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Written By Angela Peters & Katie Rejto
Cover Art by


MAROU sits down with one of our editors to discuss mental health, moving to a new city, and how art isn’t just something we do, but who we are. She also talks about the music that has changed her life for the better, and how she’s glad she listened to the signs that kept telling her she was headed down the right path.

Editors’ Note

We had so much fun crafting a story around MAROU’s musical career, it is such an honor to know her both personally and professionally, she really is a growing star in the Providence music scene and we're so excited to see (and hear) all the incredible things she’s yet to do.

Edited for length and clarity. Interview taken place Fall 2023

Can you tell me anything about the name MAROU?

You know what, when I was younger I would always hear these names like Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and be like that’s a great name. These people were just born with these names? Well then they were destined to do this. Angela Peters? I can’t really see that on a marquee or anything, “Now Starring Tonight Angela Peters!” It just didn’t have that feel to it. So I was talking to my sister one day, and I thought if I really want to do this music thing I want a name. Then I can be whoever I want. I can have this new persona, I don’t have to be this shy Ang who’s too scared to even sing in her room. 

But I love that it’s not like you’ve created a persona, it’s simply that you’ve grown into who you truly are, through doing this. And it’s genuinely you, which is lovely.

Yes! So my sister was just like, “alright let’s think of a name.” And I kind of wanted it to be just one name, one word. We were at Whole Foods one day and my sister was like “what about Marou?” And I was like, “huh that kind of slaps. How’d you just think of Marou like that?” We’re in line just buying kombucha or something. And she’s like, “oh look at that chocolate bar over there, it just says Marou.” I saw it and I was just repeating the word in my head over and over like, yeah, that works. Later I was fooling around with the font and stuff, like do I want uppercase first letter, all lowercase? I figured no, I want it all caps, just MAROU. So it hits you. 

A statement.

This is MAROU. I started signing my name as that at open mics and I love it. It fits. At first it felt like this person I would step into, but now, hi what’s up I’m MAROU. I’ve really grown into it.

Photo Credit Eric Long

Before you were MAROU, do you remember what first got you into music? 

You know, I was thinking about it yesterday, it’s crazy because I remember this vivid memory of me being in first grade (laughs) and we were doing this thing of like “oh what do you want to be when you grow up?” And I was really into American Idol. I would watch it all the time with my mom, like Simon Cowel, I think it was Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson, and I told my teacher, “I want to be a singer!” and she was like “What? No!” and I was like “Okay.. I want to be a vet”. Which is weird, because I never really had any interest in singing back then, but I was like “oh that’s cool”, you know. It wasn’t until middle school, when my brother went to the Cayman Islands, and brought me back a ukulele that I started getting serious about an instrument. But then I was like “okay I can’t just play it, I have to sing too”. 

It just felt like that was a natural combination. 

Exactly, and I think even before that I always liked singing, but I was never confident in myself, because I was like, a kid. I remember when Adele was really hitting it big, I was singing her in first grade. I did a talent show and I think I sang Rolling in the Deep. (laughs) I had no reason to be singing that song when I was that young. And oh my god there was a talent show in fourth grade, where I hula hooped for one half, and the other half I sang Who Says, by Selena Gomez. 

A classic. 

I mean it was bad, it was really bad I will admit. So then I played saxophone for a few years in school. So I had little bits and pieces growing up. But I wouldn’t say I really started getting into music until my brother bought me that ukulele when I was 12. I learned Riptide, of course. I was really into Leon Bridges, so I started singing him. And then that’s when I made a youtube channel, and was like “I want to be youtube famous, I want Ellen Degeneres to discover me”. So yeah I was really into Leon Bridges,  I played some Ariana Grande. But the thing is I was just not confident in my singing abilities. 

I would tell my mom, “Hey mom I’m going to go upstairs and record a youtube video, please stay downstairs until I come get you” And she was so cool she was like, “okay do your thing”. And sometimes it would be hours. I was too hard on myself I think, because if I messed up just even a little bit, which no one could hear but myself, I’d be like no I need to start over again. And the videos never took off or anything, but it was fun. I’d come home from school and be so excited to learn a new song.

Photo Credit Eve Weiner

When did you get your first guitar?

