What is it that makes someone who likes music and singing decide to pursue music as a profession? Is it talent, opportunity, courage or a mixture of all three? Having spoken to a number of up and coming artists I’ve decided that all the three qualities already mentioned have to be there and also that extra special something: the feeling that you really have to put your heart and soul on the line and follow that dream.
I recently spoke to a young London based singer, Mariam, who has only relatively recently embarked on the life of a musician, indeed she has only been performing publicly since 2011. Mariam says that she has “always loved singing and music”.
“Music was always something I wanted to do, I feel as if I was born to do it. I love writing as well and I knew that if I didn’t take the plunge and do it, I wouldn’t ever feel really happy.”
Starting with open mic nights and progressing on to small, local gigs concentrating on just her voice and the guitar (the guitar is called Pearl), Mariam soon built up a local following and thoughts turned to recording an EP. Mariam readily admits that despite high hopes, the EP didn’t happen as, “it just didn’t sound the way I wanted it to”. A brave decision to step away but given that many a promising career has been curtailed by putting out music that the performer isn’t happy with, perhaps the right one.
Two years on and having joined the London Community Gospel Choir, Mariam has her mojo back and having written and recorded an EP that she’s happy with, released it last week. In conversation, her enthusiasm for this new project is infectious – she says that the recording “just flowed. The process came together and I knew it was supposed to sound like this”. The time spent away from music as a solo artist has meant that this time around, Mariam’s love of music has come to the fore naturally, with something new to share in the EP, Heart to Heart.
Heart to Heart begins with an upbeat track and the first single, Be There For Me, which recounts a tale of unrequited love. Lest this sound a tad bleak, the song actually charts the realisation that you can’t make someone love you and that sometimes, it’s best to walk away:
The rest of Heart to Heart talks about the themes of live and love, with the pared down Running being the stand out track. Self penned, the songs feel natural and unforced and Mariam sounds like a much more experienced musician.
For the future, Mariam hopes to make music her full time living although she hastened to say that she’s lucky enough to be able to use music in her day job too, being a creative arts youth worker in schools. Her final thoughts on the future of her music are that she wants to put out “music that inspires and encourages others. I was so fearful of taking the step and now here I am, doing it”.
Heart to Heart is available now on iTunes – click here.
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