When the lights go down and the music starts, no one commands the stage better than Mardoll.
Flaunting her playful yet seductive style, the Hungarian songstress will leave you on the edge of your seat biting your lip and wanting more. I first met Mardoll in 2019 in New York as she prepared for her Aim Higher Ep, a fun-filled rhythmic ride of craziness and chaos led by her first release, Molly Molly. I would quickly come to realize that her sound was simply intoxicating.
Thirteen singles later and after surviving the pandemic, Mardoll is still moving and stronger than ever with appearances on Survivor and performances on The X-Faktor, Joe and I had the privilege of catching up with her for this installment of For The Record.
FTR: Tell us about yourself, how did you get your stage name, where are you from, where do you reside etc.?
Mardoll: I am a mix of classy insanity, mental illness, sex positivity, and buffoonery, so I’m not garbage… I’m Gár-beigé... the accent makes all the difference. Though I’m sure my mom isn’t so happy with that description, so here we go, I was born in Vienna, grew up in Hungary with expat parents, attending the American International School of Budapest, being a third child.
I lived and worked in NYC from 2017 until Covid 19 hit. In my first apartment in NYC, I lived with my roommate Bree, who happens to be DJ Clue’s daughter. So, when I was looking for names, I knew I wanted a name with a connotation of the doll, because I wanted to highlight my doll-like features. And long story short, Bree found the name. She is the reason I was able to build this entire persona.
FTR: Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
Mardoll: Honestly, I would love to collaborate with the QUEEN, Nicki Minaj, because of the heavy influence she’s had on me as an artist, more specifically as a strong female rapper in a male-dominated industry.
FTR: Which artists inspired you the most growing up?
Mardoll: At four years old you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t Britney Spears. I was dancing on a table with my big belly out, feeling my imagination. Eminem from a very young age had me feeling things that I wasn’t emotionally mature enough to understand, nor did my situation provide me to feel that way.
But yet, I connected.
Whenever I listened to his music, for whatever reason, I’d find myself looking out the window of the school bus crying about the life I could never understand, but yet, somehow, something about his songs spoke to me from a very young age. He made me feel something and that’s the type of artist I've always aspired to be. So, I had a lot of inspirations growing up, big pop idols, but I find that at this age I am finding inspiration in my peers as an artist.
FTR: What’s the story behind your new single? Who were the writers/producers of the song?
Mardoll: My newest single is coming up! It is actually the biggest challenge I've faced musically, because I’m in the Hungarian market but I write in English. I had to find a way to translate my English song into Hungarian… which is insanely impossible due to the nature of the Hungarian language. Add onto trying to stick with the same flow, rhyme, and melody AND still making punch slap… And still having to make it, make sense, is mind-blowingly complicated. But I've made great progress and I’m really excited to double release it in English and Hungarian come spring.
FTR: What do you enjoy about making music?
Mardoll: Music, for me, has always been therapy. I enjoy expressing myself. I can’t live without music; I can’t thrive without performance. I'm a showgirl through and through. Music is my therapy in the way in which I can make people understand me more than just the exterior. I think as artists, we all just want to be understood. I feel like through my music people can see the human behind the character.
FTR: How would you define your genre of music? What can new supporters expect when listening to your music?
Mardoll: I go between funny/serious, punchlines, to deep thoughts, and … deep throats. Through my music, I've been able to be very confident in myself and explore all facets of my personality. I can’t be put in a genre or box. I am what I am but know that the only thing my supporters can expect is to expect the unexpected and that whenever I’m on the track it’s going to slap.
FTR: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment to date?
Mardoll: My biggest accomplishment to date is winning over a whole nation. A whole country that wanted to write me off. To date, I am the only one who does what I do. No one writes their own music, creates their own songs, does showstopping performances, or does circus while rapping. I’ve created my own path and I’ve created something that has never been experienced before in Hungary.
FTR: What is your favorite song to cover and why?
Mardoll: Dax's Joker, because of my many years of musical theatre, I got to explore the many facets of myself and lose myself in the performance. It wasn't Mardoll, it was the Joker, and it gave me a sense of freedom.
FTR: What are the most challenging things you experience as an R&B/Soul artist in today’s industry? And what changes would you like to see in the music entertainment industry?
Mardoll: I find that being a female rapper, with progressive thoughts, especially in a conservative country like Hungary, to be exceptionally difficult. I don’t get the same respect as my male peers. They don’t see, and they don’t want to see, how hard I work. They don’t want to see how clever the punchlines are. They don’t want me to succeed because of their sense of male entitlement. I am the antithesis of the typical male ego in Hungary and because of that, I am silenced, I am shamed, and I am put in a corner.
My thoughts, though provocative, are nothing new, but I am loud enough and ballsy enough to take the criticism and stand by it. There is a whole generation who needs to listen to this instead of staying in the stagnant position that the Hungarian music industry is in right now. Though only the second mouse gets the cheese, I’m happy being the first one if that means progress.
FTR: Do you have any new projects on the way or any performances occurring, any events? What’s your plan for the next few months?
Mardoll: I am booked from the spring all throughout the fall, so keep in touch with my social media! But as mentioned before, I shall be releasing my first Hungarian single, which also doubles as an English single. So, I'm excited to see the results on which song does better. I feel that the audience will determine my next move, but my heart will always drive the project and I can’t wait to hit the big stage again and show what I’m worth.
To learn more about Mardoll visit https://instagram.com/mardollofficial