So, let's see what happens when Mary Jo visits Section 36!
I really enjoyed your recent holiday single “Lonely Christmas” What can you tell me about it?
I began writing Lonely Christmas my Sophomore year of high school. At the time, I was dating someone for 5 months, and we eventually split right before Christmas. The year before, the same thing happened to me. Of course, these weren’t very serious relationships, but they were worthy enough to write about! I wrote the hook, but I couldn’t get the verses right. Unfortunately, I let go of it. This year, I wanted to release my own Christmas song for the holidays, and I knew that Lonely Christmas could relate to a lot of people this year. Not just those out of relationships, but those who can’t travel due to
The video for another recent single “Nightmare from a Lullaby” was fantastic. What was it like to put that together?
“Nightmare From a Lullaby” was written about my experiences with sleep paralysis, so I knew the video had to reflect that. When the videographer, Moya Omololu, and I discussed what we wanted, we both agreed it had to fall under the horror category. Now, I do not enjoy horror thrills whatsoever, but that feeling sprouted from my fear of going to bed at night. I said I wanted the video to be “so metaphorical that it barely makes any sense”. Because sleep paralysis, in fact, does not make any sense. Being on set and working with so many talented people was a thrill for sure. The bedroom scenes were shot around 2 or 3 in the morning. The scene around the creepy white schoolhouse was filmed while it was pouring down rain. And my favorite scene, when I fall into the hole filled with water, was filmed in the rain as well. Needless to say, I was relieved when I finally got to change out of that dress...
Who/what would you consider to be your biggest musical influences?
A lot of people say my range of musical influence is super random. But my top inspirations have to be Beyonce, Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Whitney Houston, Prince, and Gerard Way. There are so many more, but these specific people have definitely impacted my way of writing, performing, and creating an image for myself.
You’re currently a student at Berklee College of Music. What's the biggest thing you see that doing for your career?
Other than COVID, what would you say is your biggest career challenge?
My biggest career challenge has to be the battle between me and my own thoughts. I am definitely a dreamer. I dream big, or else I lose hope. When I look at houses, I look at mansions. When I look through venues, I look at Madison Square Garden. However, dreaming this large comes with a cost. I tend to doubt myself very easily when I wake up to the reality of where I am now, and how much I have to do to reach these dreams. It can get super frustrating. It’s a reoccurring thought that makes my heart drop every time it comes up. Though it is a challenge to look past these doubts, I still use them as fuel to work even harder than before. In the end, it’ll all be worth it.
What are your immediate career goals?
My immediate career goal is to make an impact on other people’s lives before my own through my music. I started writing because I was feeling these strong emotions that I needed to get out of my system. I blasted my favorite songs to help me out of my depression, or even just to add to my happiness. Music was a therapy for me. I want others to use it that way as well. Whether that’s through my lyrics, melody, or my actions, I want to help others. It’s an immediate goal, because that’s something anyone could do today or tomorrow. Since COVID keeps me from setting up fundraisers and performing for causes, I can release music that relates to people. The best compliment is when somebody tells me that I’ve inspired them.
As always, I want to thank Mary for visiting, and for sending along the pictures to accompany the interview.
I know you’ll all want to follow along with Mary to see what she's up to. The best way is to follow her online on Instagram , and visit her website. They're great ways to make sure you don't miss a thing!
You can also visit her Section 36 Music page. There you'll find more links, pictures, and samples of her music. It's a great way to enjoy everything Mary has to offer all in one place.
Thanks again Mary Jo, and good luck reaching your goals!