I Lift My Eyes Up

Every once in a while I sit down by my kitchen table, pull out my computer and listen to some of the songs I’ve recorded over the years. I hear a lot of things when I listen to myself. Usually it’s the amazing work of my team, producers, musicians, mixers and masterers. I also have the bad habit of listening to myself sing and hear how I think I could have done better haha (typical).

But today, I’m listening to “I Lift My Eyes Up” and I don’t hear errors, I just hear hope.

Brian&MarikaThis particular track was composed by my friend Brian Doerksen. He has influenced a generation of songwriters, and definitely if you go to church pretty much anywhere, you’ve sang songs he penned for the world to sing.

I wanted to share it today and maybe it will also bring you hope in the midst of your day, just like my moment at my table, and many other moments throughout my entire life. I first sang this song when I was about 14. The hope in it was as real then to me as it is now, and I was honoured to have the opportunity to record a new version (about 20 years later of the original release) about 2 years ago in the studio with Brian himself for the “Unstoppable” Album. It was surreal singing it with him, and I treasure the moments. This man and his music changed my life forever. I am blessed to have gotten to know some of his story behind the songs and am even richer because of his friendship and the friendship that evolved with his longtime (and my first time) producer Philip Janz and his wife Brenda. It was extra special for me at the time being typically a “pop recording artist” and getting to record a gospel track that I’d grown up with. It was a real gift.

Sometimes when I find myself unknowingly and well meaningly aiming for success, for validation, for platform, for influence – when I fail, falter, and feel like I’m even fading away – my hope remains the same and I know that there is so much more to behold, to live, to dream and to understand my identity

“I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from you, Maker of Heaven, Creator of Earth” Psalm 121

~ M

The Official Music Video – This Christmas Time

Ok, I really just couldn’t wait, so here it is!!! This Christmas Time!

As I mentioned previously, this experience was one of my most fun to date and it was definitely because of all the great people that were involved. A special thanks to all my cast and crew and all of the amazing businesses that either sponsored, donated or gave of their products and time. To get here has truly been a miracle, and in the midst of so many challenges for me in my journey as an artist, this moment is truly a great celebration that I will not soon forget. The hope that is in my heart is beyond what I’ve ever known. Enjoy the song, listen and if you like, share share share! Happy Early Christmas everyone!

Big Thanks To:

Thomas Wong, Abby Penner Envy Me Studios, Sweet Creations by Sarah, Kitchening & Co. Carly and Dan Wintschel, Black Pudding Imports, Clifford Prang, Monica Morong, Thai Go, Jonathan Simkin, Colin Janz, Maureen Francisco, Phillip Lomax, Daniel Ingram, Wanda Siewert, Jaelyn Siewert, Mia Sleeth, Tiffany Desrosiers, Breanna Schneider, Shylo Sharity, David Van Maren, Tami Wakasugi, Mandi Joy Derry, James Idol, Kel Li, Trinity Wong, Ron & Sue Robinson, Both my incredible sets of parents and my amazing hubby and kids Stacy, Zac, Jaedon and Zoey for all of your hard work, and spending the day just being a stellar part of this journey! xoxoxox

Music Video Preview: This Christmas Time

So I can’t contain the excitement of how incredible the making of the video for “This Christmas Time” was. This was my FIRST official music video and I have to say that I had an incredible experience. It’s one thing to make a video, but it’s another to make it with your friends, your family and such an amazing team. The shoot was a lot of work, but so much fun. I am still in awe of how this whole project came together, starting right from the production with my talented friend Colin Janz, to radio promotion with my incredible radio teams, to yesterday where it all came together for the filming of the final video. I want to honour everyone properly in a post coming soon, but I do want to say a special thanks my director/videographer Thomas Wong who literally worked round the clock to get this all done, to all my cast and crew, the businesses that gave us such incredible food, candy and clothes to work with, and a HUGE thank you goes out to my good friend Daniel Ingram for letting us film in his amazing Gastown loft apartment. I was so incredibly blessed to have my whole family film with me, and even my mom in law and my niece Jaelyn flew out to see us, so we brought them in on the fun too. This project is something else, and I’m just enjoying and celebrating every single moment. Check out the preview and stay tuned for more. I love hearing your comments, messages and posts. They are so encouraging! If you’d like to stay tuned, you can check out the FB and twitter pages too – http://www.facebook.com/marikaonline, and twitter at @marikaonline

Here’s the preview!!!