you want to feel angry just to feel angry.
I also loved the Instagram post you had to announce “Gopnik” with the Addidas stripes and Russsian location. Was that done as a tribute to not only that sub-culture but the scene that has embraced your music? I don’t know if you’re familiar, but there is a YouTuber called Life of Boris, a proud Gopnik in his Addidas tracksuits. If you haven’t watched him, you should check out his page.
I’ve seen a few of his videos, but I learned the most about Gopniks from other channels like NFKRZ and Bald and Bankrupt. Gopniks are a very intriguing subject, and one worthy of exploring in the context of dark music, so that’s why I initially began writing that song. But yes, the Adidas stripe and Chelyabinsk, Russia tag was a definite nod to the scene and I thought the Russian kids would enjoy it.
Without any touring going on, still, can we expect any live streams?
I’m actually going to start an intensive medical program in a few days, and it will last for a few years, so sadly no touring or live streams. However, I will continue to release music that I recorded in the past year. My intentions are to go back to recording and writing once school is over. Hopefully, by then, I’ll be making enough to pay for something like a European tour.
What have you been doing to keep yourself busy during quarantine?
Spending a lot of time re-watching old Simpsons episodes, studying, drinking with my girlfriend, and watering my plants.
What are you currently listening too?
She Past Away, Chromatics, SiR, Pozhar, Molchat Doma, Choir Boy, Panther Modern, Boy Harsher, Charli XCX, Bobby Caldwell, Don Toliver, John Maus, Roy Woods
How and why did you pick your stage name?
It’s an empty name I came up with when I was 18 and just starting out. I wanted something that sounded familiar, but had no reference so that I wouldn’t get lost in the vastness of the internet. Lots of people think I’m from France. It’s understandably very confusing but I find it funny.
You have said in another interview you expressed your struggles with school and pinpointing your path, was “Predestiny” the conflict and resolution of those events? I also really appreciated the title of this record, it reminded me of the concept of “dharma”, in the Hindu tradition.
Predestiny is about trusting the process no matter what you’re going through, not letting things out of your control dictate your happiness. It’s how I’ve come to terms with the difficult stages in my life, and how I answered the question of, “How did I get here?” I’m actually completely ignorant of the Hindu religion, but I’ll do some research on Wikipedia later now that you bring that comparison up.
You often sing about ghosts and being haunted, so I’m curious if that was in direct reference to the anxiety of life transitions with education and personal changes?
The ghosts are all real people. Either someone I’m in love with or someone that was in my life in the past.
Coldwave/Goth/ adjacent genres have faced consistent criticism for the lack of diversity within the genre. As an artist of color, do you ever feel pressure or anxiety from the culture that often surrounds these genres?
I’ve personally never felt anything like that. In LA at least, most of the kids who are in the scene are non-White. I can’t speak for other areas. Everyone I’ve interacted with has been very nice and welcoming. I’ll take that as a positive sign that things have changed.
You have also mentioned spending summers in Iran, which introduced you to Polish MTV, but do you take any inspiration at all from Dastgah [traditional Persian music]?
Haha I’m impressed you know about that. I guess I do, maybe not directly, but I do have an affinity for minor scales and melancholy melodies, which I can attribute to listening to classical Persian music growing up.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Making more music, practicing medicine, married, and in a place with a studio. I also want to do shows in places like Mexico City, Moscow, Berlin, and Sao Paulo once I can fund all that.
Stream Predestiny here.