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Women and Non-Binary People in the Music Industry: Marliii

Marliii, otherwise known as Marli Delaney, is a young, Peruvian-American multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, DIY producer, mix engineer, and DJ that recently signed with a label and who’s also a guitar and piano teacher.

She started playing guitar about 15 years ago, but she was sent to Peru for the 4th and 5th grade (around the 2007 recession) to live with her grandparents while her parents lost their business. At the time, she did not have access to her guitar, but Marliii was inspired by the new elements of her environment such as pan flutes, kalimbas, and started singing. When she returned to New York, she started playing guitar again and began to learn how to play the piano expanding her musical talents greatly.

“My biggest blessing was having my college application fees waived during my senior year of high school so that I could apply to a few schools, and then earning a substantial scholarship to my now alma mater,” Marliii confessed, “which allowed for me to transition into a fresh new chapter of my life.”

Her stage name comes from what Marliii defines as her “third i (eye) phase”, the moment when she realized that her mission would always be to create for the world around her.

“Music has always been there for me,” Marliii says, “with all the highs and lows in life, I found that I would always come back to music.” Even through trying times, music has always been a constant in her life that she could draw upon. “I have gone to college and I’ve gotten my degree. During all those years spent in a system that really allows you to focus on so many things and to be so versatile, I still kept finding myself doing music-specific things. From those positive experiences, as well as from my childhood that was more troublesome, music was always there.”

College Education

In college, Marliii became serious about mix engineering and earned her Bachelor's Degree in 2019 with a double major in Music and Public Relations.

When talking about the importance of college education for a career in the industry, Marliii agrees that, although many think that college education is the key to success, this is not always true. Not everyone has the opportunity to go to college and there are so many people in the music industry that have a lot of success without ever going to college. Real-world experiences can sometimes lead you to your goal more rapidly because college is a long process that often involves tasks that you wouldn’t want to put so much time and energy into and you’d rather focus on creating content, networking, and getting your career launch.

However, she also says that she wouldn’t take away her personal experience in college. “I’m very grateful I have gone because I was able to connect with so many people that I still have around me and I learned a lot about the industry, even the business side, content creation, performing, I learned how to use the music software I currently use, I wouldn’t have landed three radio station jobs to pay off my loans. I also would not have been able to earn the awards that I’ve received, including awards from the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Association of Music Merchants, and Harman International (JBL), who partnered with the 1,000 Dreams Fund to give grants to young women who aspire to launch their careers in STEAM fields.”

Artistry and Inspiration

Marliii’s music is deeply influenced by her personal experiences. “When I was young, there was a loss in my life that affected me as a person and as an artist. Since my parents worked overtime, I used to live with my uncle and his partner over the weekend. My uncle, who’s also my godfather, had immigrated from Peru to the States and he studied many years to become a Spanish literature professor. Around 10 years ago he was murdered. I felt so alone because I was told not to tell anyone, which was clearly not healthy. I didn’t really know much about counseling options or anything like that and my family really feared judgment because my uncle was not only a minority in a new country, but he was also in the LGBTQ+ community and movement that was not yet accepted the way that it is today - and in some places, it is still not accepted and we need to change that.”

Marliii admits that she feels truly blessed to have channeled everything into music, which became her safe place and her way to grow. That’s how she learned that she wanted to work in the industry. “I remember going through my uncle's poetry and translating it to English to keep his memory and voice close to me and I was taking what I was learning and putting it into song and the music would save me.”

When it comes to her artistic influences, Marliii confesses her deep admiration for three artists in particular:

Joni Mitchell- she was an empowering female figure for decades and decades, driven by music similar to the way that Marliii finds herself driven. “Joni would fight all odds in her career path so that she can share the sound that she feels with others. “She’s very organic and very versatile,” Marliii says.

Jimi Hendrix - because his talent is just uncomparable. “I would love to have a thousand guitar lessons with him.” Marliii admits...and I mean who wouldn’t.

Shakira - Marliii recognizes her rare talent saying that “It’s harder to get worldwide recognition when you're from a smaller developing country, so that really shows how hard she worked. She’s so talented, she plays so many instruments.”


Marliii utilizes her diverse background of jazz, folk, blues, and EDM to share her story in a distinctive light, inspiring her fans to confront adversities and to never give up on themselves.

“What I want now is that if anyone ever feels alone and hopeless like I did, and I really don’t want anyone to feel that way, I want them to know that there’s always a way to channel all of that. You have to take your grief and sadness and turn it into growth.”

You can follow Marliii on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok

And stream her music: Youtube, Soundcloud

You can also shop her merch here and her limited-time vinyl shop here

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