Spotlight On... Maranta

This Valentine's Day we turn the spotlight on Edinburgh synth-pop duo Maranta as they address rape culture and misogyny on latest single My Man

Video by Tallah Brash | 14 Feb 2022

Edinburgh duo Maranta are Gloria Black and Callum Govan. They've been making music together and making people dance since 2018 and continue to be a firm favourite in The Skinny office. On Friday we announced that they'll be returning to the Kelburn Garden Party festival this year as part of The Skinny's Pyramid Stage curation, and today they're celebrating Valentine's Day with brand new single My Man (watch the video in the above YouTube player or click here if it's not loading properly).

In light of all this, we shine a spotlight on the pair to find out a bit more about them and their hard-hitting new single. 

The Skinny: We’ll start this one nice and lightly: how did you two meet and how long have you been making music together as Maranta?
We met at our friend Iona’s 18th birthday party, and although we did go to the same primary school a year apart, Callum didn’t recognise me! We stayed friends from this point on and when Callum got his first ever support slot for a show at Sneaky Petes, he asked me to perform with him. We had around three weeks before the show to develop a set. We had been talking about performing together for a while at this point, seeing bands and sharing our favourite tunes, so we knew we’d have a similar vision of what we wanted to do together. 

We’ve featured a new track from you every year at The Skinny since 2019, so it seems fitting that we’re here again in 2022 with another Maranta banger. Tell us about the new single and music video?
We do love your reviews! My Man is a political song, meant to challenge people and their comforts. It’s a poem that Gloria wrote to tackle her upset and anger towards rape culture and misogyny. The video is from the perspective of a cis female victim who is angry, and knows that the fight is not theirs alone. She is walking home at night and she is vulnerable. Callum plays the part of a young man who is trying to educate himself, and by the end of the video you see him as a symbol of hope, implementing positive change.

Image: Maranta by Sophie Dunn taken from the My Man music video

I’m always so intrigued by artists who tackle serious topics like sexual assault in their music, especially in the glossy upbeat manner of My Man. Why was it so important for you to tackle this issue, particularly in this way, and then releasing it on Valentine's Day?
We wanted to make My Man a catchy, playful tune as an ironic twist on the topic. It is full of anger, so what better way to get people to enjoy and listen than making it a poppy tune, and THEN the lyrics sink in.

Releasing My Man on Valentine's Day is an ironic statement. We are trying to highlight the fact that better systems need to be put in place and old systems need to go. While one person may be walking home trying to feel strong and capable and not feeling like a vulnerable victim, the other person is defining their role in society and beginning to understand that their position is one that could be responsible for supporting real change. It’s time to educate, and put an end to toxic behaviour. 

I imagine it’s been quite a cathartic experience for you both. What plans do you have for your music going forward? Do you think you’ll continue to use it as a platform to tackle bigger issues?
It felt empowering! As long as insidious behaviour prevails and people don’t feel safe then we’ll have topics to write about; we tried to talk about the issue of capitalism in our last single Stop Pretending. It’s a joke that the topics covered in My Man are still an issue in society. We need institutional and cultural reform. We need to educate! Also I guess it’s nice to write songs that aren't about love. 

As it is Valentine’s Day, what message do you have for our readers?
Tell your friends and family you love them. Call people out for inappropriate behaviour. Be part of the change. As a society we have come a long way, but there is a hell of a long way to go.

Image: Maranta by Sophie Dunn taken from the My Man music video

My Man is out now via Lost Map Records with all of the Bandcamp sales on Mon 14 Feb going to Rape Crisis Scotland