Rachel Marie, also known as Yona Marie, has been singing and writing almost all her life. She was born and raised in Maryland and parts of Washington DC. Rachel started out singing with her family often at a church by the name of First Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church, and in performing arts schools including Hyattsville Middle School, Suitland High School, and Jacksonville University.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, She currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music, as well as creating helpful blogs for artists and musicians who share a similar plight of making their way through an ever-changing digital music world.
Getmybuzzup: Tell us a little about yourself?
Yona Marie: I’m a singer first, a songwriter second, then a producer after that! I’m currently focused on getting my beats up to par with the rest of my skills, and I think it’s getting really close!
Getmybuzzup: How did you come up with the name Yona Marie?
Yona Marie: I got the name Yona from my favorite anime character from a show called Yona Of The Dawn. Marie is my middle name!
Getmybuzzup: How long have you been in the music industry?
Yona Marie: I’ve been in the music industry for over 12 years, just very very indie. I might be getting more attention in the coming years now that I’ve changed my approach.
Getmybuzzup: How did you get started in the first place?
Yona Marie: I started just by making songs using my tape recorder. Yes, I’m that old, cell phones didn’t have a voice recording capability yet when I started!
Getmybuzzup: Are you working on any new music or projects that you like to discuss?
Yona Marie: I’m currently working on my EP that will be about 5 songs and focused on my new sound that I’m developing.
Getmybuzzup: Any plans on touring to promote your music now with the COVID restrictions being lifted in most states?
Yona Marie: I plan to start performing, not yet touring this year. I will save the tours for next year and beyond.
Getmybuzzup: How difficult was it with the COVID restrictions to promote your music?
Yona Marie: COVID restrictions actually helped me to get more focused with all the free time I had while I was unemployed. It allowed me to really get my head in the game creatively.
Getmybuzzup: What tactics have you used to take advantage of the COVID restrictions in order to continue pushing your likeness forward?
Yona Marie: I was able to increase my online branding presence with more social media pages and a new website.
Getmybuzzup: Who are your inspirations in the music industry?
Yona Marie: My current top inspiration is the singer Lucky Daye. I absolutely love everything about his sound and style. It’s so good for the R&B/soul space right now.
Getmybuzzup: How do you go about writing a song and what is your process?
Yona Marie: I usually write my songs with the music first, then I match lyrical and melody ideas to the mood of the track. Sometimes I do it the other way around, but not as often.
Getmybuzzup: What did you buy with your first check-off music?
Yona Marie: I didn’t buy anything from my first check because it was literally less than a dollar. A few checks after, I was able to get some fast food. Maybe one day I can pay the full bill.
Getmybuzzup: What are must-haves when you’re in the studio working?
Yona Marie: I must have some lukewarm water, a pen and paper, and all the other obvious studio equipment.
Getmybuzzup: What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?
Yona Marie: Hard to choose, I get so much advice from people I study on Youtube that I try to follow, and it’s all great. The most recent one was very general, be true to your own character.
Getmybuzzup: Will you be collaborating with any other artists in the future?
Yona Marie: I collaborate with other artists almost every day as a part of my job, so yes I do plan to!
Getmybuzzup: Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the musical flow and content?
Yona Marie: It’s really split. I just sent a recent single to submit hub and half of the people said they love the melody, and the other half love the beat.
Getmybuzzup: What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..)
Yona Marie: I need to work on my stage presence and confidence for sure. I get too far in my head sometimes before a performance.
Getmybuzzup: What’s your all-time favorite song?
Yona Marie: My all-time favorite song is I Am Ready for love by India Arie.
Getmybuzzup: What was the last album you listened to?
Yona Marie: The last album I heard was Anderson .Paak’s latest project. I’m kind of late to his stuff but he’s got a great sound.
Getmybuzzup: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Yona Marie: In my opinion, Beyonce still takes the cake as far as her influence just because of how long she’s been in the game. In second place is Meg The Stallion for me. Her whole brand is epic.
Getmybuzzup: Who has been some of your favorite artists that you’ve been able to work with?
Yona Marie: I want to take the time to shout out one of my favorite rappers by the name of Koach Kay who recently passed away. He was such an effortless talent.
Getmybuzzup: How do you feel about the current state of music?
Yona Marie: Music is doing pretty good these days, the industry still needs to work on paying creators more fairly, though.
Getmybuzzup: Any dream award shows you hope to one day play at?
Yona Marie: I dream of performing at the Grammy’s like most artists do. But I also want to get my grammy on the same day haha.
Getmybuzzup: What is your main goal as far as music?
Yona Marie: My main goal in music is just to be able to get good music to people who would benefit from my sound the most. Music does so much for a listener, and I want to be able to create music that thousands of people can feel good with.
Getmybuzzup: Who would you say your music relates to the most?
Yona Marie: My music is often about the struggles of love and loss. I think a lot of R&B is stuck on the topic of life, so I’m trying to branch out more now.
Getmybuzzup: What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)
Yona Marie: My creative approach to music is quite independent when I’m working on my own projects. I like doing mostly everything myself from scratch.
Getmybuzzup: When you’re not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
Yona Marie: I love TV and movies. I’m a movie and TV buff if I do say so myself. I especially love horror and sci-fi.
Getmybuzzup: If you could work with any producer who would it be?
Yona Marie: I would love to work with Ryan Leslie although I’m about 10 years too late to his peak time in the music world. He inspired me to create the way I do.
Getmybuzzup: What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
Yona Marie: It’s not big as far as the industry, but a couple of years ago I finally started my session singing career, and it’s going WAY better than I intended. I’ve been blessed with over 200 clients so far, and every project completed is near and dear to me.
Getmybuzzup: When performing live what are some of the things you do to get the crowd involved?
Yona Marie: I like to get people to sing along with me, you’d be surprised how well an audience sounds singing together like a chorus.
Getmybuzzup: When performing live and the crowd is singing along how does that energy make you feel?
Yona Marie: I love choirs so it feels like home, haha! Especially if a few people in the crowd can harmonize?! Whew, it’s like a drug.
Getmybuzzup: Who’s your favorite actor or actress and their best movie?
Yona Marie: Tough, but my current favorite would have to be Emily Blunt. She does some fantastic work in horror and sci-fi.
Getmybuzzup: What can we expect from you in the future?
Yona Marie: In the future, you can expect me to be making bigger waves in the industry. I’m coming at the music world from multiple angles this time around, no one will be able to stop the effects!
Getmybuzzup: Where can the fans check out for your music?
Yona Marie: They can check out my music and follow my social media all from https://yonamariemusic.com/. I’ll greatly appreciate you if you sign up to get my updates!
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