Monday, November 1, 2021



The Enimatik community is growing little by little, and this time you are going to meet a very special woman. She has created AfterDark, an electronic musical project with a story that you will surely love...

Many of you already know that I feel fortunate to have been able to enjoy the 80s and 90s musically, and have a wide variety of musical influences. I tell this because when AfterDark sent me the interview to write it in the post, I felt an instant connection with her, and with her experiences.

Who is AfterDark?

Marie is a singer and songwriter from Kent, UK. and her story has many similarities to mine, from the musical influences, to the journey taken to get out of the darkness...

I got to know AfterDark through twitter, I can't remember in which specific tweet I saw a reference to her music a couple of months ago. I entered her profile and saw a dark aesthetic lady, enigmatic and beautiful. Then I heard her song "What do you know about love" and, wow, I fell in love with what I felt. Have you ever had the feeling when listening to a song of going back in time and reliving a past experience?

Shortly after we followed each other on Twitter, I added two of her songs to my first playlist, to which she kindly agreed, in addition to granting me this interview for the web. I am very grateful for her kindness and humility, and also for allowing us all to know a little more about her.

And as is tradition, who better to talk about AfterDark than AfterDark right?

The Afterdark story

"Firstly, thank you so much for asking me to be involved in the Enimatik Community.

My project AfterDark came about just over 7 years ago and to be honest it was totally unintentional. I wanted to record just one dance track and I didn’t want to let that pass me by.

I’ve been a huge music lover for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a house where my dad always played Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and other such artists. I loved everything to do with music and absorbed as much radio and music related TV as I could.

In November 1981 I saw Depeche Mode in concert. I was really young at the time and the atmosphere of this heady experience paved the way to synth based electronic music becoming one of my biggest passions. Growing up with my fashion sense bordering on gothic I listened to everything from Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Bronski Beat, Madonna, The Cure and The Smiths. My music tastes also embraced female fronted rock bands such as Heart and Vixen. Chart music in the 80’s was so diverse and there were influences everywhere. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I’d love to re-live that era.

For years I trained as a dancer and this allowed me to process music in a totally different way. By the time the 90’s arrived I found myself more and more drawn into clubbing and the dance and trance scene. It was only natural that at some point in the future I would take elements of all the genres I loved to write my own music.

1996/7 were quite dark times for me, I battled with depression and went to some places that I never want to go to again. Music was a constant companion. It made me realise there is so much more to life than what we can see with our eyes. I realise now that these experiences opened me up. Becoming a lyricist years later I’ve often pulled on these experiences when I’ve written songs.

Music has the power to allow people to channel whatever they feel whether that be by composing, writing lyrics or just listening.

Early in 2000 I contacted a vocal coach with the intention of learning to sing correctly. The first session was an eye opener. I realised quickly that singing in tune is a great start but if you don’t have a natural ability with techniques and resonance hard work is the only thing that’s going to pay off. I still work with the same vocal coach today and I still don’t get things right! For vocalists who record their tracks in one take. I absolutely salute you!

At that same time in 2000 I started a new job working with an audio publisher focussing on self-help recordings. Part of my work was to quality control the recordings straight from the studio for anything that was out of place. I had only ever listened to songs and recordings as a ‘whole’ before but I quickly gained the ability to be able to strip down and isolate certain sounds, vocals, instruments and levels and immediately hear if anything was out of place. I didn’t at that time realise how this would go on to help me in the future.

In 2006 I bought a Depeche Mode cover versions album ‘Bright Lights Dark Room’. One of many tracks that stood out was a dance version of Ice Machine by a band called Alien 6. The cover had catchy synth lines and amazing female vocals. I played it repeatedly. Inspired by this track I vowed that one day I would create my own dance version of a Depeche mode song but that reality didn’t come to fruition for another 6 years. Little did I know at this point that fast forward to 2020 I would find myself in a band (Agency-V) with Peter Steer who was the synth genius behind the Alien 6 production of Ice Machine. That was one spooky coincidence.

I don’t know exactly what triggered it but in May 2014 I woke up and just knew I wanted to get into the studio and record my one track. I called a friend Steve who I’d come to know through work. (Steve is a talented DJ and has been involved in the music business for a long time now). We went into his studio and put together a cover version of Depeche Mode’s ‘Puppets’. I soon realised I would need an artist name to put the track out on Utube. The only name that meant anything to me was ‘AfterDark’ purely for the reason that having experienced such dark times I was starting to see the light. The name was symbolic for me.

I was going to stop there but Steve encouraged me to carry on with music so from that point onwards AfterDark became more than just the one track I’d intended it to be.

