Coast-to-coast DJ and singer King Marie celebrates her soulful breakout EP The Prelude around the time of her return to her home city of Chicago. As a DJ, Marie is known for her hip-hop, R&B reggae, and funk sets and it’s clear these genres have influenced her vocally and lyrically as well.
Christine “King” Marie’s overall sound feels like a nod to classic R&B singers like Janet Jackson and Inoj, who were famous for making soul ballads over choppy and uptempo tracks. But now it’s King Marie that’s in control of the whole operation, contributing to a new era of well rounded and multi-dimensional female musicians. This includes the vocalists who aspire to produce—in order to capture their sound as thoroughly as possible and for DJ’s who have always wanted to mix their own vocals in a self-produced original song.
When I came across The Prelude, I had known King Marie’s name from being in the Chicago art/music scene myself, and while I knew she had a dope aesthetic, I didn’t know exactly what she did or what her contribution to music was. When the project dropped on June 18th, 2019, what drew me instantly was the social media coverage. People playing King Marie and singing along in their Instagram stories had me instantly wanting to hear a continuation of whatever it was they were bumping. I found the tape to be worthy of the hype in every way. Available on all streaming platforms, this upbeat, classic yet innovative hip-hop inspired R&B tape isn’t one you wanna sleep on. It will inspire you, make you move your body and also leave you with a lingering feeling of trust and assurance in your own journey.
In a 6 song EP totaling only 15 minutes, Marie is able to say so much. In her intro “King” she sings, “bet you didn’t even know your girl could sing / imma show em why they call me King…” In this moment, Marie celebrates the triumph over what obstacles kept her from expressing herself vocally and lyrically in the ways she has clearly always known she was capable of. Though Marie’s success and message will resonate uniquely in all of her followers hearts, I’m certain that the response across the board will be one of pride and connection.
I connected to this tape so heavy that I became an instant King Marie fan. I think it is because of how much she lets us in through her vulnerability and self-love that oozes from The Prelude. It may also be her nod to classic hip-hop like when she asks her self, “is my mind playing tricks on me?” in My Lonely. It boasts with feminine essence as well as certainty and pride that all her hard work and the twists and turns in her career have lead her to where she has dreamed of being. Let me remind you, I’m somewhat of an objective listener. I can’t even imagine the pride that she and her day ones are feeling right now. The most exciting part? The Prelude is just the beginning.
In a 2018 interview conducted by Britt Julius for The Chicago Tribune, King Marie had stated that “I’ve been more focused on finding myself as a grown woman. Just finding myself all over again and loving myself all over again.” This is how I would describe her The Prelude and we’re so excited that it’s the start of this sonic magic and the community Marie intends to build upon in lovely Chicago.
Stream The Prelude here.