Mariah Belgrod: From “Smule Sing!” to Furthered Success
Mariah Belgrod is a pop artist hailing all the way from Philadelphia. She gained recognition from many after using the “Smule Sing!” app to execute her artistry. Since creating on the app, she’s become a verified partner artist while accumulating over 300,000 supporters. An iHeart Radio Social Star nominee, Belgrod works hard to use her platform to spread mental health awareness all while connecting with her supporters to spread happiness and empowerment. Her newest single “I Hate Myself” was released on September 17th of this year. We had the chance to chat with Belgrod as she spoke more about the single, her career, and her influence as an artist. When exactly did you start writing music?
Q: When exactly did you start writing music?
A: I started to dabble with writing music in elementary school, you know – when you start to realize what having a crush is like and heartbreak looks like having someone tag someone else at recess, and sadness looks like a broken crayon – things are definitely different when you’re little. Once I started to get older, songwriting began to intimidate me. I stopped writing all together, and felt very uncreative. I started to work with other songwriters to help their vision come to life as a performer, which was fun for a time, but I felt like I could never truly give my personal touch to something unless my pen hit the paper too. It was not fulfilling in the way I wanted music to be, so I pushed myself to start officially being songwriter around the age of 21!
Q: Which 3 artists would you say inspired you as a singer?
A: I would have to say Freddie Mercury, for his boldness in performance and power notes. FLETCHER for her storytelling and embracing her sensuality. Lastly, Taylor Swift because she was the first CD I bought and her growth in the music industry and ability to create and captivate for so long is inspiring for me.
Q: Out of all the other social media platforms and music based apps, what made you stick with creating consistently on Smule?
A: Easily, the first thing that comes to mind is the community that Smule has and how far it spreads. Smule somehow bridges the barrier that countries have on other platforms and brings the world together through music, and I find that beautiful! I have made lifelong friends from Europe, Asia, Australia, North America… as I type, I believe every continent excluding Antarctica, of course. I think that is extremely special to be able to have so many users from all of over of course, but then being able to connect them all and make their voices feel heard!
Q: As a Philly native, how does this contribute to your career? Does being a Philly girl play a special role in the songs you write?
A: My hometown is actually a really small town in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Which is the heart of Amish Country, so if you are ever looking for the best desserts – you know who to call! I absolutely believe the area I was raised in, the Philadelphia area, helps contribute to my career. The people in this area are extremely talented, uplifting, and encouraging. I have been and lived in other cities where the vibe just wasn’t the same, and I could not find my value or place, but there is something about being in this area that just feels right. I am so lucky to be here! Being a Philly girl does play a special role in the songs I write, and more specifically the sound I am aspiring for. Specifically, “I hate myself.” has a dark pop vibe with a little bit of an R&B sound. This has just the right amount of east coast sass that I am going for!
Q: Over 300,000 supporters is major! Did you see any of this coming at all?
A: Honestly, not at all. I mean, I know my goal is to make a positive impact on whatever community I am at or whatever room I am in, but never did I think so many people would respond to what I am doing with music. My supporters are the BEST people, I get messages on the daily from them that inspire me and push me to be the best I can. I am also so impressed with how many of them have stuck around for 5+ years! They have watched me blossom into the woman that I am, and contributed to that journey in their own special way. I cannot wait for them to see what is next!
Q: Sometimes artists prep themselves when they’re about to give their all in a performance. Some actors and actresses do different things, rappers too, but are there any rituals that you do before executing any of your art?
A: I love seeing fellow creatives and their rituals to help them get in the right headspace. I find it to be really important, and I respect it because it shows how much they care. For me, before I do anything creative, I like to be alone. My time by myself is very special. No distractions, no chaos, just me and my mind focusing on the importance of what I am about to do and the reminder to myself why I am doing it all. Getting this time also helps me be grateful and appreciative that I have the ability to do what I am passionate about as a career, and even if I am having a “down” or “off” day, I have the potential to impact someone else’s day for the better!
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with in 2022?
A: I am always open to collaborations, especially with other artists that have a similar outlook and perspective on music and the industry like myself! Specifically I think it would be awesome to collaborate with an artist like AVIV, FLETCHER, and a dream collab would be Post Malone. But if someone knows me well, they know I love to harmonize – so no one should ever be scared to reach out with a track idea to me!
Q: Let’s talk more about “I Hate Myself” so it’s more so a dark, pop track that really has a catchy vibe to it, what line stood out to you the most while writing it that made you say “Yes! This is different.”
A: Yes! I really love this song, it’s something different for me. A new sound, a new storyline, a new me. Specifically, I love the line, “I hate myself for loving loving everything about you”. Something about the juxtaposition between hate and love and all of those new emotions that other people are able to invoke out of you can make you feel like you are at war with yourself.
Q: Sometimes it can be pretty hard piecing things together when writing or creating art that you want to see succeed. What was the process like when writing this hit?
A: Oddly enough, I wrote the chorus to this song in my sleep! I remember waking up, eyes groggy, grabbing my phone and opening the voice notes to record the chorus, and of course – I went back to sleep. When I woke up again I was like, “did I write a song?” and I listened back and knew I had something good started. The challenging part was, I did not have a clear vision as to what sort of direction I wanted the song to go, as it could have been 80s dance pop, top 40 pop, the opportunities were endless. That’s where my talented producer, Eric Ferraro, came into play. He took my idea and created a phenomenal track that inspired me to have more of a vision and emotions tied to the song. I think that’s the mark of an amazing producer! Eric and I set up a few writing sessions to work on the song and make sure every emotion, story, and sound I wanted to convey with it came across, and I feel it did!
Q: Was all of the inspiration from “I Hate Myself” based on personal experiences or did it incorporate experiences of those around you too?
A: The inspiration definitely had some personal ties to it, that was the foundation for my storytelling, but a lot of it I took this idea of wanting something you can’t have, that you shouldn’t have, and I placed myself in the mindset while writing. This helped me create a more in depth feeling, building on my personal foundation of lustful desires. Something that made me feel wonderful was on release day having fans reach out and telling me that they could really relate to the song. When asking them, “how so?” people gave me all sorts of different answers, and I found that lovely. It reminded me that music is beautiful, that people from all different walks of life can interpret and find something meaningful to hopefully better understand themselves or their situations in life better. I feel honored that I get to contribute to it in one way or another.
Be sure to stay up to date on all things Mariah Belgrod via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, be sure to stream her music below! Do not forget to stream her music on Smule and the other music platforms below.