For Joel, Chantal and Theo.

So, I made Top 10 most buzzed for CBC’s Songquest. Awesome. Very exciting actually. Voting. Not so much. To be honest, if I have to MAKE people vote, then I should just bow out now. HOWEVER. My strength in this industry is writing GREAT songs. Not that I’m saying Im the absolute best, but I know that I have worked hard the last 12 years, and the songs get played all over the place. Granted, most people still don’t know “who” I am as an artist, and for now, that’s ok. My time will come. For this competition however, one – it would be cool to have the song as Canada’s Hockey Song, and two – I’d want to win knowing that I got the most buzz and most votes because the song is just plain perfect for this. UNSTOPPABLE was written out of a story. I’m proud of this song, the lyrics and everything it stands for. It very much relates to champion spirit of Canada’s great game of hockey and I think the two are a perfect match. But, since it’s up to the talented Joel Plaskett, Chantal Kreviazuk, Theo Fleury, and a few others I don’t know of yet, I’d ask, that as well as the numbers of votes, I hope that they will also judge on the greatness of the song. If the song isn’t good, then it shouldn’t be voted for. But I want to win because the song deserves a win. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE PRESS, and MEDIA and posts and Tweets, so tweet away. I just know that in the big picture, I’m the glee club introverted nerd in the music industry, so I generally won’t get the majority vote. Yes this could be a pipe dream and it could still turn into a popularity contest from someone winning with the most “I buy my own followers ” kind of artist, and that’s ok too. It is what it is. However, I’ll take this as it goes, and enjoy the ride that it brings. Here’s a little video I made for the judges, but hopefully you’ll all enjoy it too! At the very least, check it out, press play, and go listen to Unstoppable 🙂 Sorry if I sound like I’m whining about voting contests? haha Maybe I am. Again, my blog. And I love this song.  I vote yes 🙂blog-Songquest2013-default (1)

Here’s the press release from Songquest:

Have you heard? Your Song Quest submission made our list of the 10 most buzzed about tunes so far! Check out our web feature about it here:

Here’s my CBC Music page – http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/MARIKA

Here’s a little video I made for the judges 🙂

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

” Take me out to the ball game! “

5302013124429Zachary (my oldest boy – 11) played on a baseball team for his first time this year. I learned about the fun of the sport, the rules, the politics (lol), but most of all, I saw my amazing kid enjoy and be passionate about a sport that he was really good at. I also fell in love with baseball myself. Some say, timing is everything, and in the midst of Zac’s season, on a day that I took some time out to myself, I ended it with watching the movie ” 42 “.  It’s an incredible story about Jackie Robinson – the first black baseball player in the major leagues and the challenges and victories he faced doing it. It’s inspiring for every viewer, but for myself as a woman of colour, it definitely hit close to home. 42 became my new favourite number 🙂

IMG_00001106Last wednesday, through the miracle of divine circumstance ( that’s just fancy talk for ” my amazing God made something happen)  one of my most dearest friends Tami, (who is also an agent based in Seattle ) asked if I would sing the Canadian National Anthem at the baseball game in Everett Washington. Of course I said yes, and I found out that the teams playing were our very own Vancouver Canadians ( farm team for the Toronto Blue Jays ) and the Everett Aquasox ( farm team for Seattle Mariners ). It was also game 2 of their division playoffs and Vancouver was up 1 game to 0. Not only was it Vancouver, but it was also the second day of the official school year starting, and because the kids are “home learning” or should I say ” taking the world by storm and learning everything we can in our adventures ” kind of school, we got to take our whole family on the trip to see this amazing game.

Phillip and MarikaWell, I sang O Canada in America. The Canadians won 11-4 and I was blessed that we had a chance to be a part of it. I also sang alongside one of my friends and clients, former X factor finalist Phillip Lomax. He’s got a voice like Frank Sinatra, and it is seriously amazing. It’s one thing to do music, but it’s another thing to experience great moments with friends. The kids, at the end of the game, all went down to get their foul ball catches signed, and one of the pitchers – Matt Johnson – took Zac’s ball, told him that he’d get the whole team to sign it and to come back to get it from him in Vancouver. Well, for a baseball kid, Zac was ecstatic. Sure enough Sunday came, we decided to watch the game as a surprise to Gran and Pops who were in town from the farm, and we had a blast. The Canadians won 4-2 to Boise, and now the Minor League playoff final is tomorrow. At the end, Stacy and Zac went to the dugout, Matt knew exactly who they were, and he went and got the ball, signed and all by the whole Canadians team.

IMG_00001165There was something special about that. A guy took the time to do something for a kid and kept his word. It blessed my heart. I’m a fan.

So, the season is almost over, but I’ll be watching 42 every once in while to keep me going. I’m probably going to youtube ” Take me out to the ball game ” and make my kids learn the song with me so we can sing it loud and clear with the whole stadium next time, and I’m going to buy Zac a case for his ball so he can keep it forever. We’re making a memory, and for a girl like me (who I have to say when it comes to fun, I am very hard to impress), this experience, was an absolute blast. Thank you Vancouver Canadians, Matt Johnson, Tami and Phillip, my stellar family and… to the American who invented garlic fries, you all made my week 🙂

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