If you have taken the time to watch Devin Di Dakta’s new song Abort, then you should already be familiar with the acting and musical talents of Marci-Lee Smith. The multi-talented Jamaican is hoping to make waves through her passion and I had the opportunity to speak with her briefly about the woman behind the art, her goals, her struggles, and her inspirations.

Marci-Lee Smith
Marci-Lee Smith

Smith, also known as Marcilli, always knew from an early age that she was born to be a creative. The singer/songwriter/actress has a myriad of skills in her repertoire and says she cannot remember a time in her life when she wasn’t dreaming of being an artist.

“Music has been my first love and I’ve stuck with it from kindergarten. I wrote my first song in kindergarten and then in high school I went to drama club and that’s where I developed my love for acting,” Marcilli said. “My drama teacher asked me to go on stage, and I went there. I saw the audience chairs and I was just envisioning a real audience giving me a standing ovation and that’s when I felt that I want to do this forever. I want to be a performer.”

Now years later, Marcilli is doing what she loves and is hoping to make her talents her main source of income. She describes herself as a person of drive and determination and said her aim in life is to become her own woman – independent.

“Marci-Lee is a creative who has the determination to change her dreams into reality and hopes of inspiring others to do the same,” she said. “My end goal is to be happy. My end goal is to be my own CEO – my own boss. Doing what I love and getting paid for doing what I love. Being able to provide for my family by doing what I love and not having to worry about finding another way to survive.”

But despite her love for her craft, she admits that it has not been an easy road. Currently, Marcilli has released two songs Tonight and Mary-Jane, and hopes to – by the end of the year – release an EP of five songs. In fact, her song Mary-Jane even got radio air time in Chile.

With music as her self-professed first love, she has found challenges in the music as she explains that as a female artiste, there have been male colleagues who have tried to sexualize her. Added to that she says, is that she has had doors closed in her face because of her sexuality.

“I find in the music industry, males often like to sexualize their female artistes – they want something else other than the music,” she explained. “Another downside is that I am queer, and a lot of people don’t agree with my sexuality so there was one time where I had to downplay my sexuality to be able to record with them, but I’ve cut off that because if I can’t be myself then it’s not my art because my art represents myself.”

Regardless of the obstacles, Marcilli has not been deterred from her goal, and draws inspiration from her life experiences as well as the Korean rapper/producer BTS Suga who she says – like herself – had made several sacrifices in life to pursue their passion.

“Life inspires me. My family and what I went through in my personal life inspires. Seeing where I’ve been and where I need to be, inspires me,” Marcilli said. “An artiste that I would say that inspires me would be BTS Suga. I look up to him because he didn’t have that support when he just started and he had to build himself from a little community to where he is right now – #1 Billboard singer.”

So what is next for Marcilli? Well, you can find out by following her on Instagram @olfki.

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