The London artist is done with writing introverted songs
Boy is Marika Hackman full of herself. I don’t mean that in an arrogant-Marika-knows-best kind of way. This is something different – something charming and life affirming. “Even if people turn around and shout, ‘FUCK OFF MARIKA! What have you done? Why have you changed?’ It’s still a risk I think every artist should take, otherwise what are you doing?”
Hackman is laying it all out on the pub table. The reason she is in a bullish mood is because her new album sounds nothing like her old album and it’s quite refreshing. “In a way, if someone did shout fuck off, that might actually be good for me because it would show I have managed to do something completely different and not just get stuck in a hole of woeful, introspective songs,” she says. There is a shot of relief deep within her loud laugh – the laugh of an artist liberated by change.
‘I’m Not Your Man’ arrives two years after ‘We Slept At Last’ and Hackman is startlingly honest about the differences. “I am a lot happier than I was before,” she says. “This record represents me more as a human than the last record did, which seems like more of an artistic endeavour, whereas this feels more like an open, frank and personal thing. I wanted a different sound; I wanted something upbeat so I kind of just let go. When it came to writing I wasn’t over thinking it, I was just letting it flow freely and thinking about how it will translate live and how it would lend itself to a much more fun touring experience – more inclusive for the audience rather than the purely introspective feeling you would have had if you came to see me play before.”
I ask if she is excited because she certainly sounds excited. “It is exciting!” she says. “It could be quite scary but only if you overthink it too much. If you’re not happy with what you have done it could be contrived but this felt like a really natural evolution to me. I am just really excited to see how people react. I feel more confident as an artist now. This works with the lyrics as well. I am a lot more frank and I am not hiding behind metaphors, you know, like nature metaphors. I am not hiding who I am or any kind of deep and meaningful stuff.”