Marci-lee Smith embodies the mantra ‘do what you love, love what you do’, and has carved out a niche that perfectly defines who she is within the performing arts.
The 23-year-old Spanish Town native, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, says she hopes to be an inspiration to people so they can know it is possible to be successful while living as their authentic self.
Here are eight questions with the actress, model and up-and-coming artiste Marcilli:
1. Why did you choose to pursue a career in the performing arts?
It was always just a passion for me ever since I was little. I would write songs and poems when I was in kindergarten and I would always envision myself in my favorite artistes’ music videos. It was just something that always made me happy and I couldn’t see myself doing anything other than making art.
2. What is it like working with top acts in the music industry?
Well, I’ve worked with acts such as Devin Di Dakta on the song ‘Abort’ and it was absolutely amazing. He was super chill, and we just clicked. Being in a creative space with like-minded artistes is very inspiring.
3. Tell us about your music journey.
I used to love writing songs and creating choreography to perform in front of my relatives, and they would cheer me on no matter how bad it was. I would write love songs in primary school and high school and people always told me that I should take songwriting/singing seriously, but it was just a hobby for me back then. It wasn’t until I was in college that it clicked that I wanted to perform my own songs on stage. I started going to music studios, and hearing myself through the speakers solidified that feeling.
4. How did music, modelling and acting become intertwined?
I think it all came together when I was in college. I would experiment with movement, sounds, acting and art, overall. At Edna, it was a part of the curriculum to blend all the arts and even though my Bachelor's is in theatre arts, I was drawn to the piano at music school, and to the drums and the fluidity of the dancers at dance school. I was also mesmerised by the painted canvases and captured moments at art school. I found it beautiful when the collaboration of all the arts came together and I thought to myself that I could be like this institution; all of this in one.
5. Are there any influences that propelled you to where you are now?
I had multiple influences that make me who I am today. I was influenced by my mother - she was one of the drama directors for church. I remember watching her on stage and it would bring me to tears. I was very shy and had stage fright and she was one of the reasons I wanted to take theatre seriously. My musical inspirations are quite weird; I’m really inspired by the K-Pop group BTS and especially their Rapper Suga who went from a small-town boy to being a part of the biggest boy-band of the decade.
6. What have you learnt from working with other artistes?
One thing I’ve learnt from artistes is that you should remain humble and treat everyone with respect as you may never know when you’ll need their help. Also, never stop working on your craft.
7. What ‘hoops’ have you had to jump through in the industry?
Even though I identify as gender-fluid, I’m always going to be perceived as a woman, and that comes with its challenges. Most of the time, producers see me as something to conquer. They want to get with me and can’t see me as a business partner. I had to learn how to set my boundaries and put my foot down. I’m not afraid to turn down an opportunity. What’s for me will always be for me.
8. Where next can we expect to see Marcilli?
Well, I’ll be releasing a song titled ‘Done’ in February and I’m super excited about it! I’m experimenting with a genre that I’ve never tried before. I was also recently crowned the Sandz Angel for the event Sandz, so I will be representing at the upcoming parties. I’ve been collaborating with Kyng Tavii as well, so you guys can expect new videos on YouTube.
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