Marta del Grandi

By Avipsha Rayamajhi

Marta del Grandi is honest with her expression which is vividly reflected in her songs. In conversation with her about music and her journey so far, I could intensely feel her strong connection with the musical world. A singer and a songwriter born and raised in Italy by musically inclined Architect parents, Grandi was nurtured to love and appreciate music since her early years.

She cannot pinpoint the exact moment that led her into music but believes she was always involved with it both subconsciously and consciously ever since she was young. She distinctly remembers road trips with her family accompanied by constant singing, frequent visits to art exhibitions, reading her parents’ wide collection of art books all of which directly and indirectly paved her path into a creative outlet of creation and expression through sounds and rhythms.

Grandi initially studied Political Science, but later did her undergraduate and graduate degree in Jazz Vocals. She shares, “Jazz is native to American music, and as a European I was fascinated with a genre of music that is different to my culture.” Further, the freedom that comes with Jazz and the space available for improvisation intrigued her. Although her inclination is more towards Indie music right now, she shares that studying Jazz helped her be freer in writing songs and collaborating with other artists.

As a kid of the late 80s, she heavily draws her inspiration from pop rock music of the late 90s. She says, “My influence goes all over from my childhood experiences to artists that I was exposed to at an early age.” For Grandi the whole process of creating music and song writing is heavily connected to experiences that she has gathered along the way. She adds, “I vividly recollect everything that I have observed and felt at certain points of my life and this power to hold on to emotions and moments has helped me in writing songs.” Although for her it is hard to label what she writes, she considers her songs to have a strong Jazz and Indie influence on them.

Grandie’s songs are vocal based and are arranged in a minimalistic way with subtle tunes and not much extravaganza unlike the songs in the mainstream media. She agrees over the fact that Indie is a heavily undermined genre of music in the industry. However, for her such genres unravel the personality of the musician that helps the audience connect and comprehend the emotion expressed.

She is also a part of a band called Marta Rosa but in the long term she sees herself creating music as a solo artist and collaborating with music producers. Until now, she has released one full length album called Invertebrates, one underground EP and various other collaborations with different artists. Further, an EP of her solo project and a full length album is in line for 2018. Quite eagerly she shares that for her 2018 is going to be a year where everything will come together since a lot of her projects are releasing soon.

Currently, Grandi is working as a jazz vocals, music and song writing teacher at Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC). Along with that, she recently introduced Sofar Sounds in Kathmandu with the purpose of providing a platform for Nepali Indie musicians and listeners. This dynamic go-getter is optimistic about the event and plans to expand it in the near future in order to nurture new Indie talents and form a close knit community of Indie music lovers.

Talking about the changes in the music industry and the struggles that accompany this field, she laments that it is not an easy game. She shares that small labels face great difficulties since the sale of their CDs is not substantial and the audience is limited. Grandi further adds, “Sometimes I crave for stability in my job, but I quickly realize that it is not for me. Having a musical career is a continuous fight but I feel as if I am meant to be in this creative space and this pushes me not to be discouraged through any hardships.”

She does not seem content with the way music industry has changed but is positive over the fact that events like Sofar Sounds are coming up in order to provide a better platform for underrated musicians.

Grandi is a dreamer, a doer and a trail blazer. Her passion for music and most importantly her efforts to revolutionise Indie and live music is tremendous. She exudes positive energy while sharing about music and this enthusiasm is evident from her actions as well. Hence, with someone like her leading the way, one can be assured that raw talents and music will find their much deserved recognition in the future.

Marta’s songs can be found at https://soundcloud.com/martarosamusic