Coming in hot from Kansas City, R&B/soul artist/rapper Roni Marsalis drops her fearless and conceptual EP ‘Amnesia’. Known for being charismatic, optimistic, and passionate, Roni Marsalis has worked incredibly hard to empower listeners and strive for what she believes in. Through her recent EP ‘Amnesia’, Roni Marsalis takes her time with each track to really emphasize the strong meaning behind her lyrics. Singing with grace, and rapping with force, Roni Marsalis’ EP ‘Amnesia’ takes a top spot in our music library.
Opening the EP with the spoken-word piece "Family", Roni Marsalis takes deep lyricism and words to another level. While speaking over top of a subtle piano melody, Roni Marsalis stops at nothing until her truth is spoken. Something we took away that we thought speaks volumes is a quote from the piece, “I want to fall in love, so I can rise in love, and to die for love when love isn’t living”.
Moving on to the next track "Dorm Room," Roni Marsalis goes hard on this track by blasting through with her talented rapping abilities. With more of a pensive and introspective tone to the track, the production remains steady with hip-hop drum breaks and a deep bass kick. Roni Marsalis sings/raps that she remains in her head when staring at her "Dorm Room" ceiling, and easily getting lost in a train of thought surrounding someone she has eyes for.
An intriguing third track "Lemonade" sparks our interest as Roni Marsalis speaks clearly with added echoes for this thirty-second interlude-like piece. Explaining how lemonade is too tangy without sugar, and that when life gives you lemons make sure to have some sugar nearby to sweeten it up.
While the next track "Fool in Love" opens with a mid-tempo R&B beat, Roni Marsalis spills her guts on this track. Her rap game blows up and out of the water as she explains that love is a drug, and even when you can see the red flags sometimes it’s easier to put up with them than leave. Bringing in her power, Roni Marsalis lets us know that she can no longer play that role in a relationship, as she searches for something more equal.
As the next song "Trust" opens with serene R&B keys and filtered electric guitar, it quickly jumps into a nostalgic kind of '90s R&B beat. Roni Marsalis brings her talented rap to the stage once again, as she raps about needing someone to love and trust instead of those who’ve hurt her in the past. Brightly vocalizing these emotions at the hook, Roni Marsalis perfectly evens out the tone of this song with the feature of male vocals during the second verse, almost creating a back and forth dynamic.
As the next track "Drip" opens, we’re met with another thirty-second interlude-like piece. We can hear nothing but running water, bringing peace into the EP while shifting into the next track. While "Designer Drip" begins, beautifully filtered electric guitar blesses our ears and creates a sort of sensual ambiance. As the beat maintains its steady drum breaks through an R&B/hip-hop approach, Roni Marsalis brings her hard work to the forefront and explains that everything she has, she’s worked for day and night. Paying no mind to those who are clinging on to her success, Roni Marsalis comes in from every angle to protect her space.
With another short spoken-word piece through "The Hard Part", Roni Marsalis touches on what sort of world she’d like to live in. From contemporary to traditional, she speaks on how once we establish how we want to live, we forget where we came from and what we have to live with. Peacefully turning into the outro track "Amnesia," we can already feel the longing for desire through sultry R&B/soul instrumentals and Roni Marsalis’ powerful vocals. She sings passionately on this track and questions where the love she knows went, and how she misses having that one person by her side. Ending off the piece with a powerful spoken-word approach over emotional R&B/soul instrumentation, Roni Marsalis reminds us that we must forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and sheds light on our troubled souls in order to find peace. Bringing in nothing but heart, Roni Marsalis’ EP ‘Amnesia’ lets you realize some things about yourself which you might not even notice.
Discover 'Amnesia' here.
Hey Roni Marsalis, welcome to BuzzMusic! We’re truly enlightened after listening to your EP ‘Amnesia’. What inspired the project’s overall concept, and what was your writing process like?
The concept for Amnesia was inspired by a dissociative disorder known as Disassociative Amnesia, which involves the inability to recall important personal information and it is usually caused by stress and trauma. & last year I didn’t really have a great relationship with myself I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and just over everything, forgetful, and that started to reflect in the relationships I found myself in. I needed to find my passion again, I was disconnected from myself. The woman I was becoming needed a voice.
The writing process for this project happened during my time as a delivery driver for Amazon lol I wrote during my shifts, I wrote after my shifts, I wrote and recorded before my shifts. I would say the beginning of each song started with me vibing out to the beats and finding the perfect words to express what that beat inspired me to think about. It kind of went like this *plays beat, nods head, says “ooooohhhhh,” writes the first stanza, creates topic from first few lines, and so forth. Designer Drip took a few days to write, The second verse for Dorm Room took a few days, and Trust second verse took a few days. I took my time and allowed the stories to grow as I communicated with myself and the beats. This process was gentle.
We’ve noticed that Roni Marsalis takes her spoken-word very seriously, as you’ve tied it in multiple times with your ‘Amnesia’ EP. Why did you want to incorporate this aspect, do you feel that spoken-word gets messages across clearer than songs?
Spoken-Word Poetry is how I was introduced to the art of rap/emceeing so including it into this project was very important because Amnesia is all about remembering what I had forgotten. I feel like Spoken-Word is a song, just without the rest of the band. So I feel, both are equally clear in the messages it just depends on the listener and what they prefer to hear. Lyrics with the beat or lyrics without the beat. Although, I do think spoken-word can create more of an impact on the listener because the poet's voice & body language are the only instruments you have to concentrate on.
Within your EP ‘Amnesia’, Roni Marsalis really brings in versatility through spoken word, singing, and rapping. How did you choose which tracks to go in and rap/speak on, and which tracks to remain strictly melodic?
Amnesia is really the only song on this ep with a Spoken-Word poem, and I guess the decision came from how much of an impact I wanted to make with that specific song(s). My intro poem “Family” was originally just a poem. Later, after talking with one of my friends in music, he told me to show all of my talents and I decided to freestyle on my piano behind my voice. I really think the beats kind of help me decide if a poem should be added.
With a powerhouse EP and a variety of singles, Roni Marsalis is getting lots of attention through her music. Is there anything you’d like to share with our readers about what you stand for as an artist, and what your overall brand represents?
I would say I stand for Freedom. Freedom for the black woman to be as creative as she wants to be. I think we are entitled to embracing our own truths and uniqueness. Some of the systems in our world discriminate against and suppress our truths with stereotypes, myths, white lies, propaganda, and gratuitous noise. It is our job as an artist to exercise our Freedom and create from our own truths. We should be able to thrive in our truths and be happy while doing it. We as artists and freethinkers should feel safe and secure in this world, not emotionally scattered and paranoid just because someone else decides to block out their own artistic voice. My brand, however, goes hand in hand with what I stand for as an artist, my brand (RONI MARSALIS & RRH PUBLISHING & ENTERTAINMENT) are worlds I created to share my artistic freedom with my tribe (music, fashion, writing essentials, poems, visual stories, etc.). I hope my brand will stand the test of time and change the way we view the world of hip-hop. Especially, how we view black women in the world of HipHop. I wanna use my brand to change the narrative and provoke a different type of thought in the collective conscious. I wanna use my brand as a reminder that being unique is normal & to also change my family legacy for my children and their children and so forth.
What's next for you, Roni?
I plan to release visuals for Amnesia, working on my journals per usual and growing my business (brand), and growing myself so I can continue to give my supporters #Angels what they want.