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Spotlight: Local artist finalist in New Mexico Music Awards

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Submitted Photo Local singer and songwriter Marie Manning finalist in New Mexico Music Awards.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Marie Manning’s song ‘Broken Bones’ represents southeast New Mexico in statewide contest

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

Marie Manning is known in the community as singer and songwriter, and as promotor of other New Mexico musicians. When she learned about her song, “Broken Bones,” being listed as finalist for the annual New Mexico Music Awards, it came as a surprise, she said in a phone interview. “The only reason I knew that I was nominated was because somebody tagged me in a Facebook post — they were doing their ‘thank you’ and ‘congrats to my fellow nominees … .’ There were 20 people tagged and I was one of the names,” she said. Manning is one of five finalists in the category singer/songwriter. There are more than 40 categories.

After confirming her status on its website, Manning contacted Christopher Aguilar, who had worked with her on the song at his studio E519 in Dexter.

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This is not the first time Manning had sent in her work. The first time was in 2016, but her song was not chosen. “The next year, in 2017, I recorded with Chris Aguilar,” Manning said. “I hooked up with him and we submitted it for 2018. I was nominated for Singer/Songwriter Award for a song called ‘Desert Rose,’ and he (Aguilar) mixed that, mastered it and sent it off. I went to the New Mexico Music Awards at Sandia Casino (in Albuquerque) and it was an awesome experience. I didn’t win, but I ended up meeting phenomenal artists and they have played here in Roswell. We connected and vice versa. Our art is so similar as far as the sound goes and our culture we bring: that New Mexican culture. Originally, I was born in Texas but I lived in New Mexico since I was in elementary school. We are very proud of where we’re from. A lot of the people’s artwork reflects that.”

Unlike other music contests in the U.S., the New Mexico Music Awards do not require for the artist being a resident, as long as he or she recorded the song in a New Mexico studio. This goes back to the early days of rock ’n’ roll when The Norman Petty Studios in Clovis were the favorite studio for musical legends such as The Fireballs, Buddy Knox, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison, The String-a-Longs, and of course, Buddy Holly and The Crickets. Buddy Holly had family in southeast New Mexico. Today, more than 40 studios call New Mexico their home and contribute to the annual New Mexico Music Awards. This award show began in 1988 when studio owners, recording engineers, working musicians and producers came together to create first a coalition and then an award show to support each other and promote other musicians highlighting New Mexico’s music traditions statewide and globally.

Asked about this year’s song, Manning said, “‘Broken Bones’ is about having a lot of trouble in your life and feeling to break away and running away from your problems, as opposed to facing them head on. And also finding a spiritual journey and guidance helping you to get there, because people that know me, know that I believe in a higher power and know that sometimes it feels like you have to put your troubles in other people’s hands. I’ve been doing all these things in my life that I may not have been proud of or made me feel like I’m a broken person in other people’s eyes. I finally gave it all to the universe and said those scars make me who I am. If I hadn’t been lost, I wouldn’t be who I was today and have persevered through all those struggles. It’s all about giving those things that we hold on to, to the wind, the universe to whatever kind of spiritual background you believe in. Remembering that you’re worth it, to keep on going because somebody needs you in their life.”

Manning is hoping that the award show will be with a live audience, but that will be decided on a later date. As of press time, New Mexico Music Awards have not released information about the banquet, which usually takes place in May.

Manning has great hopes for the future, she said. “If I could find a full band that would be amazing. I could just be a singer and write my own things. There are so many people I cooperate with and luckily, with things getting a little more normal, we are starting to see each other again with everything opening up. End of this month, the beginning of May, I will be back in the studio to get all my music on Spotify and Pandora. I have some gigs scheduled, I got into Expo New Mexico for this year in Albuquerque. September 18 is the date that I got confirmed for. I have a couple of local shows coming up in May, it should be a good year. I think we are all optimistic and hopefully, people will be able to hear my music more once I get it on the platforms. But this is the first time I’ve recorded enough to get it out there, I have a lot of YouTube videos too, but Facebook is your best bet.”

For more information, visit Manning on Facebook @makemusicyourescape. For more information about the New Mexico Music Awards, visit newmexicomusicawards.com.