Martinsburg teen signs music management deal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — For Marah Francis, music was a lifelong love affair in which she explored life’s many milestones and reconciled her experiences through writing music.

Now, the Martinsburg teen is celebrating signing with a Washington D.C.- based management agency by releasing her first single and filming the corresponding music video in the historic Apollo Civic Theater.

“I started music at a really, really young age. Every single school I have been to, I have been a part of their music programs,” Francis said. “My father had a really big influence on me, because he was always the worship leader at our church, and it was always his goal to see me up there with him, and eventually, I was able to. During middle school, he taught me how to play guitar, and from there, I started writing my own songs.”

Inspired by the personal writing style of Taylor Swift, listening and growing along with her favorite singer, Francis said she found her biggest goal in creating music was to be as personal and honest as possible in hopes of encouraging those who listen to connect with her sound and overall message.

Having pursued music throughout her life, Francis said it was a dream come true when she was able to sign her first music management deal with Barry Darden, CEO of Washington D. C.-based agency Magnum Music, LLC.

“It was blessing to find her. God dropped an angel in my lap,” Darden said. “When I met this young lady, her voice was incredible… to be 19 and sound like a grown woman, it’s incredible. And when we got together, it was like magic. I’m so blessed to work with her and her family, who are the best supporting cast of any artist I’ve seen. She’s so talented, and really, the sky is the limit.”

In her debut single, “Abracadabra,” Francis said she set out to relate to her audience through shared experiences, touching on the themes of young love and connection, and was excited to see how those who knew her personally and those who may have never heard of her before her song reacted to the story she shared in her lyrics.

“Writing ‘Abracadabra’ was interesting, because it was the first song I had written to a track,” Francis said. “It was really different for me and my style, but I took it as challenge, and I took it as an opportunity to generalize experiences I have had that many others have, and I plan to delve into those experiences more as my career continues.”

Francis said while she is currently working on completing the fifth and final song of her EP, with a release date yet to be determined, she is excited to film her debut music video in her hometown today at the Apollo Civic Theater, sharing a piece of where her journey in the music industry has started with those who interact with her music.

“Being able to film my first music video here in town at the Apollo shows me how everything has come full circle,” Francis said. “Being in this town is what inspired me to write music. There are so many things I am excited about letting people in Martinsburg hear later on. Making this my writing playground to be able to release songs later that people will know all about, because they know me personally is so special. Here in Martinsburg, everyone knows each other, and we grew up together, so being able to share this amazing project with people is amazing.”