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

2014, and I have no idea lol

MARIKA ITUNES_Fotor_edited-1Christmas was a whirlwind of a time. In the months leading up to Christmas I had the incredible privilege of being part of aย team that saw my Christmas single “This Christmas Time” reach the country east to west on radio stations. It was a big story for me, as it all happened so fast, but I did take the time to enjoy the ride, enjoy having a single on the radio again, and enjoy the message of hope that it brought with it, not only to the listeners, but as well to myself. It had always been a BIG dream to have a song on both pop radio and christian radio. Not sure why, I guess I just wanted my music to never segregate people, but to bring people together. And so it was really amazing that all communities, pop, adult contemporary, and christian radio were all spinning Christmas tracks of mine. My last Christmas single “Christmas Came Early” was also spinning on stations too. Deep down, it’s reassuring to know that across Canada, people still love the music that I write and compose. I try not to find my value in what’s going on, but as a musician it definitely brings happiness to me knowing that a mass audience enjoys ย the art that I create.

IMG_0012We had a twist to our Christmas. My brother’s family house just outside of Medicine Hat burnt down right before we ventured back to Alberta. While it was a great tragedy, it was a miracle that only my brother was home, and he just made it out of the house alive. His wife and 4 kids had been gone that morning which was rare living on their acreage. God definitely had his hand in that, and we were just so grateful to have our family together and alive for Christmas. It wasn’t even their fault – which sometimes brings me to moments of anger, that turns to sadness, that turns to compassion for the friend that made a mistake that he has to live with – and that’s got to be tough. It was definitely emotional trying to buy Christmas presents. My sister in law said it right when we were talking about how the community could help and her response was ” What do you say to people when they ask what you need, and your response is – everything? ” They literally only had the clothes on their backs. They are a strong family, and they will carry on. The house and the contents will be replaced, but it’s the 17 years of family memories that hurt the most which you can never get back. I don’t know what their story holds for 2014 but I do know that we will be a part of creating new, more treasured memories for them. My older brother and sister are some of my heroes and always will be.

So 2014. What does that look like for me? For one of the first times in my life, I have NO IDEA hahaha. You have to know, I feel so insecure and inadequate writing that. I am someone that believes in “putting your vision in front of you” and “plan ahead” and usually my future year has already been planned in my previous year. New year’s resolutions are just an extension of my previous years goals that I may not have met that I carry on just working on. This year however, I got nuthin’. Lol.

photo 5I think part of this had to do with how crazy our Christmas was. I didn’t really have time to think or rest, or ponder the year. ย I felt like we were just in survival mode and focusing on making sure all the kids were alright and that the cousins all had a great Christmas despite the times and tragedies. I feel like I was just trying to be available for my family and enjoy the moments together. So, ‘my’ agenda just wasn’t on my radar. And that was OK. So, when I arrived back to the Promised Land ( Vancouver ) I knew I had some thinking to do.

And so, as I get to this blog, I still haven’t had time to think. Haha. On my return to Vancouver, I dived back into planning for other artists, radio promotion on other singles, talent managing, and family managing. I’ve done a couple of radio interviews that were for my music, typed up a couple of magazine articles for publications for some pretty stellar people, and even already booked in October to celebrity judge an event. But really, I haven’t actually stopped to think about some genuine goals this year.

So here goes. ย Here’s me, dreaming big, a little crazy, taking some risks, and writing them down for the world to see. Definitely high five me if you see me through the year and you know I’ve reached some of these.

1. Get on Instagram. Check ๐Ÿ™‚ Follow me @marikaonline

2. Write a song and get it featured on my new favourite TV show SUITS ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Guest star on my new favourite TV show SUITS ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Make another killer radio single

5. Plan my own TV show that will inspire millions globally.

6. Update my wardrobe and try to keep up with how good my kids look lol.

photo 37. Go on more dates.

