Following a string of independent releases, we caught an interview with unique artist and songwriter Margarita Tragedy, to find out more about her journey so far and her hopes for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hi Margarita – thanks for the interview, loving your songs! Just to set the scene a little – where are you right now, and what have you been keeping busy with during these lock-down months?
Hey, thank you very much for the opportunity. I have been home with my almost 3 year old daughter and my dog. Not very exciting, just trying to be a good mom and bring something meaningful for people hopefully with my music as well.
How would you describe your sound and style as an artist?
I think I am adventurous, I like to explore territories that I have never been to. I like to try new things. Someone who is always searching.
How long have you been making music, and how has your approach evolved over time?
I started music in Ukraine when I was 10 years old. I saw a singer on TV, Sabina, and she was I think 13 at the time, and I thought I want to be like her, so I started writing my own songs. Sabina Muradyan had become famous in Russia at the time, now I still follow her music and I am a fan.
However, my music hopefully has evolved. At some point I wanted to be like Macy Gray and sing with a raspy voice. I think there is no special approach for me, I started producing recently and recording everything myself because I have no one to do it, so out of necessity and wanting to be free. I am still learning every day.
Your soundscapes are fairly eclectic, pop inspired yet experimental at the same time. Are you the producer, and who or what would you say has inspired your style the most?
Yes I am the producer. I love Poo Bear’s production for Justin Bieber, but I know I am not that good, recording music is like a whole new world, the more I learn the more I understand I do not know anything. Humbling experience.
With track names like Lollipop and I Love Mukbang, your angle often seems to be purely to have fun, however you also have the more heavier concepts like Don’t wanna die alone, Ihop love and All The Lovers Find Each Other. How do you decide what you want to write about, and what do you hope to offer listeners overall?
You are right, I did Lollipop and Mukbang for fun, I also wanted to try something new, because often I write sad songs. I am writing a song currently called Radium Girls. I read a book Radium Girls by Kate Moore about 1920’s Radium paint factories. Radium has a very bright glow and it became the latest fad in 1920’s in the US. Girls 14 to 30 years old were working in a dial painting factories in NJ, NY, Chicago, Ottawa painting watches with radium paint. They were told it was safe. You probably know the sad ending from radioactive exposure to radium. I hope with my song to share their story with more people.
I like to challenge myself as much as I can.
Are you vocally or musically trained, or have you perfected your unique sound just through creating and practicing?
I studied piano since I was 7 years old till about 17 in Ukraine. I had a very nice teacher – his name is Vsevolod Vorobyov, he has inspired me in a very profound way. And then I immigrated to the US and my immigration story began. In the US I just learned through practicing by myself.
What comes to mind if you’re asked to name the best song ever written?
I guess that would be the song Tragedy because I got a John Lennon Award for it. It’s like other people justifying your song. But I do not know yet, time will tell.
Is Margarita Tragedy a chosen artist name, and if so – where did it originate?
I am Margarita Shamrakov, I wanted to be called Margarita Tragedy, but now I guess by my real name. I was a very depressed teen and that’s where the name has originated, but I am not sure if it is a good name 🙂
Is live performance important to you, and have you taken part in any live streaming events over the past few months?
I would love to go on the road, that would be a dream come true. Since I am a mom it has been very difficult for now. But I would love to perform live. I have not done streaming events yet.
What does a solo live show look like from you?
It used to be me and piano, very simple. I am still working on that part.
What are your main hopes for 2021 and beyond as an artist?
I would love to get validation from the world. I know it sounds stupid maybe, but sometimes it feels very lonely and you do not know what the hell are you doing? Is it any good? Are you a crazy person? I would like to grow in any ways, as an individual. But I also would like somehow to help people in 2021, make a difference in someone’s life.
If you could sit down for a chat with anyone at all, past or present, who would you choose – and what would you ask them about?
It would be Kurt Cobain. I do not know what I would ask him, I would just like to hang out with him a bit and listen to him.
Where do you imagine is the best setting for listening to your music?
Live concert, hopefully in 2021.
What’s something about you that most people don’t know?
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for very interesting questions. It was a pleasure working with you!
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