Clearing her throat, Marneii hops on an instrumental embellished with a ghostly violin and spooky arpeggios. She then immediately throws a fascinating rhyme at her listener: /War is War, talk is cheap…nobody can do it, can’t do it like me/ she declares.
Although War is War is a hip-hop record, a discerning listener can easily observe that Marneii is an artist with an understanding of rhymes, rhythm and overall perception of musical lyricism and flow. But as I later learned, even more important than the instrumentation or the lyrics of the song, is what the song represents.
Liberia, Marneii’s home country, is a nation still emerging from the terrible scars of war. Marneii drew the inspiration for War is War from the experiences she had growing up in the “developing” country. She also wanted people to recognise the music scene in Liberia and across Africa as a whole.
In a press release shared with ExposAfrica, Marneii shared the story of how the song came to be: “We were all in the studio and one of the Liberian drill artists known as ‘Sylzee’ asked me to do a hook for one of his songs, I wasn’t feeling it at the start because I wasn’t used to rapping but I started freestyling to the beat and everyone started feeling it… after that, I wrote ‘War is War”.
However, apart from what I heard in the song, I wanted to speak directly with the crooner to learn about her journey and sound.
Hello Marneii, tell us about yourself?
My name is Marneii. I’m 23 and I come from southwest London,
How would you describe the music you create?
I would say it’s refreshing and different as I try to incorporate different sounds and styles in my music. I look for different flows and ways to connect with my audience.
What music genre are you most comfortable in?
I am most comfortable in Drill at the moment but my main genre is Trap Melody. That’s what I’m good at
Growing up, which musician(s) do you enjoy listening to?
I enjoyed listening to a range of musicians such as The Isley Brothers, Etta James, Beyoncé, Trey Songs, Drake, 112, Biggie, 2pac, I mean the list goes on!
You are not only a singer/songwriter, but you are also a producer too. Tell us, how did you gain this ability?
I gained this ability by learning from my mum as she engineered her stuff. I watched her from a very early age so it made me determined to learn it myself.
How has your experience in Liberia impacted your music?
It’s made my eyes open a lot more and I feel a lot more appreciative about things I took for granted. My music has developed a lot since I’ve been here as I’m in the studio 24/7 trying to master my sound.
Having listened to “War is War”, what message will you like your fans to take from the song?
I’d like them to know Liberia is free for all places. Anything can happen but it’s not portrayed like the documentaries on youtube. The people are way different, everyone’s tryna survive and I can see the hustle.
Apart from music, what other interests do you have?
I loveee eating different foods and I’d love to start a vlog where I try different foods from around the world. I also love travelling ever since a young age I’ve been a traveller. Thanks to my Mum
How well are you working with your management team, and how far do you think they can take you?
Right now we are working overtime to get me to the next level I think we work as a team and everyone knows their role … Tony does a great job behind the scenes and my other manager BK is really on ground with me so I know everything .. they don’t just try they get stuff done .. that’s the type of people I like to work with … the circle is tight so I know if we work as a team we will reach great potential.
Which musician would you like to work with in the future?
I’d love to work with Drake and Future as their way of creating music is unique and I think we’d made cool songs together.
What should your fans expect from you in the future?
My fans should expect the unexpected as that’s just who I am. I’m just versatile so I can give my fans anything they want. My fan can expect a lot more, brilliant and diverse music, but they have to wait and see.