HEAR IT FIRST! New single – #RealLifeStory – 10 Songs 10 Pianos

cropped-marika-reallifestory-small-1.jpgSo I’m releasing a new radio single! My first major one in a few years. Aside from the Christmas single that I released in December, my industry – in terms of being an artist – thinks I went away. I didn’t go anywhere. I just had to do the “music” thing differently.

I’m ready to tell my real life story now, and no matter what happens in the business, I came back to why I started it in the first place: because I love to play piano and sing for people, to inspire people to dream big for themselves, and I really really LOVE music. In celebration of that, and releasing this new radio single, my family and my Vancity Pulse TV show crew set out on this adventure of playing 10 original songs on 10 pianos on the streets, with the help of a lot of support and some great friends and companies along the way. Huge thank you to Sean Pacey for being a guy who has a passion for pianos, and a passion for music and decided to make playing piano’s in some of the best places in the city something real. I’d love you to check out the story – maybe send Sean a thank you note for being awesome at http://www.supportpiano.com and stick around till the end of the video to hear a sneak peak of the new single #RealLifeStory. If you like it, then share share share!

Thanks everyone, for sticking around. I’m pretty excited about this one!

~ MARIKA

Sometimes I feel like Mike Wazowski. (Little green guy on Monsters University)

monsters1If you’ve ever watched the movie Monster’s University, you may know the story and what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen it, warning: spoiler alert haha ( I always wanted to write that!)

The short of it is:  Sully ( the big blue naturally scary monster ) and Mike ( little green cute, but wants to be scary monster ), both meet in University with the dream of graduating the scare program to go on to be scarers at Monster’s Inc. Sully has the famous family line, is giant, blue and scary, and doesn’t have to put any effort at all into school. As far as everything Monster goes, Sully has the “IT” factor.  Mike, on the contrary, is not naturally scary, has to work hard, skips all the parties, and makes sure he gets the highest grades in every class. He does everything right, but everyone around him knows that he simply isn’t scary. 😦 sad face for him.

During the story line, you find that sometimes doing everything right, doesn’t matter. You may never get to be a scarer. BUT – there’s room to be the coach. In the end, both monsters get kicked out of scare school, and have to work hard from the mail room up to get to the top, and eventually they make it to the scare floor, as a team. Mike the coach, and Sully the lead scarer.

Great story…mostly. It’s a happy ending as both get to be where they need, but for me it was a little discouraging as Mike had to settle for being great at being just OK.

For years, I feel like I settled for being just OK. Sometimes I still feel like that. I feel like Mike. There will always be the younger, more single, non mom, sexier, popstars that will take the place in the world’s spotlight. AND THAT’s OK WITH ME. BUT…there has to be room for me SOMEWHERE. I’ve been a coach for the last five years, networking other people in to their dream jobs. Still in the entertainment industry, but by default really. I needed a break after being completely devastated by the people I was doing music and business with. They moved on, made more popstars that would get more naked than me when it came down to it. ( There probably is more to their story, but that’s what I saw. This is my blog, so I get to tell it my way lol ). However, I was angry, hurt and disappointed for a lot of years, while it seemed they thrived. The only thing that kept me going was how amazing my entire family and my good friends were through it all, and also the hope that God makes all things work together for my good. He carried me in my broken-ness, and I still made music, I still kept going with the hope that I would someday remember who I was.

All that to say, it’s not that those around me have said  – I can’t do this – it’s that most people haven’t said  – I CAN – which sometimes hurts more. haha. I’m too brown, too short, not black enough, not white enough, not skinny enough, can’t sing as good as ______fill in the blank. You name it, I’ve dealt with it. I do however have to give a big shout out to my USA friends and fans. For whatever reason, they love me there, and encourage me like crazy. OH CANADA.

Anyway, instead of this turning into a whining session, I just want to say that I’m really giving this a shot. I’m in a different season. I get to live life with my family and I get to see God show up. Where I used to work so hard at DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT, I came to realize that THAT will NEVER BE ENOUGH! But, I am BELIEVING RIGHT about myself this time. I know WHOSE I AM. And when I start feeling like I’ve got to get all crazy at trying to make things happen, I have to stop and remind myself, that God takes care of me. I will always be ME and that’s more than enough. ( I have to keep telling myself that EVERYDAY lol ) And I don’t believe that I have to settle. I’ve done things differently, and therefore do music a little differently. I’ve never given up, just been stunted a few times.  I feel like I am just getting going again. I have to say a huge thank you to Philip Janz, and Brenda Janz, and funnily enough a Janz of a different kind ( but yes they’re related ), Colin Janz. They’ve all – in their own way – ignited my soul and given life back to me and my music. Thank you friends. Love you all.

