Marius Bear rumbled on the stage of our SU bar last week and captivated his audience. This Swiss musician has been writing and performing in London but has been touring with Coffeehouse Sessions. Last week on 21 November he performed at our SU bar and Ali Townsend interviewed him to get to the heart of his story and his music, so press play and fall into his incredible voice and songs.
Marius Bear is a musician from the Swiss mountains. His robust voice and his guitar have been duetting at over twenty festivals, alongside multiple concerts. With such a loud roar, he has found himself management in both Switzerland and London and has been touring with Coffee House Sessions around the UK’s universities. He has been playing around twenty gigs in two weeks and last week he was found performing for us at Bath Spa University’s student union.
Whilst talking to Marius, it was evident that he finds inspiration at his home in Switzerland. He was keen to show me a video of his girlfriend hiking up the mountains, pointing to the alpine landscapes and grinning with pride. It is in these atmospheric summits that Marius is most vulnerable and raw. He nourishes himself there, being “inspired by the mountains where I can focus on my breathing” and re-energise his music. The songs he writes are also inspired by other vulnerable artists who sing with raw passion; musicians like Adele and Post Malone.
The main image of Marius is his likening to the bear. He explains that this is because he’s “soft, but with a wild and dangerous side”. His honey-coated voice is rugged, but drips with an emotional intimacy. When on stage, the grizzly bear that I was introduced to softened. Performing with just his guitar, he seemed to be lost in the ambience of the mountains. I initially asked Marius if he was ever nervous to play his music to an audience, but he explained that he’s fearless. He carried with him the strength of the Swiss Alps.
Although he insisted that his profession as a Swiss Army officer had no influence on his music, it certainly helped build his strength. He mentioned that it changed who he was as a person, bragging, “I can cope with five hours of sleep. Being a Swiss Army officer has helped me to get up early in the morning and get on with my day.” In other words, it’s made him strict with himself, only benefitting his productivity. It’s controlled his personal life, but has not tamed his musical passions.
It was as a Swiss Army officer that Marius decided to pursue a career in music. Whilst he was roaring out his orders, a fellow officer said “he should try singing instead of shouting commands”. He laughed as he shared this story, but it’s not hard to believe when you hear the strength behind his vocals. The Swiss Army provoked the talent inside of the beast.
Marius Bear spent eight months busking around Europe. In the domains of Switzerland, he claims to have found his independence: “I learned my own way. It was a journey of ups and downs that I needed to have.” He hiked his experiences with him to the UK, completing a BIMM (British & Irish Modern Music Institute) course and settling his music path in London. It’s no surprise that, in contrast to Switzerland, he finds London “a little depressing, which is not helped by the British weather”. The Bear is held captive in the urban environment, but thrives in his native home.
The future is promising for Marius Bear. His new song will be released at the beginning of January 2020. The “upbeat ballad” will continue his animal roar, capturing the power of the Swiss mountains. There is much to expect from this wild artist.
Words by Ali Townsend
Featured Image: MARIUS BEAR Portrait by © Rob Lewis Photography, 2018