Filipina-Australian singer Maribelle is taking the pop world by storm. She caught up with Jesse Jones to talk music and coming out as bisexual in her new single.
Triple threat singer-songwriter-producer Maribelle’s new track “I’m a Mess Without You” is a raw, honest exploration of her first relationship with another woman—and she wrote it in just an hour.
“Thankfully a few months before that, I’d already come out to my family, so it wasn’t like I was coming to everybody,” she says.
“The people I know really well already knew, so it wasn’t too scary for me putting it out there.
“It didn’t feel like coming out at the time. I kind of said it, but then everyone started asking me questions, and it was like… I thought everybody knew that!”
Maribelle was lucky to find acceptance with her family when she came out.
“It has actually been easy for me,” she admits.
“My girlfriend had a pretty tough time coming out. But for me, I think my parents already kind of saw it and accepted it internally.
“By the time I did have the courage to come out to them, they were like: yeah, we know, it’s pretty obvious!”
As a singer, Maribelle’s versatile sound is influenced by greats such as Prince and Janet Jackson.
“I love them,” she says.
“I’m also very inspired by ’90s pop music like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, and NSYNC.
“I’ve always had a special place in my heart for very poppy music.”
Maribelle shot to fame with her 2016 debut EP Overtake, featuring the catchy ’90s-infused pop-soul track “Shout”.
“I think my favourite song to perform right now is ‘Shout’. Probably because it’s the one that just has so much energy,” she says.
“Most people know that one, so it’s fun to see a crowd interact with that song the most.”
Aged just 23, Maribelle has plenty of accomplishments under her belt already.
Earlier this year she was signed to Falcona, joining the likes of Alison Wonderland, Miami Horror, and Hot Dub Time Machine, and she runs her own label, Crush Club Records.
“We’ve just released something from an artist named Deer recently, and we’re hoping to release something very soon from another Melbourne-based girl named Mimi,” she says.
Despite all of her achievements, Maribelle thinks she could be doing more in the music industry that she loves.
“I never feel like I’m doing enough, but then I look back and I’m like, oh man, what am I doing at my age?” she says.
“But it doesn’t feel like work to me, so that’s good.”
Maribelle laughs at the question of whether she’s always been an overachiever, saying she “definitely didn’t try hard enough” in school.
“Maybe this is my way of making up for that,” she suggests.
When she’s not working on her own music, Maribelle is writing and producing for other artists.
“I do that quite a lot—that’s pretty much all I do,” she says
“Everything I do is music.”
After her own very public coming out through her music, Maribelle encourages other young LGBTI people to embrace their identities and be proud.
“I just want to say you’re not alone,” she says.
“You can be yourself, and don’t worry what everybody else thinks, or how hard it would be to come out.
“Just be yourself, don’t be afraid, and be proud of yourself.”