Through networking I’ve been incredibly lucky. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many seriously talented producers. I’m so grateful to each one of them. I’ve learnt so much along the way and have a serious respect for the knowledge that music producers need to create a great track. There’s so much to know, it blows my brains. I’ve crossed over into the co-producing zone many times and I do love that. As a vocalist it really helps me to understand what goes on to get the polished end result.

I’ve never been musically trained so when I write lyrics I rely on the feeling and atmosphere of the song. When I listen for the first time if something connects with me musically the lyrics and melody just flow instantly. It isn’t unusual for me to get a whole song written, recorded and back to the producer in a few hours. It’s great when that happens. I go into a zone and just get on with it.

I find that one of the biggest blessings of being a songwriter is that writing lyrics is like having a deep conversation with a best friend, it’s so much more than just writing words on paper. You can express so much in this way and by singing your own words in a way that fits the feeling of the music just deepens everything.

I’ve written more songs than I can count over the years as solo project AfterDark and as part of other projects I’ve been involved in. Many of these tracks have been played on rotation on radio stations worldwide achieving chart placings on many occasions. That’s always such a buzz seeing the track you’ve written appear on a radio chart!

I have a huge love and respect for the radio stations and their DJ’s, and the same with podcasters and all those that listen to the music and take the time to genuinely connect because they have a great understanding of what it means to be an artist. I’d love to mention them all but there are so many. They provide the best form of support ever and I will always be so grateful.

Most recent projects over the last year

Over lockdown I was involved with creating the project Agency -V and wrote the lyrics and sang vocals on the EP No ‘Divide’. November 2020 saw the release of ‘No Divide – The Remixes’. We received some amazing interpretations of the songs. Amongst these a remix of our track ‘Some Kind of Game’ by Andy Gray. Andy wrote the theme tune to Channel 4’s Big Brother along with Paul Oakenfold so having him involved in the project was an honour. I remember the first time I heard it. The darkness of Andy’s remix stopped me in my tracks!

January 2021 saw the release of ‘AfterDark – Alone the Remixes’. This was born from the original track ‘Alone’ that I wrote with with Skyler D White in 2019. It took some time to complete but we were delighted with the results when all the remixes came in.

After hearing the Alone remix by Missing In STARS I was inspired to create a video and began getting heavily into the video production process. Creating videos is fast becoming a new passion. I love the artistry and creativity you can throw into making videos. The possibilities are just endless!

In March 2021 Steve and I got chatting again - we’d previously worked together in 2018 on a dance track ‘Gravity’ which had been very well received but I wanted to make a departure from the dance genre to put together a dark electronic cover of DE/Visions track ‘Dress Me When I Bleed’. I’ve always loved this song and wanted to cover it so just had to be done. We were both very into the vibe of this track and turned the production around in 48 hours.

August 2021 saw the release of ‘What Do You Know About Love’ a dark progressive dance track. Three versions of this were released a Radio Edit, Extended mix and an Ambient mix which I can only explain as a dark, emotional, melancholic journey. Putting the video together for the radio edit was intense with hours of editing but all in all it was a great experience.


With regards to what’s ahead!!

I’ve been asked to collaborate on a new compilation album. I’ve written and recorded the vocals and the album is currently in production but that’s as much as I’m allowed to say!

I am also very pleased to say that I also have a BRAND NEW project on the horizon.

‘Numana State’ is a new electronic band with a dark progressive edge. After years of working together on and off Steven Botting (who I’ve mentioned above) and I felt it made sense to create this project as vocalist songwriter and producer. Steve has a history of producing electronic music. His club/dance project from the late 90’s had success with high profile DJ’s including Sasha. He currently produces electronic scores and cues for TV and film.

We are looking forward to pulling together the elements and ideas of what we both love to create new electronic music and will be unveiling this brand new project sometime in the near future.

I look forward to sharing more music with you soon.

Marie X"

What does AfterDark mean to Enimatik?

AfterDark has made me travel to my past, to my youth experiences, when electronic music had another meaning for me. There are real feelings and understanding of the genre and the atmosphere...

AfterDark's name itself is very significant, the personal story behind it, and with which I feel so identified, could not have been chosen more wisely by Marie. Feeling that behind a musical project there is not just a product, but the reflection of some feelings and experiences, for me it has a lot of value.

I think AfterDark music is classy, ​​cool, and her aesthetics adorably dark. I would like to emphasize, for those younger, that trance is a musical style that began 30 years ago and is still very much alive. I love those synth sounds, those hard-hitting beats, Marie's sweet voice...

For me it has been a very nice experience to be able to bring everyone closer to AfterDark, and I want to thank Marie her always friendly disposition. I think she is a woman who has been able to maintain the illusion for music over time, who has not stopped learning, who really loves what she does.

Please follow and support this great artist, her talent deserves all our recognition:

Spotify: AfterDark

You tube:

Twitter: @afterdark840

Instagram: @afterdark840