Have you ever wondered how the use of the voice can affect parent-infant relationships? If so, Marie Dahlstrøm may soon have the answers. The Danish singer/songwriter is currently studying for her PhD at the Center for Music in the Brain but assures me that her main focus is her music career, insisting she’s a better musician than a potential doctor.
And there is strong evidence to support that view when examining her musical achievements to date, from her beginnings taking part in song contests as an 11-year-old that led to performances on national television to the most recent of which being the release of her remarkable EP Nine. The period of time in between was spent digesting a plethora of different artists from Soul, Jazz and Gospel, with some of the most influential being Kirk Franklin, Musiq Soulchild and Lizz Wright.
Despite music being a prevalent part of her upbringing and educational background, it wasn’t until she moved to London to attend a university that she contemplated a career in music, and although now on the path, it’s not the career itself that is her incentive. “I think it’s emotions – having an outlet and a place where I can express whatever is on my mind in a safe place,” she explains. “I really like learning – that’s a big part of why I like music. I think it’s fun to explore and be absorbed in that world of creativity.”
That’s something that Marie felt she did on Nine (“I didn’t care, I just wanted to do it my way. I was less of a perfectionist about it as well”) and her efforts have been rewarded with some positive feedback. “People have been so supportive. [There has been] so many nice messages and a lot of personal responses from people,” she reveals. “It’s really nice [to get those responses] because I think that’s what it’s about. Obviously, you make music for yourself, but also you make music for other people – you can’t deny it. So, when you get those kinds of responses it makes you think you’re doing the right thing.”
Such a reaction exceeded Marie’s own expectations for the EP, which were primarily driven by the idea of personal growth and development. “I didn’t have something that I saw as my goal,” she declares with regards to the perceived success of Nine. “I think it’s more like a journey for me and I think people like seeing the journey as well. I think that the only thing that really matters is that you can see a growth from project to project, you can feel that the person is evolving and developing as an artist, so that was kind of my goal.”
In order to celebrate the release of Nine, Marie has a headline show in London scheduled December 4th, which sold out in about 10 days. That, among other factors, is likely to add a little bit of pressure to the situation, something that Marie admits. “Yeah, there’s always [pressure] with shows [because] you feel like it’s been building up for so long. In the writing process you’re quite relaxed, then it’s released and you can feel like people like it, but then you have to deliver a show and that always makes me nervous.”
Marie discloses information about an imminent “little surprise thing coming that you’ll have to watch out for” before reiterating her desire to continue the sense of giving back to the music community through her studies. “I’ve just started my PhD investigating the effects of the use of the voice in parent-infant relationships, so I’m going to be a doctor in three years. It’s another way to evolve music and give back to the community a little bit.”