8. Learn to ski properly.

9. Write and record a song with my hubby Stacy ( he really has a great voice! )

10. Get a global distribution ย to distribute my artists globally.

11. Raise 1ok to build a school for the year of education with Free the Children. ( Our FamJAM is already planning for this, lookout for a video soon! )

12. Love God, Love others, Be Us.

13. Get new press shots.

14. Produce my first big “theatre style” music show.

15. Earn a spot on the front cover of a magazine that empowers women in media.

16. Hug my kids every day

17. Spend less time on my computer and more time with people in real life.

photo 2

Zoey made this for us ๐Ÿ™‚

18. Go on daily adventures with my family, even in the rain, but especially in the sunshine ๐Ÿ™‚

19. Learn how to use Logic Pro.

20. Get a place in the City with a big kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚ ( maybe a 2 year goal ).

21. Make more new friends in the city.

22. Teach my kids to do their own laundry. ( and by that I mean Stacy teach them lol )

23. Laugh more, dance more, sing more.

That’s all for now. Happy New Year. Dream Big. Do Big.

– M

Conversations in real life:

I’ve had an incredible few weeks. Still no cell phone – just voicemail – so you can always leave a message, and I will get back to you. But it has been the most liberating experience for me. I’m going to lay back on the computer next. As crazy at it may sound, I feel as though my technology makes me anxious and sick. Though I am an introvert, and my computer is my safe place, nothing has given me more life, than showing up in real life with my friends in person. Catching up, talking dreams, hardships, victories. My life is simpler, and I’m taking care of my health first. I have written on my mirror, “If I don’t take care of me today, there will be no me to enjoy life tomorrow “. It’s a little sad I know ( I don’t know how long I’ll keep it on my mirror lol ), but it’s extremely motivating for me to put me – health first, where I have neglected to the last 10 years. ( It could be the mom in me that just loves to help others around me before myself ). With my career, there’s been all these methods of how to achieve your dreams and how much harder you have to work, and things you need to give up. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve given up much in my life, and others have given up even more for me, so I never take that for granted, but I do believe, I’ve experienced, that in God’s rest, I will find increase. Sounds crazy, and even stupid and lazy doesn’t it? But I’m learning that trusting God’s provision is real. In the last 3 months when I have been sick, in and out of doctors, not on my cell phone ( which you would think would slow business down ), spending more time with family and friends, we have seen provision financially and personally already close to what we made in 6 months last year, in 2 and a half. And what are we doing? LESS or REST I should say. It’s blowing my mind, and I don’t know if it’s a season, or if it’s just because I asked God to be tangibly real, or else I was done believing. But if there is no power in HIS truth, then whats the point of pretending there is. Anyway, I can say that I have never lived life how I get to right now. I’m loving the TIME. Time with incredible friends, time mentoring and meeting with amazing artists, and helping launching careers, time with my unbelievable family, time playing piano and writing more, and time meeting and planning with organizations and world changers who are literally globally changing the way life is for the better. BLESSED.

Got a couple of things on my TO-DO list:

Go skiing, and visit a Vancouver mountain.

Celebrate 10 years living in BC ๐Ÿ™‚

CD launch concert – still working on details for an all ages venue, but if it all comes through it’s going to be stellar, and an amazing experience for the people involved, including myself.

I really want to launch a single on the radio again. I loved being on the radio before, and although I didn’t understand all the ins and outs of how it got there, or why my team at the time didn’t keep it going, I’d like a do over. To start again, with new songs, and still go nationwide.

Believing for all my doctors tests to be done and over. Meeting with the surgeon in a few weeks. Blah ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We have some pretty great partnerships in the works for our family/music/business/worldchanging, that we are really excited about, so I guess I’m just not wanting to panic about it, and just chillax into the work that needs to get done to solidify these things. They are so fun, so it doesn’t feel like work, but still – staying on track.

Our family may start a campaign to raise $10 000 for Free the Children, because one of Zac’s heroes – Spencer West is walking from Edmonton to Calgary for Africa and his clean water campaign, and Zac wants to join him. There’s also the Whistler one Climb in BC that’s going on as well. Pretty proud of my little man.

w_brett_wilson_book_cover_jason_stangOn a side note, someone I admire on a business/philanthropy level ย – W.Brett Wilson – replied to a mentorship tweet I sent him when he was visiting Vancouver. I was pretty excited about that ๐Ÿ™‚ I attached his website link above for those interested.ย Got to admit, I think his website is pretty weird, but super creative so I have to give him props lol. ย I’d like to just have a tea with him. Even a 3 question conversation. I’m working on it ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s it today ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds busy, but it’s not. Just PRODUCTIVE ๐Ÿ™‚

( Book cover credit: Jason Stang )