Interview with Marsha (from Castles in the sky)

At last, December 2001 marks the release of our first interview on dancevibes.be and we promise it’ll not be the last πŸ™‚ So please let us know who you’d want us to interview and send us your spicy questions!

Our first interview is with Marsha aka Martine Theeuwen who is the original singer and songwriter of the massive hit Castles in the sky by Ian Van Dahl (feat. Marsha) !

In this interview we’ll discuss the past, present and future of Marsha. You may want to read our Marsha page too, if you haven’t done so already.

Please note that the opinions on this page may not necessarily be dancevibes.be opinions. We’re an outside party who does not want to play a judge.

How did you come up with the lyrics of “Castles in the sky” ?

This is probably the most frequently asked question when it comes to Castles.
The demo that I got of Castles in the sky from the producer Erik Vanspauwen was merely a loop of the rough-cut theme. I listened to this loop for days and days, over and over again. (Much to the annoyance of those around me, they told me to wear headphones eventually.) The inspiration comes from the feelings, emphasized by the song by continuously listening to it. The lyrics and vocal melody that I wrote reflect these emotions. I always feel that the lyrics are already somehow within the music.

Marsha, Brenda and me (and dancevibes.be :-))

Marsha, Brenda and me (and dancevibes.be :-))

I really think it’s better not to explain my personal interpretation of the lyrics. It’s not meant to be interpreted in my personal way only. The interpretation of any song depends a lot on the situation, environment, the state your are in. For me the emphasis, unfortunately shifted from the verse to the chorus of the lyrics. But there isn’t a strict interpretation for my lyrics: whatever way anyone relates to my lyrics, is the right way, or better said “a” right way. That’s the beauty of writing lyrics; it’s a way of connecting to people, communicating.

How do you feel about the lyrics that you wrote after September 11th?

What the world witnessed on September 11th is far beyond words. As far as my lyrics are concerned, people discussed this with me by mail and on forums too. In my opinion, on September 11th the entire world has changed and everything changed with it. So of course, for a lot of people, the meaning of the lyrics will have changed color too, especially for those being closer to the tragedy. For quite a few people the interpretation of “Castles in the sky” changed to a more literal interpretation. (oh tell me why, why do we build castles in the sky)
I’ve found out that a lot of people found comfort in my lyrics, both before and after September 11th. But I really hope that Castles in the sky won’t remind them of the tragedy every time they hear it.

How do you feel about the fact that you’re not doing the performances all over the world?

For me, the most beautiful reward I can receive for what I do, is the appreciation of the audience and making so many people happy. This is taken away from me by replacing me for the performances, and this has put me through some really tough times.

The girl (Annemie Coenen) that they have fronting for Ian Van Dahl now is the second replacement, there’s been another one (Cindy Mertens), but she appeared to be completely goofing when it came to performances. That’s what makes it even more difficult to understand. They made the choice of replacing me twice!

Ian Van Dahl - Castles in the sky Australian maxi cd

Ian Van Dahl – Castles in the sky Australian maxi cd.

Ian Van Dahl - Castles in the sky Australian maxi cd: Annemie Coenen on the cover

Ian Van Dahl – Castles in the sky Australian maxi cd: Annemie Coenen on the cover.

Ian Van Dahl - Castles in the sky Australian maxi cd: Vocals by Marsha

Ian Van Dahl – Castles in the sky Australian maxi cd: Vocals by Marsha.

Ian Van Dahl - Castles in the sky Australian maxi cd: Videclip with Cindy Mertens

Ian Van Dahl – Castles in the sky Australian maxi cd: Videclip with Cindy Mertens

I think with this act, the record company doesn’t only show disrespect for the singer, but for the audience as well. I don’t know if everyone shares my opinion, but if I witness a performance, I expect the “singer” to be the person who’s behind the vocal in the song. As a spectator I’d even feel deceived if the performing person actually hasn’t got anything to do with the song and is just lip-synching the whole song.

Marsha aka Martine Theeuwen

Marsha aka Martine Theeuwen

What do you think of the video-clip ?

Well, it’s a cool video, with a lot of really nice effects and all that. Nevertheless, some people in this video don’t really belong there. (Cindy Mertens is in this video-clip (lipsynching Castles); on this video-interview she was even introduced as Marsha !!)

