Mara Simpson - The Charitable Pop Star

After donating proceeds from her last album to Mothers2Mothers, it was evident that Mara Simpson was someone The Other Half wanted to talk to. We sat down with the charitable Pop Star to talk female influences and her inspiration. 

Tell us about your decision to donate money from your album to Mothers2Mothers?
I left the label I was with, giving me the freedom to release my album however I wanted, and to have financial control over that. Mothers2mothers are such a brilliant, practical charity, who do a lot of work in Kenya where my family come from. I was really impressed at what they were doing so decided to pay a % of the profits from my album forward to them, rather than what I would have paid in interest back to the label. Mothers2mothers were incredibly supportive of my music, I’m hoping to continue to be able to support them in what they do.

What inspires you when you write music?
Music helps me make sense of things and understand life. People, stories, places, histories, all inspire me. 

What are your plans for 2017?
I’m just about to disappear into the Cambridgeshire countryside to record with my band which I’m really excited about. We’ll be working towards a series of releases this year and some new collaborations. I’m also going on tour to Germany and Switzerland next month. And am hoping to play some summer festivals!

How do you think the representation of female artists in the industry needs to change?
We need to continue a shift towards equality where humans are treated like humans no matter of your sex or gender. We’re people with souls, sex and gender comes second to that, it’s a detail, arguably a big one, but it doesn’t necessarily define you. We need to see the misogyny and prejudges shown towards women, to get uncooler and uncooler. It doesn’t just doesn’t have space to be tolerated anymore, it’s complete Bull **** and who has time for that?

Who is inspiring you at the moment?
Patti Smith and Brene Brown.

What women did you look up to growing up?
My Mum, my Sister, Tina Turner, my year 5 teacher Mrs Beer who taught us yoga.

Describe your sound for us in three words?
Warm, gutsy, imperfect. 

What is your biggest dream?
To play with an orchestra at the Albert Hall.


Words by India Opie Meres