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October 26, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
WOW MAGAZINE | 5
The first thing Marie Cartar asks as we sit
down to coffee is my zodiac sign. When I tell
her I'm Aquarius, she squeals in delight. She's a
Libra, and apparently we're extremely compat-
ible. I've read that that is so, and the fact that I
was fathered by one and produced two chil-
dren with another seems to bear this out. So,
having accepted each other's astrological bona
fides, we get down to some serious chatting,
and the experience is like sitting in a sunny
garden, being bombarded by bubbles and but-
terflies. Because Marie Cartar is one of the
most exuberant women I have ever met.
For a child of the 90s, she has surprising disdain
for the music of her generation; instead, she
cites idols like Karen Carpenter ("her tone is one
of a kind"); ABBA; Barbara Streisand; Shirley
Bassey; and Tina Turner. "I love singers with atti-
She's at the frontline of the band The Cartars,
which comprises herself and her siblings, "dis-
gustingly talented" Dax, and Philip. Though
they've only been doing formal gigs as a band
since 2012, she says she and her brothers
have always sung at church events and charity
dos. Their father, well-known PR executive and
writer, Lloyd Cartar, had a great love for music,
and insisted that they all be classically trained.
And though she does play the flute and "dab-
bles in piano and guitar", her favourite instru-
ment is still her voice.
As I listen to her talk, I think, how easy it would
be to dismiss her for being young and pretty,
as my generation might be wont to do---she
hasn't lived through what we have, what
would she know? But instead, I was sucked in,
mesmerised by her forthrightness and her in-
ON HER FAMILY LEGACY,
AND BEING "DAUGHTER OF LLOYD"
"With Daddy, it was either yes or no. People
either loved him or hated him. He's an Aries
--- he would tell you like it is! People didn't
know that sometimes he would write on
other people's behalf and take the bullet...but
only if he agreed. I loved him; because of him,
I'm having trouble finding someone I like. He
was the ultimate man."
ON MUSICAL GENRES
"Every genre has good music...but I couldn't lis-
ten to the same thing constantly. And if you
like good music, we'll get along."
ON SHOWING PASSION ON STAGE
"It's easy to sing a song on stage and not give
passion. But to sing AND give passion, is not
easy. Your voice goes all over the place. It's
like trying to catch a fish out of water. Have
you ever told someone "I love you" with a
calm voice? No! A singer should be an actress
of song. You have to give people goose
bumps. You have to make them cry. And
don't avoid a song that will make you cry.
Sing it. You need to let the audience know
you're going through it, too. I'm not ashamed
to cry onstage."
ON GRABBING THE
ATTENTION OF THE AUDIENCE
"I started singing in casinos in 2007. When you
can grab the attention of people who didn't
come to see you --- they came to make money---
you're good. I found that what got them was
singing songs in another language, like songs
from Selena."(Funny enough, although she
doesn't speak any foreign language fluently, she
can recite the rosary in French. Religion is very
important to Cartar, a practice handed down
from her family.) "If my mother hadn't mar-
ried, she'd have become a nun."
ON TAKING HER STUDIES SERIOUSLY
"CXC started on the day of my father's fu-
neral. I couldn't have cared less. Then I had a
dream of my father standing outside my
door, pointing at a book...."
ON HER FANS
"Guys in Trinidad are extremely picky; I'm al-
ways surprised when a guy likes me. But
women, who are the hardest markers, love
me! I'm like...REALLY?"
"I hate seeing celebrities who are blasé
when they meet their fans. When people
come to you and say, 'I love your stuff!' and
they say, 'Oh, yeah, okay.'"
"If you aren't God-centred, you will keep
running round and round, searching for any-
thing or anyone to fill that void."
ON FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
"Men keep telling you they want an inde-
pendent woman, but they can't handle it.
The moment you reach for the dinner
cheque, they want to know how much you
make. They want you to stay home and
make the child. I want my financial inde-
pendence. My career is my goal."
ON BEING POSITIVE IN
THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS
"It's not people's business to know that
you're going through stuff. You don't have to
tell everybody you're vexed with the world.
You have to make yourself happy. Life is too
short to have hate." As if to test her words,
within days of this interview, Cartar came
down with chikungunya...but mounted a
stage, a day before her birthday, to perform.
"I had to make myself happy!"
ON HER CHEERY DISPOSITION
"I'm like this because I was a birthday gift; I
was conceived on my mother's birthday!
Seriously, how you were raised says a lot
about you. I've had a very happy childhood."
Photography by Elise Romany Photography
Makeup by Orissa Mohammed
Jewellery by Dreamstones Jewellery
By Roslyn Carrington
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