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Unbound by Mari Smith

December 2, 2010

Laura’s Blog Entry

Remember back in the day when the Smiths had a little podcast where they talked about Depeche Mode and “Battlestar Galactica”? And their cute little eight-year-old would create a song on the keyboard for her segment, “Mari Plays the Piano”?

Well, hold on to your hats. Cause that little chickadee, now a twelve-year-old, has spread her wings and flown from the nest! No, she hasn’t moved out, but she now has her own, real-life, bona-fide music project.

A few months ago when Mari told us of her plans to participate in an Owl City Distribution program through Tunecore, we were a bit taken aback. Shall I translate the last sentence for you? OK.

Owl City: Mari’s favorite band ever and perhaps her reason for living.

Tunecore: The world’s largest digital music distribution service used by independent musicians to get their music onto iTunes and other retail digital sites.

Owl City Distribution: All kinds of awesome. And a special program for new artist to compete for a chance to have their music evaluated by his highness Adam Young, aka Owl City.

Are you with me now?

We told her that if she could get the songs written and recorded, we would pay the fee to put the music on Tunecore. Well darn it all if she didn’t make it happen!

Mari has been writing for a few months, and spent the better part of her Thanksgiving holiday recording the tracks. Let me be clear on this: SHE WROTE ALL THE LYRICS AND MUSIC COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY ON HER OWN. SHE PLAYED ALL THE KEYBOARD AND GUITAR PARTS, PERFORMED THE VOCALS, AND ACTED AS HER OWN RECORDING ENGINEER.

We didn’t even hear them until they were recorded. She would have done her own mixing, but time was running out. Neil mixed everything down and only added a few hand claps and percussion to one song. But only because it was the final day to submit the songs and it was past her bedtime. Seriously. That is the truth.

We are so proud of her and blown away by how much she has grown. Neil and I really hadn’t heard any of the music she’s done since we stopped doing the podcast. She has been working away in her room with headphones on. Wow. Just wow.

If you’d like to hear samples of her four-song EP, it is currently available in the iTunes store in the US and the UK. Hopefully the link will get you to both of those.

I want to send out a really big thank you to everyone who contacted us with positive feedback  regarding her songs on the podcast over the years. We read her every email and tweet and Facebook posting. I really think that support gave her confidence and helped her to grow. You guys really built into her as an artist and she has blossomed because of it! We really treasure all of you in our internet family!

We’ll keep you posted if there is any news about the contest aspect. Who knows, Adam might be listening to it right as we speak. How awesome is that?

I said it before, but it bears repeating. It’s all kinds of awesome.


PS – We would greatly appreciate any album reviews on iTunes as well as postings on Ping about it. It would mean more to Mari than you can imagine.  (*v*)

15 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2010 10:51 am

    Oh cool! Well done, Mari!

  2. December 2, 2010 10:58 am

    What a talented little girl! And she is so lucky to have amazing parents who let her explore her dreams. Good luck!

  3. December 2, 2010 11:02 am

    Wow! Just wow, indeed! Purchasing now and spreading all over the twitters and facebooks!

    Fantastic job Mari!!

  4. December 2, 2010 11:56 am

    And we’re glad to be a part of it! We’re never so big that we don’t take a little time to make sure our artists are happy.

    Best of luck to Mari, and thanks for being part of the team. 🙂


  5. pelicanito permalink
    December 2, 2010 2:41 pm

    *Beyond* awesome. Sad it’s not available in my country. I’d love to hear it.

  6. December 3, 2010 8:17 am

    Thanks for all the lovely comments, everyone! And for the personal attention from Tunecore – we always have released our music there and it’s been a great experience! If it’s good enough for Nine Inch Nails, it’s good enough for us!

  7. December 3, 2010 1:03 pm

    Holy cow! I just listened to Mari’s EP and am blown away. SO GOOD!

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… Mari’s going to rule the world one day. Well done!

  8. Ray permalink
    December 30, 2010 12:32 am

    I purchased just at Warren’s recommendation. (I love Hungry Lucy) Mari Smith, you are a very talented young woman. A huge undertaking and pulled off very well. Reminds me of Maria Taylor.

    • December 30, 2010 9:21 am

      Thanks so much! I passed on your comment to Mari and we listened to Maria Taylor. Mari loved her and is off to buy it on iTunes!

  9. February 2, 2011 12:45 am

    hey, so … i know i’m late to the party (as is almost always the case), but i just want to throw in some love for mari’s incredible talent and art. i must confess that i’m not familiar with your podcast or blog, but i’m quickly trying to get up to speed.

    to mari, i just want to say thanks for sharing your gift with us. i found you through an incredibly talented band in hungry lucy. they recommended checking out your music, so i thought, “hey. why not?”

    12. that’s mind blowing. when i was 12, the only things i got to write were long lists of “i will not [insert nit-picking trivial non-compliance here] while in class.” seriously. if this is what you can do at 12, i’m fairly certain that i can speak on behalf of all music lovers in saying that we are *extremely* excited to see what you can do on future projects.

    cam (aka frissonic)

    • February 2, 2011 8:05 am

      Thank you so much! I just read your comment to Mari right before she left for school. She was pretty pumped about it! She does indeed amaze us. I feel honored to get to see who she is growing up to be!

      • February 2, 2011 3:01 pm

        well, feel free to share this next part with her too. and she’s welcome to do with it what she will. seriously.

        i wrote a review of her stuff on my site. i played snippets of the tracks for my wife, who was multi-tasking between playing some word game on facebook, watching some home-cleaning show (that one that now has tempest bledsoe –she of ‘the cosby show’ fame), and trying to listen to the music i was pumping at her. finally, she said, “okay … sounds great. who is it?”

        “her name is mari smith.”

        *dramatic pause for effect*

        “okay … and she is …?”

        *more dramatic pause for effect*

        “12. she’s 12, honey.”

        her jaw came unhinged. her eyes popped out. “no way. you’re making that up.”

        “and what purpose would *that* serve!? seriously … she’s not even a teenager yet.”

        so, two new fans. 🙂 and i’m spreading the word. in fact, i know exactly who to hit up, if he hasn’t already …

      • February 2, 2011 3:26 pm

        I certainly will! Thanks again for commenting. She put that out on iTunes and then it is hard because you don’t hear much back from anyone except friends, who HAVE to be supportive, right? It’s nice to hear from someone who is unbiased!

  10. February 2, 2011 7:53 pm

    actually, that’s a good point. i’ll leave some love on itunes too! thanks for the idea.

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