And now, on to a new season. I’m releasing a brand new Christmas single. I should call it “Miracles” because of how it all turned out, but I had to stick with the classic “This Christmas Time” I wrote it about 14 years ago, believe it or not. But Colin took it and transformed it with me into something better than I’ve ever known. Colin is an incredible producer and an artist in his own right. He’s now an Official 604 records producer, but more than that, he’s been a friend, and has just brought his amazing talent to something that’s close to my heart. Thanks Colin for being the real deal and shining on this song. I’m happy to say that it’s going to radio which I am more than excited about. I just want to sing, and have people sing along, and somehow, maybe, be inspired.

Monsters-University-bannerI’m still dreaming of record deals, but also, maybe just making my own company blow up and be what we need to be. That’s just part of the journey, that I take day by day. I’m kind of like Mike, but my Spirit is like Sully. I’m sure somewhere in between, the world for sure just needs ME to be ME.

Be you, because theres always someone waiting for you on the other side of your dreams.

~Me

A good day of a memory

Yesterday was a bit of a crazy day that I was going to leave to be a memory, but I wanted to journal about it. I think I overbooked my day my mistake and thought it was going to be an epic fail kind of day. It went ok lol. In the morning we met with some old and dear friends that we do life with. Ones that know us inside and out, still love us, encourage us, remind us of our faith and our dreams, and keep us going over great conversation. One helped us with our finances and housing, www.geoffleemortgage.com and the other two made us the best tuna melts I’ve ever eaten 🙂 Thanks M&G!

Next was my phone call to the band “Love and the Outcome“. I’ve gotten to watch these two incredible people – Chris and Jodi – reach their dreams and make new ones as they release their first major label record to huge acclaim in North America. Their music and their story is beautiful, and I love that I get to write for an inspiring magazine The Light, and I sometimes get to feature great musicians who are also friends.

Then I went to meet my 7 new interns who work with me for the year. I felt my time was a little rushed with them as I had to get to the studio, but still a great introduction meeting for what we want to get done this year.

On to the recording studio. Loving collaborating with Jonathan Simkin and Colin Janz. Jonathan runs 604 records and is kind of an industry hero to me, and the heart and talent behind producer Colin Janz just blows me away. Blessed to have this opportunity. Going to radio again soon and I’m very excited about it.

Then attended Eco-Fashion week with some of my new friends and film crew. Involved in a stellar new project that is coming soon!

Tea – at Neverland Tea salon. Officially my new favourite tea place. We got to meet the owners, and I was able to be a part of an amazing community of parent bloggers. Meeting new friends in a new city -I’m finding-  is quite difficult. I’m finding that I’m more of an introvert than I thought, and so I have to purpose myself to get out!! Although blogging isn’t my “business” I love learning about it, and connecting with those that inspire me through their blogs. Meet ups are so great, and tonight it was such a treat to be with such good people. One of my faves is Ricky Shetty www.daddyblogger.ca who is doing different and having a lot of fun while doing it. AND, the tea was amazing, as well as my BC Milk mug I won 🙂 I like winning things. Thank you to the Parent Blogger Vancouver community and Neverland Tea Salon for a great time. Love that we got #PBUYVR trending!

To finish, back to the studio. I don’t think I’ve recorded a song as fast as I did. I’m amazed at how it all happened and came together but I’ve had the best time, and a great end to the night. It has been such a treat to work with Colin again ( we recorded lead vocals on a pretty great project with Brian Doerksen a few years ago called Prodigal God ). Colin is also an incredible singer whom one day promises to make me home made soup 🙂

No pictures. I didn’t take any. I was present instead today. Plus I need a iphone so I can have instagram lol.

Sometimes I get in days where it feels like I’m journeying my path alone. Might seem weird to you, but in all the days of challenge, and wondering, a day like today reminds me of the amazing community I have. It just looks different to what may seem normal. And I am blessed.