Marem Ladson : Nothing Really Matters Except Her Music

singer Marem Ladson
Portrait of Marem Ladson – ©Aissa SIca

Marem Ladson is a 21-year-old folk singer-songwriter living in Madrid and originally from Galicia. Music has always been a big part of Marem’s life. Her mother already made her listen to classical music while she was still in her womb. Then, the passion for music naturally grew in her. At age 11, she wrote her first song, given the bullying she experienced at school. Her skin color, her body, and her personality make her different from the norm. From this difficult situation, music has become a way for her to free herself from her toxic emotions and to get better. 

Career beginnings of Marem Ladson in the Spanish music industry

Marem Ladson started playing at Café Pop Torgal, in her hometown, at Ourense and posting acoustic covers on the internet.
Marem Ladson turned her passion for music into a career. After spending her teenage years between New York, Ourense, and Houston, she decided at 17 years old to move to Madrid for her musical career and signed with the independent label Mont Ventoux. Her parents have always encouraged Marem in her own choices and supported her in her career. However, people do not take always take Marem seriously when she introduces herself as a singer-songwriter. ‘Many people do not see it as a real job until you get famous,’ she says.
In 2017, Marem Ladson released her first single ‘All My Storms ’.

Evolving her music from the 1st to the 2nd album

Following her first single, Marem Ladson’s released in 2018 her first album ‘Marem Ladson’. It was mainly a pop/folk album with songs about love , in all its shapes and forms. Folk is a musical genre she discovered younger through the Internet and which is part of her main musical influences. Laura Marling and Cat Power are folk artists she particularly appreciates. On November 2, 2018, Marem Ladson had the honor to play in the opening act of Cat Power’s concert at Teatro Circo Price in Madrid.

For her next album, she is working on, Marem would like to combine different genres and focus on topics such as personal development and self-growth. She is strongly inspired by these topics, as her life and herself changed in many ways. ‘I don’t have any writing process,’ she says. She writes what come in her mind, then to find the melody by playing the guitar or more recently the piano. ‘ When I’m playing the piano, it gives me another perspective on how to write my songs ’, she says. Her latest track, ‘Nothing Really Matters ’ gives us a taste of what her album will look like.

The challenges as a black singer-songwriter in Spain

singer songwriter marem ladson
Portrait of Marem Ladson – ©Aissa Sica

As a black singer-songwriter in Spain, it’s complicated sometimes for Marem Ladson to stand up for herself and make her own choices since the music industry is male-dominated. She notices they treat her differently. When Marem comes to rehearse in a concert venue, she often gets ignored and people speak to her band instead of her. It is also difficult for her to decide on her own, one tells her what to do or to patronize her. It is unthinkable to let yourself be stepped on, in this male dominant industry.

An African-American and Spanish singer-songwriter, singing pop and folk, this is by no means uncommon in the Spanish music industry. Marem Ladson sometimes feels the music industry wants to put her in boxes. Afro-descendant singer-songwriters are often labeled Rnb, Soul or Hip-Hop artists and receive much less recognition as soon as they are in white-dominant genres. Many genres such as folk, have been rebranded by the white mainstream while coming from the black culture. As a result, racial lines limit black singer-songwriters to a few music genres. Even if those preconceived judgments make her career harder. ‘Spain becomes more diverse, little by little people start to realize it’, she says, with a hint of hope. As many women of color in folk music, she has to overcome prejudice and difficulties, but she will keep going as nothing really matters except her music.