Reina Mar is a Latin Pop Artist from New Jersey. Despite her young age, the Cuban American has accomplished a great deal as a songwriter and recording artist. She has worked on licensed TV film film projects alongside writers and producers including one of Alicia Keys producers Ron Haney and Andreas Sahar from Totally Square Records.
My first question is a two-parter. As a first generation Cuban American was there anything your parents or other family members told you not to
take for granted or to never forget?
My grandmother once told me to never forget where I come from. My grandmother lived in Communist Cuba where freedom of speech and the way of life were limited and controlled by the government. She said to never take my freedom for granted and to always let my voice be heard.
Your single “Time” comes across to me as very introspective and personal with the accompanying video including video clips of a younger you and family members (I’m guessing). How did the song come about?
Yes! Those were real clips of me as a kid with my family.
“Time” came about while I was at my best friend’s wedding in Vermont. There was an old keyboard at the Airbnb I was staying at, and I kind of had a moment of feeling like time was passing me by so fast. Here I was at my best friend’s wedding, thinking about how time really does fly. I was also thinking about the loved ones I’ve lost and would give anything to spend more time with. If time really was mine, I would go back in time to be more present in those beautiful moments I shared with the ones that I love.
While music is a venue for expression is there ever a time to scale it back and not reveal some feelings or emotions you might fee are too personal to share through song?
When I first began writing, I tried to mask my emotions through my music because I was too scared to be vulnerable in front of the world. Later, I discovered that masking my emotions through my music was preventing me from truly connecting to my listeners. I don’t completely live my life out there for people to see, but I do allow myself to be freely open with my emotions through my music so that I am able to express my true authentic self.
A question I tend to ask a lot of singer/songwriters is how the song is put together. Are you a lyricist first and if not, how do you infuse your words into a melody you’ve composed?
I do consider myself a singer first since that is what I have the most experience in, but I did fall in love with poetry from a very young age before I decided to pursue a music career. I then discovered songwriting around the age of 14 and have been writing ever since.
How has the business of music interfered or helped the artist you are?
I feel that the music industry has been such a huge help and learning experience of ups and downs that I think have sculpted me into the artist that I am.
One of the venues you have performed live is the famous Stone Pony where legendary Jersey artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and The Smithereens got their start. What was it like performing on your hometown stage with all that history?
It was amazing! I performed with a rap group at the time called “E&J” and I truly had the time of my life. The ambience and energy of the crowd was incredible and can’t wait to be back!
Do you enjoy performing live and how important do you feel live performance is to a musical artist?
I do enjoy performing live once I am on stage. The only thing that is tough for me is the anticipation and prep it takes before a show. But once I am on stage, I feel like I am home and immediately my nerves are calm. I do think live performing is important in an artist’s career since it is the most efficient way to really connect with your audience on a deep level.
What do you feel the biggest takeaway someone should have listening to your music?
I want listeners to feel empowered by my music. Whether it be the uptempo melody in a song that lifted up their spirits on a tough day or a line in a song they really resonated with. I also want listeners to know that its ok to be vulnerable and to have rainy days like I do sometimes. I always want others to feel like they are never alone.
– Dave Weinthal