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Over the last five years or so, locals and out of towners alike have come to know ___ as Dj King Marie. After ditching a singing career years ago her profile grew exponentially focused on curation. While many have gotten to understand her as a DJ, she dropped the prefix and return to her roots. The result is the soul-searching and upbeat five song offering, The Prelude.

Marie has long been a critical member of the local creative scene and a fixture handling the music at parties, galleries, concerts and much more. The Prelude was but one part of a larger creative push by the ___ native. Using the inaugural Complexcon in Chicago as a jumping off point, she smartly expanded the reach of her personal brand with the development of a clothing line, Kingdom with a full booth to match. On Friday, she took a break from welcoming friends and colleagues to take the stage in front of her spot, combining her talents by DJ’ing, singing and dancing with the choreography of her backup dancers. While she admitted to being rightfully winded by the fully-immersive experience, it was necessary to a degree: the performance solidified an idea she’d had for months and served as a transitional experience for fans new and old.

That experience was readily reflective of the project it represented. The Prelude opens on the declarative single, “I Decided” which serves as an anthem to striking out on one’s own without fear of failure or disappointment. As she sings in the hook, “The next move that you make, what’s the risk you’re gonna take? The answer is up to you/If you fall where you stand just get up and try again/That’s when you will find the truth.” The sentiment is aspirational without pandering, deep in messaging while staying light and danceable. It’s approachable without sacrificing ina way that much of the dance/pop world seems to steer away from, in turn making The Prelude a super refreshing release that hit perfectly at the midpoint of the summer.

At just six songs, King Marie is certainly leaving us wanting more. She reflected on as much at her recent headlining set at Schuba’s on August 28 as she teased upcoming music, one a duet she performed alongside Xone White. For now though, we have The Prelude, a well-titled project that sets the tone for what’s to come from King Marie.

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