My dad had one, so I always had one in my room. I always looked at it, but I never picked it up, I was too into ukulele to try anything else. But then, the pandemic hit and I remember I was just so bored. I remember getting tired of the ukulele, at least the standard one, because it was so high pitched and it didn’t really fit my voice. I bought a baritone ukulele, and that sounded more like a guitar. So when the pandemic hit I was like, why don’t I just learn guitar, because I’m already kind of playing it. 

It was April 2020, and I told myself I was going to learn the hardest song for my level, then everything else will be easy after that. I tried learning Blackbird by The Beatles. I never finished it, because I was like nah this is too hard for me right now (laughs). I also really loved writing, and I was really impatient with trying to learn chords on the guitar. I had so many songs but I didn’t know which chords to match my lyrics up to. So I would just make up chords, and be like “yeah that sounds good, let me just go with that.” That’s what I was doing for a while, I wasn’t really learning guitar, I was just doing my own thing. But it was fun. 

Do you think the pandemic and all that time spent at home encouraged you?

Yeah definitely. I was a senior in highschool, so I’d have online classes in the morning, and then my sister and I would go on our daily run. Then I’d have the rest of the day to myself, so music is what I filled my time with, which was really nice. 

You mentioned Leon Bridges, do you want to talk a little more about your influences? 

Leon Bridges definitely influenced me. I think I liked his soulful singing. It was more of the style I wanted to get into. He was the gateway into what I later listened to, like the musicians and music I love now. My sister also influenced a lot of my music tastes. 

Hmm I also remember I listened to one song by Big Thief…

Oh, okay, actually this is about to get deep.

It was the summer after my freshman year of college and I was home. I was studying animal science so I figured I had to get an internship related to that. I started working at this wildlife refuge, like 2 hours away from my home, it was insane. I’m from Jersey, and Jersey is pretty big, and this place was on the border of Pennsylvania. I was an unpaid intern…and I was working there like six days a week, and it sucked. Anyways, I had, or have, really bad OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, where you have intrusive thoughts and then compulsions. 

My brain will be like “oh I need you to touch this” or “turn off this light switch five times or else this is gonna happen.” And the “or else” part was always a fear of mine. 

So that was just really bad for a while. 

I’d wake up and it’d be like, “Don’t get in the car today or else, you’re gonna die on your way to work.” I would be so scared on this long drive in the morning because of that. Even though I knew nothing was going to happen, that’s just the disorder I guess. So the two hours in the car to the animal refuge and back was just horrible. The whole way I was driving was just, “Don’t switch lanes or you’re going to get hit by a car”, or “Don’t do this or this will happen.”

So I was having a miserable time, and I remember Mythological Beauty by Big Thief came on. And there was something about it, because I just relaxed and I wasn’t thinking about any of the bad things that might happen. So from then on, I listened to Big Thief for the entirety of my car ride, and that just became my routine. I’d wake up and immediately start listening to them, because I was like as long as I’m listening to this, my mind isn’t thinking about anything else. That’s initially how I got into them. Adrianne Lenker’s voice was so soothing and I was starting to relate to the lyrics. I remember they were my top Spotify artist for the year because you know, two hours there, two hours back really started to add up. 

Now I would say they’re really an influence because of their writing style.

Back then I depended on their music, because it shut my brain off, but now that I’m past that stage in my life, I can appreciate them more as a band and less as a…

A lifeline? 

Yeah, yeah exactly (laughs).  

Photo Credit Eric Long


I wanted to talk about your writing process. Before you started playing music, was writing something that you did often? 

Well when I was playing ukulele, I wasn’t really too big into writing, I don’t think I had anything to write about honestly. I do have one embarrassing story though. I was in second grade and had a crush on a guy at my school, and I wrote a little song about him. And for some reason, I don’t know why I did this, but I set the song about my love for him as the background of the family computer! I was so embarrassed because my sister saw it and was like “what is this!!” and everyone was just laughing at me, which I probably deserved (laughs). 

How old were you? 

I was in second grade! I think that incident probably discouraged me without me knowing. When I started playing the ukulele I didn’t really write too much, it really began when I picked up the guitar.

A lot of the songs you write are about relationships right?

Yeah! (Laughs)

What kind of relationships are you often thinking about when you write, or create? 

I’d say 95 percent of my songs are about romantic relationships, about guys I’ve dated. And it always used to be about the same kind of guy. About me getting myself into these situations where I know I shouldn’t, but I do anyway.  Just things that don’t really work out, or I’m in it, and as I’m in it I know this isn’t going to work out but I stay anyways. I know I shouldn’t but I do. 

So it’s more singing about yourself, rather than these people. 

Yeah, it’s me singing about how I know I deserved better, and the ways I grew from those things. Like I’ve experienced going through all that, and yet here I am. 

I sing a lot about my relationship with myself too. The OCD, how that was tiring and lonely, and I felt like I was going insane. And then my sister, I have a song called Sister…about my sister.  Because she’s really been my best friend and has influenced a lot of the music I listen to now. She would always share her music with me. I have some lyrics, Sister, why don’t you come back home / Sister, why don’t you pick up the phone. We’re eight years apart, so she’d be in college and I’d be home, wishing I had her to talk to. So this song is just about, being the youngest sister and needing my best friend to help me through high school and stuff. Another lyric is, am I gonna be like you? Because I’ve always looked up to her. 

She went to grad school for photography, and I think if it wasn’t for her taking that path, I probably wouldn’t be as confident as I am now following my own path. Because my brother is a big science guy and pursued aerospace engineering, and when it was my sister’s turn she went to art school, and my parents were like woah. She kind of broke the ice ya know, so now with me doing music I think I’m able to just do it. Like, okay my sister did it so now I can do it. I’ve always looked up to her for that, I just think she’s the coolest person ever. 

So yeah, I tend to write songs about my romantic relationships, my sister, and myself. 

On that concise note, if you had to choose three words to describe your genre, style, content, what would they be? 

Hmm, okay you know what, I started writing my spotify bio recently and I actually really liked what I wrote there. Okay, I would say… (laughs) but I don’t want to sound like, full of myself. 

Disclaimer everyone, she’s not trying to sound full of herself!

I mean, probably haunting, introspective (laughs) wow this is good, and vulnerable I guess. 

Don’t you have a song called Haunted

Yeah I do! I like storytelling through my songs. I try to get people to feel like they can see what’s going on. That’s why I would say vulnerable and introspective. 

Getting Started

What has performing live been like for you so far? 

Well I knew once I went to college I was going to have to get over my fear of performing. I knew it was going to suck, but I was ready for it. I was working at this coffee shop, and everyone was just the sweetest. One of the managers was in a band and he invited me to open for them at their house show! I had never sung in front of anyone before. He was like “yeah this could be your big debut, open for us at our house show! It’ll be chill, we’ll have our friends over” and I was like “what!” And I knew I HAD to do this, this would be the start. 

So I did it. I remember I was so nervous and my voice was quaking, but I got through it! The next year I started playing at the open mics the cafe would have every week. I was getting good feedback which I really needed to boost my confidence. At one point I was like okay, I’m ready to move on to bigger open mics.

I was living down in Kingston RI, and I guess the big city was Providence. I called up this place Askew, which was the first open mic I went to here. It was January 2022, and there weren’t a lot of people there which was nice. I got some great feedback from a guy called Jake, I remember I saw him walking and he had on cowboy boots, cowboy hat. I was at the bar getting a water and he came up to me, and was like “that was awesome”. He was up next and his voice just blew me away, so I thought “well if this guy thinks I’m good I gotta keep doing this.” 

After that, any free time I had I would just practice for the open mic. Like practice, practice, practice. And every Monday night I would go back to Askew. That was definitely when I got my foot in the door. The next year I switched majors, which then took up a lot more of my time and I wasn’t able to do music as much. That destroyed me. So I was like alright, during the summer, I’m just gonna take a break from everything academia, and I was determined to move to Providence and do what makes me happy for three months. I wanted to immerse myself in music and work a job that allows me to do that and see what happens. 

So that brings us to this past summer. 

Yes! (drums on table) 2023 baby! 

MAROU takes off!

(Laughs) Thank you. Yeah, I mean I told my parents I wasn’t going to do an internship, and they’ve always been supportive. So I moved to Providence, and lo and behold, typed in “coffee shop jobs providence”,  cause that was the only thing I could think of. Pretty soon I started working as a barista which was great because I had my evenings free for music and performing. I was doing Monday nights at Askew, Wednesday nights at the Parlor, and then in between trying to book shows. Wherever I could, whenever I could. And that’s the happiest I’ve ever been, it’s been awesome. 

I remember one day sitting in my bed being like damn, if high school me could see me now, she’d be so surprised. 

And proud!

And proud! It just felt so right, everytime I stepped on stage. 

When I was 12, my sister took me to see Matt Corby, this indie singer from Australia. We were front row, and I remember standing there and his voice was so deep and rich. It stirred something inside of me, and I was like I don’t know what this feeling is, but I want to feel this all the time. I don’t know how, but I need this. I don’t know if I’ll be behind the stage or in the audience, but I know I have to be in this music thing somehow. 

So when I started doing these shows, I felt that again, which was really cool and very reassuring. Like here is that feeling I’ve been trying to figure out, this is what it’s been trying to tell me. The moment I felt that again I was like holy shit! I solved it! I solved the puzzle! It was my first show of the summer at AS220, and I went home after and just cried because I was so happy. 

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Normally I call my mom and dad (laughs). I’ll be like “heyy I’m bouta perform.” Because they’ve always been supportive of me, so I like to let them know I’m doing this, not only because of me but because of them too, like “thanks guys, talk to you after!” So I do that. 

How has collaborating with local musicians in Providence been for you?

I will say, this guy Daniel Pond, who is part of Scaffolding, has definitely been a musical guide of sorts around here. He knows almost every musician in Providence. He was my go to this past summer. If I needed musicians for a gig, or recommendations for a  new amp, he would be my guy. Or if I was like “hey how do I go about playing a show at Red Ink” he’d be like “I’ve got a show lined up for you.” He’s been so awesome. 

The Making of an Album

Last year you released your EP There’s Time for Me, and there are some really special songs on there. 

Let’s see, all of the songs I’ve written, I’ve written after a mental breakdown. That’s the only way I’ve written songs up until now. I would try and sit down if I had extra time and write stuff but I just couldn’t. Nothing creative would come out. It would only happen after I got so worked up, I would be in my room between 11pm-2am and just start crying. Then I’d get mad at myself for it and want to channel that into something else. So I’d pick up my guitar. Sometimes I’d just strum a chord and instantly words would come out and it would work. 

One of my songs I really like, Midday Mourning, was written about my ferret Mimi. My freshman year of college I was really missing her.  One night I was crying and I told myself “I’m tired of crying, it feels like, not useless, but what am I crying for” you know? So I picked up my guitar to see if writing a song would give me something to put all that emotion into. I strummed two chords and the words came out, without writing anything down. But now I’m in a place where I haven’t had a mental breakdown in a while, cause I’m actually genuinely happy. So I’m kind of in a rut now honestly (laughs). That’s the only way I’ve known how to write songs so now I’m like “what do I do!” Which is great because I’m happy, but music-wise I don’t know what to do. 

You also released a music video alongside the EP for your song What If.  

So a year prior to making that video, I had expressed on my instagram that I was interested in recording my music but didn’t know where to start. So my friend was like hey I have all the equipment, come to my house with like five songs ready and we’ll record an EP. And I was like HUH? REAllY? So yeah, we did that. Later that year there was some delay with the release, and I was itching to keep creating and to get something done, so I was like what if I made a music video to release with the song! I had all this creative energy I wanted to do something with. I picked the song that meant the most to me, What If,  and I went looking for someone who could help me put all these ideas together.


Credit Hayden Carr-Loize

How was the process of creating the video, and seeing one of your songs come to life in a visual sense? 

My friend Hayden Carr-Loize is a film guy in addition to being a musician, and he was super interested in the idea. We met up one day to brainstorm, and I knew how I wanted certain pieces of the video to go but not everything. A week later he sent me a storyboard and a full script. He was on that shit. I remember reading it and thinking, this is fucking perfect, I love this. So everyone got together and we recorded in New Jersey. We didn’t have specific places in mind, we sort of wandered around and certain things worked out.  At first I thought it was going to be really nerve wracking, but like I said it just felt so natural. Then we headed back to the city and ended up on Roosevelt Island.

