Whether it’s discovering art, travelling the world or working through a breakup, MARCELO DE LA VEGA is channelling his experiences through experimental alt-pop.
Marcelo De La Vega recently released their debut EP Conversation, a collection of well-crafted alt-pop bangers taking a wander through the mixed emotions of falling out of love, growing up and orchestrating a move from Sydney to LDN. We sat down with the Argentinian-Australian artist to discuss the EP, representation as an artist and what’s next.
You recently released your latest single “Conversation” from the EP of the same name, could you tell us a bit about it?
I wrote “Conversation” after I broke up with my first really serious girlfriend who I moved to London with. It was a really confusing time in my life where I was just coming into myself as an adult, and settling into living in a new country without friends and having to find a new place to call home. So I felt like I had a lot to process. Everything felt really all over the place and raw, so writing this EP was a big part of me processing that. In the end, what came out was something that a lot of us can relate to, especially when you’re going through times where you feel unmoored in life.
Your music is very emotionally impactful and engaging — is this a direct link to your personal emotions or are you projecting a narrative?
It’s really important to me to be able to relate to my own music and it really be a capsule of what I was feeling at that time, so most of the time I’m writing directly from my own experience. Sometimes it may be a narrative that may not have happened to me exactly, but is symbolic of my real thoughts or emotions anyway. I’m a fairly sensitive person, so they usually tend to lean more to the emotionally vulnerable side of things. It’s a cliché, but writing really is a form of therapy.
You have lived and travelled in many places around the world — has this had an impact on the way you create your art?
Definitely. I spent a lot of time in America between New York and LA when I was a teenager writing and recording in different studios and with a lot of amazing different people, and that was a pretty amazing learning experience. But moving to London is where I feel I really found my stride. Just being surrounded by the music culture and history here is something that has changed the whole process for me. I think London has some of the best musicians in the world and everyone is willing to create, no matter how big or small you are. So it forced me to step up, constantly improve and get better at what I do and how I do it.
- Styling Marcelo De La Vega
It’s easy for an artist to explain musical inspirations, but how do you pull thematic inspiration from the world around you?
Of course I have a lot of musical references from what I grew up listening to and I’m constantly listening to new artists, but honestly I really don’t use music for inspiration as much as other forms of art and just the world around me. I’m really pulling a lot from books, poetry, art, films… In particular, I love photography and film photography. I think you can get so much more from having a really wide artistic reference base than just the medium you work in. To me, everything in the arts is very cross-disciplinary. It all links and it’s about your creative process more than the actual medium you express it in.
Visually your image is fluid and your output quite psychedelic, where does this originate from?
I think it’s just indicative of how broad my interests are visually and creatively that it comes across as quite fluid. I’m basically just going places with it that I like at that moment in time and feel like are a true expression of myself…. And that changes at different times. The psychedelic vibe I’d say is maybe more of a retro aesthetic maybe? I definitely am a big 60s and 70s guy.
After the release of the EP, what’s the plan for the rest of 2021?
I am hoping to release another EP at the end of the year, I’ve already done most of it but I’ve just set up a little studio so I’m going to bash the rest of it out now. I’ll be doing more visual stuff as well like video clips and photo projects, fashion stuff, and hoping I’ll keep connecting with people as I go along!