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Marie Kruttli: “Art should be free”

Marie Krüttli, a Swiss-French pianist and composer, discovered her passion for the piano at the age of six. She began her musical journey by studying classical music before transitioning to jazz, eventually earning a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Piano from the University of Lausanne at the age of 20. She then went on to pursue a Master of Music in Jazz Performance in Lucerne, Switzerland. After a stint in New York, Krüttli settled in Berlin where she has composed various projects, ranging from solo performances to septets.

Photo credit: Marie Kruttli – Official

Krüttli draws inspiration from a diverse range of artists, both musical and visual, such as FKA Twigs, Björk, Craig Taborn, Petter Eldh, Basquiat, Monet, and Doris Salcedo. This diverse array of interests is reflected in her work, which explores electronic music in addition to her solo piano performances and collaborations with other musicians.

Krüttli’s latest project, her EP ‘Vif’, is a beautiful combination of all her influences and the manifestation of Dragon Life, her electronic duo where she sings and produces alongside drummer Fabian Rösch. The EP explores personal and introspective themes such as love, life, nature, time, and her own struggles, using synthesizers to create an array of expressive, distorted, and spaced-out textures for this jazzy, experimental dream pop electronic project.

EG recently had the opportunity to chat with Marie Krüttli about her latest EP, ‘Vif’, as well as her upcoming performances and future plans.

EG: Hi Marie! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you right now?

Marie Kruttli: I am well thanks! And super happy to release with you guys! I am at home in Berlin right now.

EG: First of all, congratulations on the release of your ‘Vif’ EP! You must be very excited to share this one. What has the initial reception been like so far?

Marie Kruttli: Yes I am super excited! I think the EP has been well received. But I am also trying to not take the feedback as the center element here… I think it’s always good to keep a little bit of distance with positive or negative feedback both. Or to not let it define you. But of course for me always the opinion of the people close to me and the people that I admire touch me a lot!

EG: So, what can your fans expect to find on ‘Vif’? Is there a concept or thread interconnecting these tracks?

Marie Kruttli: I think that the people following me and liking what I do enjoy that I am taking risks. I always try to do something fresh and a little risky for myself. Definitely always out of my comfort zone. I somehow feel that what I have to say is more interesting, inspiring, and electrifying inside that space. Further than that I feel like those songs are a bit like paintings. I see a lot of colors, and movements with it. I see stories. It’s quite cinematic I think.

EG: Where does ‘Vif’ find you as an artist when compared to your ‘Transparence’ album?

Marie Kruttli: I think that ‘Vif’ is more “in your face”. Maybe also more urban somehow. When ‘Transparence’ is more inspired by nature and a natural flow.

“Art should be free. Trying to fit in a box, in an editorial Spotify playlist is killing art and diversity”

EG: You have a Bachelor of Music in jazz, specializing in jazz piano. So, how and when did you start dabbing in electronic sounds? How do these seemingly different genres interconnect?

Marie Kruttli: I started producing when COVID-19 hit. I couldn’t play concerts so I needed an outlet to express and create. And I was not inspired enough with the piano only. That’s how I got into it. I think for me, all genres interconnect. I listen to so many different things (and I grew up with a lot of music as well) that I sometimes feel like my ears are working for me. I just follow my ears and intuition and things come out. I think that a lot of things mix up together in my music. Of course, this intuitive process is also thanks to studying music at a high level.

EG: Now, stepping away from the studio for a bit…Have you found any good books, movies, or albums lately that you’d recommend? Where do you tend to find inspiration?

Marie Kruttli: I am reading a Madeline Miller book right now, I love her novels. So cinematic also how she describes atmospheres, landscapes textures, and people’s behavior. I have been listening to a lot of Meshell Ndegeocello lately (also because she was coming yesterday to Berlin for a majestic concert). And I like this album from Obongjayar. He’s from the UK.

EG: Right now, social media seems to play a completely prominent role in the development of an artist’s career. What’s your stance on this? Is the bringing us closer than ever, or is it drawing our attention away from the actual music?

Marie Kruttli: That’s a tough one. I think that social media is a good promotion tool. And it makes things accessible for everyone, that’s the good aspect of it. I think that the danger is that social media somehow influences what an artist creates. There are all these little ways in which it can influence creative processes and that’s really bad. Art should be free. Trying to fit in a box, in an editorial Spotify playlist is killing art and diversity.

EG: As a female artist, what have been some of the challenges that you have encountered? What are some of the aspects that you believe we should be working on as a scene?

Marie Kruttli: I think the challenge is always the same one. People just take you less seriously as a woman. I think, even more, when you appear small, young, reserved, and blond. They don’t think much of you so you always come and somehow have to prove something. That’s really tiring. There is just no other word for it. Tiring. In the past I encountered challenges Yes, I didn’t feel very well integrated, etc… As a scene, we should just try to stay open and kind towards all minorities. And assume that they know what they are doing if they are where they are.

“As a scene, we should just try to stay open and kind towards all minorities. And assume that they know what they are doing if they are where they are.”

EG: What’s next for Marie Kruttli? Where can your fans catch you next? What new milestones are you looking forward to in 2023

Marie Kruttli: Lots of new music will be written and recorded, and a few shows and residencies will happen. Stay tuned!

EG: Thank you for your time, Marie! We’re excited to see what’s in store for you. Take care!

Marie Kruttli: Thank you for the interview. Take care as well.

Marie Kruttli’s ‘Vif’ is out. Download here.

Follow Marie Kruttli: Soundcloud | Spotify | Bandcamp | Instagram

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