My Favourite Things: Marian Carmel

Marian Carmel is blessed with the enviable gift of putting her listeners completely at ease – one she shares with her musical heroines, Emily King, Lianne La Havas and Sabrina Claudio.

“I’m one of those people who only write whenever the inspiration comes. I guess that’s when you get the most genuine songs,” she once said in an interview. That rare connection comes through sublimely in her live performances, which she hones as a street busker while still studying.

“I started being financially independent at the end of 2016” she remembers, adding that on a public holiday, such as Christmas, she could earn as much as $400, and on a regular day, she’s got as little as $6. Still, there’s not one night that she regrets busking.

Born in the Philippines and raised in Singapore, she clearly loves singing and communicating through her songs. This can be seen in an intimate gig posted on YouTube where at the 4.34-minute point after delivering her song ‘Nothing’, she is visibly touched by the audience’s response, holding back tears and with her right hand across her heart.

Her hard work is paying off. She made her solo debut with a single called ‘Might Never Get Better’ which was chosen to be in 10 Spotify-curated playlists all over the world in late 2019. Her other song ‘Thursday’, co-penned and performed with Axel Brizzy, was crowned “Best Song to Sing Along to” at the Singapore Youth Music Awards 2019 and has garnered over a million streams on Spotify. A mentee in the National Arts Council’s Noise Music Mentorship programme, she has taken part in MTV Asia’s Project: Aloft Star, Yamaha Asian Beat, and The Great Singapore Replay: Season 2.
Don’t miss this rising star as she makes her debut at the inaugural Flock at The Nest. Meanwhile, let’s find out more about her as she takes on our series, My Favourite Things.

My Favourite Music Artist: This is always one of the most difficult questions to answer – how do you even begin to list down the music/musicians that inspire you? I’ve gone through so many phases, and it’s always a different artist each time.

But the ones I always come home to are Emily King, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Panic! At The Disco (all the way from my secondary school emo phase). Currently, I have Bruno Major, Sabrina Claudio and NIKI on repeat though!

My Favourite Sound: My miniature schnauzer, Heidi, eating apples. She loves crunchy fruits and veggies; and when she eats them, it’s the most satisfying ASMR-thing ever. Like a big ‘CRRRRRONCHH!’, but she’s always so gentle about it.

My Favourite Album: EVEN MORE DIFFICULT A QUESTION! I want to say it’s something nice and jazzy like Bruno Major’s A Song For Every Moon (a very worthy contender that kept me company during Circuit Breaker), but after a long tiring week, I find myself listening to Panic! At The Disco’s Pretty. Odd.. Something about the opening line being “Oh, how it’s been so long, we’re so sorry we’ve been gone,” feels like a warm hug from an old friend you haven’t seen in a while.

My Favourite Film: Fun Fact: I am terrible at remembering movies! I forget them so easily, but I do remember whether I like them or not. I used to be a huge fan of Inception, but I don’t really remember how it goes anymore. I just remember liking it a lot. I even owned one of those spinning top things (I don’t even remember what it’s called). If I ever have trouble sleeping or need to rinse my brain after a horror movie, my go-to is Ratatouille.

My Favourite Soundtrack: If someone asked me to sing a soundtrack from start to finish by heart, I could only ever do it to High School Musical. I was OBSESSED with HSM growing up, I still know the lyrics to all the songs from the first and second movie (we don’t talk about the third).

My Favourite TV Series: I’m a sucker for feel-good movies/series. I’d say it’s a three-way tie between Queer Eye, The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine! Whatever it is, I end up crying happy tears anyway.

My Favourite Hobby: Not a lot of people know this, but I love pole-dancing! I picked it up about three years back, and apart from being a fun sport, it’s also helped me love my body and myself a lot more. Being in the same room with women who are strong and are working towards the same goal as you, is so inspiring and empowering.

Catch Marian Carmel at Flock at The Nest, on Friday, 9 October 2020, from 8pm. Get tickets here: