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Ena Marley Releases Poignant Piano-Aided New Single ‘Just Say’

The Mumbai/New Delhi-based Spanish artist opens up about her new song, settling in India and more

David Britto Mar 12, 2021

Madrid-bred musician Almudena Longares aka Ena Marley. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Madrid-bred musician Almudena Longares – who goes by the moniker Ena Marley – gravitated towards the piano as a child while her father played traditional folk songs. “I was really engaged with the piano most of my time, but my primary instinct was to be able to imagine, create harmonies, and to be able to invent sounds and stories with it.”

Longares has been able to fulfill her dream of being an inventive person through her art. With a three-track EP to her name titled Wreck, she’s now out with her latest emotive single “Just Say.” In this interview, the singer-songwriter – who now resides in India and shuffles between New Delhi and Mumbai – talks to us about her music, her newest track, why she chose India and more. Read excerpts:

When did you move to India and why did you choose here to build your career?

During the last few months of my master’s at Berklee, I was curious about finding different independent music and cinema artists around the globe. That’s when I encountered the independent art scenes in Mumbai and decided to find a chance to work in India. I was surprised to find myself an opportunity to work as an intern with the well-known [director] Rajat Kapoor for his movie Kadakh as a music composer. 

By the time I finished my internship, I had already started collaborating and working with many talented individuals in India. So I decided to stay and build my career here. 

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Tell me about the projects you’ve been involved with in the past?

Last year I officially released my first EP as Ena Marley called Wreck, which is a self-produced album with three different compositions depicting different emotions and stories.

It has been an amazing journey learning how to produce, create sounds from scratch and improve my workflow as a producer. Since I have mainly been a performer, I had to learn how to produce the kind of sounds I wanted to express as an artist. Wreck is one such album where I allowed myself to produce sounds and express the song arrangement the way I wanted. 

I have also worked on an amazing album called Untempered Journey with Post Art Ensemble which is an international musical project involving five different artists from different backgrounds that got together to experiment with neo-folk music under the guidance of the composer Jelena Soro.

I have always been open to collaborating with electronic artists, Conditionals is one such collaboration that I did with an electronic duo Satyam and Kontejas. It was a complete glitchy, ambient, and downtempo makeover of a few of my compositions. 

Let’s talk about the new song “Just Say.” What do you recall from putting it together and the message it conveys?

Sonically it reflects a dreamy unconscious state of mind. Where we are not sure things are real or not. It is one of the songs which comes from the influence of genres such as blues, electronic, as well as triphop. It’s hard to categorize my music to be honest. 

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Usually, most of my songs have complicated lyrics in Spanish and sometimes in English. But this song has the most simple lyrics I ever have written. I wanted to for a change allow myself to make something simple with minimal alterations. And I think I have done well. 

Where was it recorded?

I have recorded and produced this album all by myself. However, the mixing and mastering was done by Satyam Sangwan at Silk Road Studios, New Delhi. 

You’ve also released quite a lovely visual to go with the song. Where was it shot?

I am happy that you like it. Most of the video was shot in various parts of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in India, during the winter foggy season. It was an interesting experience recording a music video where I appear as the main character, I haven’t done that before.  

What’s next for you?

I have been producing a lot of songs lately and have finalized a few of them which I will be releasing one by one. I have recently started experimenting more with analog synths and sampling sounds of piano mixed with different effects and such. I am excited about what’s to come next. It has been a great journey so far. 

Watch the music video for “Just Say” below and stream the song on other platforms

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