 Oh! And there was a dance scene! This was one part that I knew I wanted in it. I wanted to choreograph a dance scene at the end. I love dancing, I won’t say I’m a great dancer but I love it. So yeah I choreographed it and I’m so proud of it. I knew I wanted it to be the ending of the video, I knew I wanted it to be sunset and I’d be doing this dance. So we’re on the island, up on a hill. I lay out this blanket and I just go for it. Again, I thought I would be nervous because I’ve never danced in front of anyone. Singing is vulnerable and dancing is a whole other thing. It felt so great.  Not the whole thing made it into the original video, but they did record a clip of the whole dance, which I actually just released as an alternative music video!

It was a very important music video, because it was about OCD. I wanted to encapsulate everything I’ve been through with it, and the video ended up doing exactly what I wanted it to. The dance scene was me releasing a lot of those feelings, and starting new. 

By the time the music was ready to be released I was going through a really hard time, I was going through a break up, and I really needed a win. This video definitely felt like it. 

This reminds me of something we were talking about earlier; the idea that art is not only what you do, it’s who you are. 

That’s exactly what I sing about. Like the OCD. That has had such a hold on my life for so long, and that’s why I sing about it. It’s who I was. These relationships too, I put them into song because they’ve had some kind of role in who I am today, they have shaped me. The music is a product of what I go through in life. Art is not only what you do, it’s also who you are. It manifests into what you create.


Could you tell me what you’re most proud of, music or otherwise?

I think number one, it would be that I’ve gotten myself to this place where if you told me to sing right now I’d be like “yeah alright get me by guitar and I’ll go right now.” If you asked me that back in high school, I would just freeze, and the fact that I can just do it now is pretty great. 

Okay wait actually, you know the thing I’m most proud of right now is my Red Door show I did this past summer! The Sharon Van Etten cover band that I put together. Let’s see, the venue was putting on a benefit show for Sojourner House, and it was a woman-led cover band event. There were a bunch of bands playing – they were doing Taylor Swift covers, Alanis Morrissette covers, and Blondie covers. There was an extra spot for a band and I was so fortunate enough to snag it last minute.

I had one week to put a band together. And this was going to be the biggest event I had done yet, like the streets were going to be closed off, there was going to be a stage, it was outside, insane. Sometimes the way I prepare for these things is I don’t really think too much about it until the day of, or else I freak myself out. So I was like, okay I know I need to get this done, I know I need to put a band together. I gotta practice, but I’m not gonna think about it otherwise. 

I was texting people I knew who were musicians, I needed a guitarist, bassist, drummer, maybe a keyboardist and then I’m good. I got all that together, and it was so great. I love being part of a music community where I can just be like hey, anyone want to play this gig with me? And a bunch of people are just like “Yeah totally!” So we met up to practice just three days before the show.

 Lets see, Keith Haupt was on drums, Niels Versavel on bass, and Ethan Dowding on guitar. We ran through like five Sharon Van Etten songs, and they had never really listened to her, so they were like we’ll just follow you, which was sick. And it went great! 

We ran through it again on Friday and then we just went for it! Saturday it was go time, and I remember being on stage and realizing this was the first time I had performed with a band, especially in such a large setting. I was also performing songs that weren’t my own. It was exhilarating. It was so fun, and I want to do this all the time. I thought singing by myself was great but no, I need a band! Having the crowd clap and cheer, it was just even more reassuring. 

Was it one of the larger crowds you’ve had? 

Oh yeah, it was the biggest crowd I’ve had yet. I know they didn’t just show up for me specifically, but even still being in front of that many people was great. 

So you mostly perform your own songs?

I mean at open mics I’ll do a few covers here and there, but if I’m doing shows I’ll do my own music. This was the first time I sang all covers. Not only was I playing somebody else’s songs, it was a cover band, so I was also trying to give off her energy on stage. And it just worked out, it felt so natural.

The next day I posted the performance and Sharon Van Etten saw it! And she reposted it! And she said was so honored. The fact that my idol said she was honored I sang her songs, was even more of a – I’m gonna say it again – reassurance. 

That you’re on the right path.

Exactly, that I gotta keep doing this, I gotta keep going.

Keep up with MAROU on Instagram, YouTube & Spotify

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