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Marian Renta (/ˈmæriən/; born August 8, 1986) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and classically trained pianist.[2] She rose to popularity with the release of her two EPs Headfirst and Great Deep in 2021. Known for her intricate songwriting and unique vocal quality, Renta is an independent recording artist recognized for her highly emotive singing style and melancholic fusion of pop, alternative rock, soul, and new-age.[2] After the release of her debut studio album One of a Kind in 2011, Renta went on an extended hiatus to attend college.[3] Despite the album's positive critical reception among bloggers and critics[4], Renta remained in obscurity until ten years later when she began releasing a string of positively-reviewed self-recorded EPs. Renta garnered success and airplay in 2021 with the release of her first two EPs Headfirst and Great Deep. Her breakthrough came in 2022 when she released her third and most-streamed EP Candy-coated Pill, to critical acclaim.

Life and career[]

Early life[]

Marian Renta was born on August 8, 1986, in Brooklyn, New York. She is the only child of disc jockey Ludwig Rodriguez, and the third child of Jacqueline Renta, both of Puerto Rican descent. She was heavily influenced at an early age by her father's music through his DJ cassette mixes, vinyl record collection, and CD collection.[2] After Renta's parents separated, she and her father relocated to Newport News, Virginia. Renta experienced behavioral difficulties in childhood and would often draw explicit pictures in class and use profanity at teachers. This often prompted teachers to send notes to Renta's home and created speculation over the nature of Renta's home life.[4] While growing up in Virginia, Renta attended specialized music schools in middle and high school where she received extensive education in music and was classically trained in piano and music composition. This creative outlet curbed Renta's peculiar behavior and sparked her development as a musician and musical artist.

1997–2004: Formal music education and training[]

In 1997, Renta enrolled at the historical Booker T. Washington Middle School in the music magnet program. Renta obtained specialized training and education in music theory, stage performance, and musicianship fundamentals. She played in the school's band and served on the drumline. She was also member of the school choir, and began teaching herself to play piano during choir rehearsals.

In 1999, Renta continued her musical studies when she enrolled at the prominent Woodside High School of the Performing Arts. Renta would receive rigorous, in-depth education in composing music, musical notation, sight-reading manuscript, chord structuring, and classical piano technique. In her sophomore year, Renta began exploring the music lab of her school, and quickly got the knack of music production and sound mixing. During this time, Renta also mixed records at home with a DJ setup she owned, and she drew a parallel between mixing records on turntables and mixing audio with a multitrack sequencer in a DAW. In 2003, Renta left her father's home to live with her mother in Brooklyn, New York. She completed her senior year at Curtis High School in Staten Island, New York, and graduated on June 24, 2004. After high school, Renta continued her formal education at John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a Forensic Psychology major and Performing Arts minor.

2005–2013: Career beginnings and One of a Kind[]

Image of Marian Renta at the release party for her debut single "Leave You" from her debut album One of a Kind (2011)

Renta at the release party for her debut single "Leave You" (2011)

In 2005, after two semesters, Renta changed her major and transferred to College of Staten Island as a Business major and Accounting minor. Renta obtained her B.S. in Business in the Spring of 2008.[4] Renta has stated that the Great Recession had a detrimental impact on her ability to exercise her Business degree. While in college, Renta established a home recording studio and began uploading cover songs and original songs to social media such as Myspace and the newly founded Youtube platform. She experimented with various genres such as Reggae, Blues, and Electronica.

Marian Renta standing in a restaurant with sunshades on during the shooting of the music video for "Leave You".

Renta during the shooting of the music video for "Leave You" (May 2011)

In 2010, Renta began working on new material for a studio album. She sought to create an R&B-pop concept album with elements of Soul and Dance. Recording began in the fall of 2010, and the collection of songs was mastered and completed in Renta's home studio in April of 2011. With the album complete, it was promoted with the digital release of two singles—"Leave You", released on May 22, 2011, and the second single, "Eye for an Eye", released on August 11, 2011. Eventually the album One of a Kind was released digitally on November 15, 2011 under the pen record label, Hail Stunna. One of a Kind received mild success and was met with mixed to positive critical reception among independent music critics and bloggers.[4] Although the debut effort gained some traction in small circles of indie music enthusiasts, One of a Kind failed to break Renta as an artist.

2014–2019: Extended hiatus[]

Three years after the release of One of a Kind, Renta decided to step away from music temporarily, citing burnout and writer's block as major factors. She used the time away from 5-21-2011.jpgher music to enhance her personal life through dating and strengthening her familial relationships. In 2013, Renta also utilized this time to expand on her Business degree and enrolled in online college courses.

2020–present: Self-discovery and return to music[]

In the fall of 2020, Renta began composing new songs and uploading them to Soundcloud. The lyrical content of her new material leaned heavily on themes of unrequited love and languishment. Renta was inspired by a dating experience she walked away from in the summer of 2020. Creatively, Renta abandoned the mainstream R&B style she was accustomed to and opted to incorporate a darker, deeper, melancholy mood to her songs that would blur genre lines. She dropped the standard concept of full band compositions and adopted a stripped-down sound consisting mainly of piano, bass, strings, and guitar, foregoing drums and percussion. This bare style of production along with her emotive and unique vocal tone would eventually become Renta's hallmark.

