Back in January I think when we first heard Marion Raw's most recent single, 'Unfuckable', (Devil in the Woods Records), Lee Paul wrote, "A star is born..."
From my first musical moments with third culture kid, Marion Raw, and the remarkable , 'Unfuckable', there was an instantaneous thing. Zeitgeisty thing. Incredible thing. A steganographical thing. I was born on one country and raised in the country of it's oppressor; I have spread my decades across two continents and wound up where I would least want to be; my wife's background is rooted in the Caribbean diaspora and my child, born in one place and raised thousands of miles from there. What is her culture even?
Part of what makes Marion Raw so accessible and so exciting as an artist and musician is her lack of care for conformity, for the rules or order or taste or concerns or constraints or stylization that encumber those artists that you love. Who could write the rules for her to conform to?
Born in Mexico City and migrating at the age of 2. Marion was raised by her beauty queen mum, traveling between airports and hotels, moving around 22 times by the age of 12. A life of endless daydreaming, cocooned between headphones and suitcases, in search of belonging.
Ancient Champion: Hello Marion Raw. We are in awe… We love your music and your audacity. You’re… it would seem from your public persona, fairly obviously not giving a fuck about what we think and we will have to live with that. Where do you come from? Has there ever been anyone like you before??? If you had to say so, and of course you don’t, who would you say?
Marion Raw: Firstly, thank you for this generous assumption. That's definitely a virtue in my book! However it's not that I don't care, it's just that our opinions speak more about us than about the people we are casting our views upon. I’ve learnt not to take things too personally.
As for my origins: I would say I'm from a fictional region in central america that can only be visited riding a Pegasus and wearing 3D glasses. Home to many mal adapted orphan creatures.
Ancient Champion: Your track, Unfuckable. Can you talk about it?
Marion Raw: I wrote Unfuckable after a very tortuous chapter in my life where everything came crashing down. The song is about resilience and the very messy business of being human and finding your way out of the rubble.
Ancient Champion: The video, the group activity. We have psychiatrist/psychologist friends and we think they can help. But your group, your group activity, I am unsure whether it is helping? I’m unsure whether they’d help anyone.
Marion Raw: Ha ha ha!
I think the human experience can be an extremely chaotic journey..
There are a couple of ways to interpret the video: one is quite literally a group of people gathering to overcome similar vices and struggles.
Alternatively it could also be the depiction of one person’s struggle through symbols and metaphor where all the characters are actually just fragments of the main character's ego and inner battle.
Ancient Champion: What about medication. Is going that route going to risk an artists’ creativity?
Marion Raw: I’m not against medication, Whatever works. Sometimes we need a little extra to break out of the destructive algorithm we’ve gotten ourselves into.
Ancient Champion: Do people ever exclaim “What’s wrong with you?” I mean, that’s not something I would say at all, I love what you do, but what you do might not be to everyone’s taste or what they expect their music to be or their women in music to be doing?
Marion Raw: Maybe not what's wrong with you but some bewilderment for sure.
Ancient Champion: Hideaway. Would you recommend a specific type of lump hammer or will almost anyone get the job done?
Marion Raw: As long as you show up with all your unprocessed rage, that’ll do!
Ancient Champion: You have a visual arts background but moved over into music but really music is art still. Once immersed in music or visual arts you can never get those things out of your blood.
Marion Raw: They definitely go hand in hand. I feel I am finally integrating the two aspects into one another in ways that feel cohesive and true.
Ancient Champion: I’d read that you’ve moved around a lot, and some of that maybe unsettledness has filtered through into your music and video performances, maybe…?
Marion Raw: Growing up in different cultures and countries defined a lot of who I am as an adult, Nevertheless it was growing up under my mothers lens of the world that really shaped a lot of my stage persona.
Being the daughter of a perpetual beauty queen that was raised by nuns, had a huge influence on my aesthetic exploration and the curiosity surrounding unclaimed desire and longing.
Ancient Champion: And okay, all that aside; there is an element of the guitar dweeb about us, how about you? What is that beautiful guitar in your press photo? I kind of, I suppose, half expect this question to be met with a why the fuck does it matter to me. Anyway. I’ve asked it anyway.
Marion Raw: Ah yes! It's a beauty and my favorite!
Vintage Japan made Hollow body Silvertone electric guitar.
Ancient Champion: Do you have musicians that can travel with you? A band? Could there be live shows?
Marion Raw:I am truly excited about my band and the shows that we are lining up. If the circumstances permit it, I am looking forward to performing a lot this year.
Will keep you posted!
Ancient Champion: Mexico. We have to talk about it. One of my better friends is the former international fashion designer Damian Marquez. Marooned in Birmingham in the UK now. The last time I went to Mexico, hmmmm. I had some problems getting back into the US. And it rained all the time. What are your feelings… You split your time between the Mexico and the US. How about getting through borders always feels so daunting even if you do that often?
Marion Raw: Borders are inhumane.
Main Marion Raw image from record label
Marion Raw on Instagram
Guitar by Silvertone
Marion Raw Unfuckable review in outsideleft here
Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT, relentlessly records instrumental easy listening tracks, and is always completing the short story collection, Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere. More info at AncientChampion.com
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