Bong Wish’s Mariam Saleh on Loving Yourself, Growing, and Sisterly Connections.


Mariam Saleh is the creating force behind the psych-folk dream that is Bong Wish. Not long ago, I got the chance to electronically interview the groovy songstress. Mariam shared her sagacity on spirituality, what’s next for the Bongettes, and her advice for those who want to start performing.

Boston Hassle: What first inspired you to start writing and playing music?

Mariam Saleh: It just happened, my life needed something and it was music.

BH: When and how did Bong Wish form?

MS: Bong Wish I feel is always changing form, but with a strong core! The original configuration started with me, Ana Karina and Kristina. I had Kristina on bass and Karina on drums until we realized that the opposite made much more sense.

BH: How has Bong Wish changed, developed, and expanded since the band’s start?

MS: Well it started with just me in my bedroom. Multiple times a week I would record these ‘under a minute’ songs. I soon found myself wanting more and that’s where Karina came in. It was very natural, very sisterly! Our bond was instant, quickly with love and support. Our voices also worked so perfectly together. Kristina came in, and again it was very obvious we all were supposed to be together at this time. Over time the songs lengthened, and the group spiritually became closer. We then came across Molly and like that she was a part of this sisterly connection. We often have Bongettes jump in and out of the mix, it’s a very open and loving crew! Anyone can be a Bongette!

BH: Are there any particular themes or messages you try to explore or instill in your work?

MS: Spirituality, love and the everlasting journey are messages I feel come across naturally with this group. Growing and sharing is important in our songs and as people.

BH: I read that when you first started a band you were a semi-inexperienced musician. What were some of the challenges that came along with that and how did you overcome them?

MS: The only challenges I came across were inspiring ones! Getting better at my instruments and learning how to focus on what was important and to not get caught up in rock stardom.

BH: Do you have any advice for anyone that wants to form a band, but doesn’t have any experience?

MS: Love yourself and give love! No matter what kind of music or performance you want to pursue. Believe in yourself and challenge yourself! Don’t give into the pressures of society and what fits in and what’s currently cool. Real music comes from within.

BH: What is Bong Wish currently working on? Do you have a release in the near future?

MS: We are currently working on bonding as a whole, becoming more and more in tune to each other. That’s the most important thing I think, playing together often and connecting mind, body and soul. We plan to record next month, potentially some demos to share with the world, or maybe even a more full record. Who knows, but for now you can see us play live!

Catch Mariam and all the Bongettes May 25th at Great Scott with Guerilla Toss, Giant Claw, Crosss, and DJ Won’t! And on June 17th at Out of The Blue Gallery with Chasity Belt!

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