Renta during the making of the "Headfirst" music video (October 2021)

During the fall of 2020, Renta began piecing together songs she had written and uploaded to Soundcloud and newly written songs, and building a collection from which to choose songs for an EP. After choosing the songs and remastering them, Renta finally released her first studio effort since her hiatus, Headfirst, on January 13, 2021.[5] Entirely written and produced by Renta, Headfirst served as a career jumpstart and redefined her musical persona. Capitalizing on the album's positive reception, she continued working in the studio and soon followed up with her second EP, Great Deep, on July 5, 2021.[6] Great Deep spawned the single, "May (Alternate Mix)", an alternate version of "May". On the heels of the popularity of both EPs, Renta began releasing a string of music videos for songs from both EPs, including "Headfirst", "Linger", "May", and "Great Deep".[7]

On December 30, 2021, Renta announced she was writing and producing material for a new EP slated to be released in February of 2022.[8] Regarding the new EP, she stated "It's gonna have a slightly different sound and will be a little a more upbeat; this EP will be a little more experimental".[8] On January 10, 2022, Renta announced via Twitter the release date of the EP as February 22, 2022.[9] As delays mounted in the final stages of the EP's recording and mastering process, it was ultimately announced via a March 8 press release that the EP would be released March 25 and that it has been titled Candy-coated Pill.[10] On January 18, 2022, pre-orders began for the album's lead single "Shot in the Dark" and it was immediately announced that the single would be released on February 2, 2022.[11] It was also announced that the "Shot in the Dark" music video would premiere the same day. On February 2, 2022, "Shot in the Dark" was released along with the premiere of the song's music video. On March 25, 2022, Candy-coated Pill was ultimately released alongside the music video for the album's title track.

Artistry[]

Musical style and influences[]

Renta's musical style has been described as a blend of R&B, adult contemporary, and alternative balladry.[12] She is also noted for her use of minimalism in many of her productions. Renta has acknowledged her influences as including Mariah Carey, Phil Collins, Portishead, and Yazoo.[13][14] Throughout her career, Renta has been noted for possessing a unique and distinguishing vocal tone that seesaws between soulful and rock. Her voice type is classified as a mezzo-soprano with access to the whistle register. Her debut album One of a Kind showcased her whistle register ability on songs such as "Motivation" and "On the Wall". She has written all of her songs and produces all of her music.[15] She has written extensively on the topics of love, emotional abandonment, and fear of intimacy. Most of her writing is inspired by her personal experiences and past relationships.

If it hasn’t happened to me or someone very close to me, I don’t sing about it… that’s why I don’t sing about the joys of finding true love or having children–hasn’t happened yet.

―Renta, speaking on her songwriting.[16]

Discography[]

References[]

  1. "Marian Renta on Audiomack". Audiomack. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Donelson, Marcy. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  3. "Marian Renta Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More > Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Marian Renta: One of a Kind Success". Hot Stepz Magazine. PRLog.org. 2011-10-14. Retrieved February 6, 2022.
  5. "Headfirst - EP by Marian Renta on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  6. "Great Deep - EP by Marian Renta on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  7. "Marian Renta - Youtube > Videos.". Youtube. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  8. 8.0 8.1 @RealMarianRenta (December 30, 2021). "I'm currently writing, producing, and recording material for a new EP. Things are on track for a February release. It's gonna have a slightly different sound and will be a little more upbeat; this EP will be a little more experimental. #marianrenta #NewMusicAlert #Pop #NewAlbum" (Tweet). Retrieved January 3, 2022 – via Twitter.
  9. @RealMarianRenta (January 10, 2022). "NEW EP FEBRUARY 22" (Tweet). Retrieved January 11, 2022 - via Twitter.
  10. "Marian Renta Set to Unleash High-anticipated Third EP 'Candy-coated Pill' March 25". Elicit Magazine. elicitmagazine.com. March 8, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  11. "SINGER-SONGWRITER MARIAN RENTA TO RELEASE DARK AND GRITTY NEW SINGLE + MUSIC VIDEO FOR “SHOT IN THE DARK” FEBRUARY 2" (January 24, 2022). Elicit Magazine. elicitmagazine.com. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named AllMusic Overview
  13. Alt-pop Songstress Marian Renta Drops Steely New Single and Music Video "Shot in the Dark". elicitmagazine.com (2022-02-02).
  14. Marian Renta: One of a Kind Success. PRLog.org (2011-10-14).
  15. BMI | Songview Search > RENTA MARIAN. BMI Repertoire. bmi.com. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  16. Singer-songwriter Marian Renta to Release Dark and Gritty New Single + Music Video for "Shot in the Dark" February 2. elicitmagazine.com (2022-01-20).
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