After overcoming the paralysing fear that social media held over his life, Ukrainian singer, songwriter and producer Marineris brings us his indie-pop from the city of Kiev. And it comes with the strong message that sometimes, we really ought to put down our phones. Headliner discusses his approach of writing, singing and producing all his music, and directing his own videos, and how a young Ukrainian fell so hard for British bands like Oasis and The 1975.
Still in his early 20s, Marineris is already turning heads with his impressive creative abilities. He not only writes his songs, but produces them and directs his own excellent and colourful music videos. It would perhaps be strange if they weren’t colourful, considering in the last few months his hair has gone from dark, to orange, to platinum blonde.
“It was just me and guitar for such a long time,” Marineris says when asked about how he came to be adept in so many creative fields. “But then I realised I should start to produce the whole arrangement. And that's when I came to the computer; I've started to learn a lot about production.
"I'm self-directing my music videos because I'm working as a photographer in Ukraine, and I'm working with different musicians and artists. I was kind of already working in the music industry – that was my goal in the beginning, to be close to the music industry.”
Marineris kicked off 2021 with his single Petrified, a fairly withering take on the grip that social media platforms and blue-light devices have taken on our lives. Or in his own words, the song “is a calling to avoid the emotional numbness that the digital world can create inside us”.
And it was undoubtedly released at an apt time – where more time spent indoors naturally resulted in more time staring at our screens.
“We live in this type of world at the moment when lots of information is coming to us everyday,” he says.
“Stories, all these advertisements – social media is everywhere now. And I get the feeling that sometimes I don't even know if I really want something, or if social media made me think so. Petrified is about that feeling of being petrified because of the amount of information that makes it hard to understand what you really want – what do you really love and who you want to be. For example, you see a rapper advertising some shoes, and you start thinking maybe you’d be happier if you had those shoes.”
There’s some very strong imagery in the song’s music video, directed by Marineris. For example, a gravestone with just the word ‘empathy’ displayed, and at one point the sky holds an exit sign — an exit from the digital madness we all too often become fully lost and intoxicated in.
And while Petrified is a very electronic and pop-based track, Marineris followed it up with a much rockier prospect with the heavy guitar bonanza in Prick, although interspersed hip-hop beats and autotune ensure this is no by-the-numbers track.
And his love and influence from UK outfit The 1975 can perhaps be heard most clearly in his most recent release, My Band Could Be Your Home. As the name suggests, guitar, piano and even strings are at the forefront alongside his anthemic vocals.