If you were really asking me whether or not the video suits my lyrics, I would have to say that although it’s a really nice video, it doesn’t really represent anything related to the lyrics. If you wouldn’t hear the vocals and the music, you wouldn’t be able to make out what this song is about. So in that respect, I would have to say that this video isn’t exactly what it’s supposed to be.

Is the whole story about Castles in the sky going to be spread all over the media ?

As far as I know, there’s not going to be a media circus. When I started to strive for my career in music I set my goal: to have a successful career as a singer/songwriter, that is reaching as many people as possible andΒ… I don’t knowΒ… just try to make a difference, I guess. I don’t think that putting up a huge media circus about these “scandals in the sky” would give me back what was and is being taken from me. Therefore, I’m not going to exchange my original goal for a lost cause.

Castles in the Sky was the beginning of a new phase in my career. My new songs, Distant Places and Moments, have started another one. Except for the production itself of Castles in the Sky, all actions and speeches of those involved in the current representation, have really damaged my career and suppressed my progress. Although they did there very best to disconnect me from Castles, someone told me that somehow, I would always be within my lyrics.

Ian Van Dahl - Castles in the sky vinyl

Ian Van Dahl – Castles in the sky vinyl. Marsha got this one as a birthday present from a good friend.

Ian Van Dahl - Castles in the sky vinyl close-up

Ian Van Dahl – Castles in the sky vinyl close-up.

As one of my brainchildren, Castles in the sky will be in my heart forever, and I will never deny my contribution to this song. So if questions about Castles in the sky or about my professional past should rise, I will not lie. People have been lied to enough.
But my prospect for the future is not to prove myself just as “the singer songwriter of Castles in the sky”, but as an artist. Thanks to my fans I believe in myself enough to continue. (*Thank You*) I hope you can all reach your castles in the sky one day.

So now you’re working with LD30. How did you get to work with them ?

After I spent some time searching for reviews, comments about Castles in the sky (i.e. appreciation) on the net I came across a DJ forum discussing the track. One of the DJ’s, DJ Russ Reign, had a website. I visited his website and signed his guestbook saying “thank you for the compliments on Castles in the sky, It’s nice to know that people in New York like the song too”.

Unbelieveable was the response I got and Russ replied too. That was the beginning really. We started mailing, then chatting and eventually calling too. He was really a great support and really fought the injustice. Russ and Justin, a friend of Russ and DJ too, started spreading the word every way they could. That’s how I got to go to the USA eventually. Although I had never met anyone of these American people in real life (I had never been on a plane before) I just took a chance and that’s really how it all happened. I toured in the US for three months with the help of Russ and did what I always wanted to do: to do performances of Castles in the sky!

Working in the studio with LD30, we noticed a difference in approach between Europe and the USA, e.g. while I was used to writing lyrics and creating vocals listening to a demo (usually only the skeleton of the song), producers in the USA, apparently, worked the other way around. Something in between seemed to work out fine. Distant Places is the 1st result. And continuous positive news from the USA reassures me things will work out fine.

There’s one quote that I will always remember: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost. You now need to put the foundations under them. ” (H.D. Thoreau) And that is what I’m working on now, among others with LD30.

Can you tell us a little bit more about Moments ?

Moments is a song created by DJ Philip (Illusion resident DJ) and Regi Penxten (from Milk Inc.)). You can already find it as the first song on the latest Illusion compilation CD (the Jupiter edition). Vinyl and cd single are also coming pretty soon and it’s already signed for Spain and Germany!

dancevibes.be notes:

  • Marsha is also working on a third song, but we can’t tell you the name yet… but I’ve seen that it’s somewhere on Marsha’s site… happy searching πŸ™‚
  • Marsha is going to the US at the end of december to do a promo-tour for Distant Places !
  • Marsha really likes DJ Tiesto.
  • Listen to a sample of Tales of DJ Philip – Moments
  • Listen to a sample of LD30 – Distant Places
  • Buy this record @ Proxis.be : buy Castles in the sky

  • Buy this record @ Proxis.be
    : buy Illusion 2001: the Jupiter Edition

This interview was made by Bren and Wim

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