A Shiny Bright Christmas – The Album

A SHINY BRIGHT CHRISTMASIts an album. A Canadian Christmas Collective – if you will! This is for fun. And it is a lot of fun. These artists are all my friends. We’ve done the journey together, some for a while, some, we are just getting started. Ryan McAllister and I have journeyed the last 10 years together. He recorded my first demo and album when I first moved to BC. He had just signed a major record deal and built his own studio. He still is one of the best writers and artists in this land in my opinion ūüôā ¬†Anna Vandas is a beautiful friend, singer, songwriter and mama of 2 who I recently started working with, but her husband David and I have shared ideas, and worked together on numerous film, TV and book projects in the past. Mia Arbeau is one of my biggest supporters, and a songwriter and artist in her own right. Darlene Ketchum and I created a music internship program at a college together and she is a mentor and good friend. She has so much heart and soul and can play piano like nobody’s business. Roy & Rosemary inspire me every time I see or hear them play. Their performances are stand out as an instrumental pop fusion duo, and it’s their hearts and desire to succeed along with their incredible manager Paul that allow them to rise above the rest! The HOLLE girls are an Edmontonian Girl Band who shine bright like this album title and are like little sistas to me! Kelly Elford, whom I recently just met, is a woman with a dream, that’s just starting to take off.
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I admire everyone here. They have the courage to write, to sing, to play, and to share their journey of life and music with the world. And they are pretty great at it too. They are some of the most talented people I know, and so I wanted to share them all with you.

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Merry Christmas! I’d love you to check out the album, and support some good people.

HUGE Thank you to all the artists involved:

Here’s the link to buy it today: www.ashinybrightchristmas.com

It’ll be up on iTunes soon!

Have A Shiny Bright Christmas!

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– M

Rehearsal with Roy & Rosemary. And so begins a journey…

photo-26It was a Thursday on a gorgeous sunny Vancouver afternoon. With a view of the ocean at my friend Rosemary’s place, I got to sing with the most beautiful sound I’ve ever been a part of live on a Spring afternoon! Roy and Rosemary are multitalented in their own right. They have just released their new album ” Once Upon a Dream “, they are fresh off their tour with pop opera group Destino, and are moving forward in their music careers like never before.
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Their music is nothing short of captivating. Their hearts and their passion for life¬†and their craft even more so. Roy plays the piano and can sing a boys 2 men R&B vocal like nobody’s business, and Rosemary’s violin is so moving that every time she plays she could bring me to tears.

And here I was, just in awe of them, winging a version of “His eye is on the sparrow” ¬†with them. It was a passionate moment, powerful even. We then played “Soldier” It’s still one of my favourites. Roy learnt it in all of 2 mins and was pretty much bang on. ¬†Rosemary picked it up in less time than that, and I all of a sudden heard a dream come true that day. Roy, Rosemary, violin, piano, and myself on an original. Stacy and the kids joined us at the end, and we played them Soldier. Best part, I saw it was bringing Stace to tears. Not sure why. Could have been R&R’s amazing dynamic, could have been the song, or allergies even (haha) but whatever it was, it was magical in the room that day.

I was blessed. I believe it’s the start of a journey. I don’t know what it looks like, but it seems pretty great! I’m just in an unbelivable journey and I’m experiencing ¬†heaven shine in on.

When people ask me what I do…

RED DRESS 2I’ve been out and about these last couple of days, purposely putting myself into the hands of complete strangers. I’m talking about the spa. I have a love-hate relationship with the spa. I end up loving the conversations I have there, but when I initially arrive, I dread having to talk to these strangers who I will be with for the duration of the next 1 -2 hours. I just want to walk in there, be unknown, and just get my stuff done lol. What I do is so unique, and to be honest, it’s difficult explaining it all. I do a lot of things. A lot of great things, but I guess instead of asking me what I do, I feel that the question I’d like to hear is ¬†” So Marika, tell me what you are about! “

That’s a WAY better question, and one that I am getting used to asking when I meet someone for the first time. I DO many things, but what is it that I am about? Well!

I am about LIFE.¬†I am about madly loving my husband daily and making memories of a life well lived with him.¬†I am about ridiculously loving my children and raising world changers confident in who they are! I am about seeking justice and walking humbly with my awesome God. I am about empowering artists in to their dreams, and my friends in to their goals. I am about laughing, having fun, going on adventures, and sometimes, I am about reading a good book and having a cup of tea by my fireplace. I am about loving others, celebrating others, valuing EVERYONE, as well as reaching out and standing up for those that don’t have a voice. I am about LOVE.

A friend of mine asks all his clients to make sure they can answer one simple phrase, and I have adopted this as challenge when I am in conversation : Answer this : ” My name is… ” and ” My life is about… ”

44387630046It’s not what I do that defines me, but who I am. Perhaps even more importantly WHOSE I am. I think if strangers asked me that, I’d be way less introverted and a whole lot more excited to talk to them. Telling them about Living LIFE, as opposed to, ” well I run a record label, Im an artist and a songwriter, had a couple number 1’s, blah blah blah. I know – it can be exciting – but what happens when I don’t have all the glam and stats – which I am finding I’m low in that department in some of those right now. Those successes or lack thereof, never change who I am. Im so grateful for that even in the hard ” I’m nobody special, and my success is shrinking days ” ( yes i have those haha). Regardless, I know who I am, and that above all, I am LOVED.

~ M

Photo credit: Annette Biggers www.triplecord.com & Disneyland 2013