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Maria Mena Maria Mena
'Silver Turns Gold'

Maria Mena is a singer /songwriter / performer with a rare and precious gift. Her songs come directly from her heart and her experience, are written with candor, clarity and purpose, and are performed with a disarming guileless charm.

That she is 18 years old makes her talent all the more remarkable and all the more vital. She gives voice to the roiling emotions of adolescence and to those deeper emotions we never outgrow.

Chatting with her recently about her new album, White Turns Blue we talked about many things music, personal and fun related!

How have you managed to musically avoid the teen-pop silliness that seems to haunt new artists these days, and bring forth such an unpretentious new album? "I just set very high standards for myself, and tend to write only about my own experiences. That way feel I can connect on a more honest level with my audience."

Your lyrics are very confessional - will this always be a lyrical trait for your songs? "I might try to experiment with different lyrical genres in the future, but right now this is what I like do."

What did your parents think about the fact that your first hit was about their divorce?! "Instead of confronting my parents head on, I felt it was easier to express my thoughts through my lyrics. My parents respected that, and recognized that there where more than to people affected by the the divorce."

How is marketing yourself in Norway different from doing the same over here in America? "It's easier to become visible in a small country like Norway , where everyone knows everyone. Marketing yourself in America is a more time consuming prosess, where you also have to cover a great distance. The mechanisms are the same in both country's, doing tv/radio/press interviews + perfomances. But I do believe that being a local artist will always work to your advantage."

How will you compete with all these young, female artists that are trying to invade the charts just like yourself?! "I can only focus on making music that I'd like to listen to, without paying too much attention to charts and what others artist are doing. As long as you're true to yourself, hopefully that will come across and connect with an audience."

If we took you out for a night of fun, where would you want to go, what would you eat, and what time would you have to be home to bed? "First I'd like go out and have some really good shushi, after that we'd go to a club and go dancing. As long as we're having fun, the bed can wait!"

Where does the album title originate? "White Turns Blue is the title of a poem written by one of my closest friends."

How does 2002's ANOTHER PHASE differ from this new album ... and what have you learnt about recording albums and songwriting in the years in-between? "Another Phase was my debut album, and I was only 13 when I started recording it. Since then I have matured both lyrically and musically, something that I feel shines through on White Turns Blue. I've learned to trust my instincts, and have a clear idea of what way I want to go with a song."

What's the most embarrassing moment of your life ... thus far?! "I did one of those radio shows where everyone is performing to a playback tape. Half way through my perfomance the tape stopped, and it became clear to the audience that this wasn't live. What's even more embarrasing was that the same exact thing happend the weekend after!"

Finally, describe yourself in just three words! "Selfish, vain, complexed."

Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk

If you would like to win a Maria Mena CD, just answer this easy question: What was the name of her first single released in her home country of Norway ... when she was just 14 years-old?

Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win a Maria Mena CD! Just send us an e:mail here with your answer and the subject title 'MARIA MENA' to:


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