From the Heart of Jozi comes an unusual vocal talent. But it’s Mari Michael’s versatility and song writing skills that makes her new album “Droom” a force to be reckoned with. Mari’s sheer determination, hard work and a stubborn refusal to never give up, has kept her going through a long and rocky road.
Young at heart
Mari knew at the tender age of 6 that the destiny for her life was to be a singer and an actress and strived all of her school career to become as skilled as possible in both. Singing in choirs, attending singing lessons, playing piano and attending drama lessons, dominated all of her free time. At the young age of 13 Mari landed her first part in the Schuster comedy “There’s a Zulu on my Stoep” as little Rowena, and the deal was sealed: Mari was in love with the entertainment industry!
A rocky start
Mari’s parents were concerned about it being an unpredictable career and made sure that she got a solid education in business. This did not stop Mari from making her dreams come true. During her three year studies at RAU Mari participated in the RAU Song and Dance Musicals, where she played Velma in their rendition of ‘Chicago’. Her performance got her noticed by an agent and after her graduation she joined their books and was cast two days later in Richard Loring’s Girl talk-Nite out.
In the soap world
Mari quickly earned a reputation of being an intensely emotional actress, and played the part of Bessie in ‘Molo Fish II’ and Melissa Fisher on eTV’s ‘Backstage’. ‘Backstage’ was also the perfect soap to showcase Mari’s mix of singing, acting and dancing talents. It earned her the People Magazine Crystal award for Best Female Newcomer in 2005. Mari’s most recent work was on Danie Odendaal’s ‘7de Laan’ as Gerda, the distressed mother of a kidnapped baby.
God Bless Africa
Her hard work gained her the experience to become very passionate and intense performer. She had to transform her singing technique from opera to commercial. Mari tried her hand at secular music she but always knew in her heart that gospel music was what she was meant to be doing. “As an artist you have to be passionate about what you are writing. You have to have something to say. I don’t know how not to write music about God and my beliefs,” she said. The lack of a record deal did not dissuade Mari and with God’s help she produced “God Bless Africa” herself, composing 10 of the 12 songs.
The songs “God Bless Africa” got the attention of Spirit Music, they signed her and she released her seond album “Droom”. Mari was ready to take on the world, but life had other plans.
Not to long after she found out that she was pregnant with her first child and soon after that, the day before Christmas, she was diagnosed with cancer.
Mari trusted God to get her and the baby safely thorugh and He did. After dangerous surgery and chemotherapy, Kendra was born safely at 37 weeks and Mari was cancer free!
During this time she held fast to this Bible verse: Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you”.
A song on her album “Ek is nooit alleen nie”also kept her going. She says “God is loving beyond comprehention. I wondered why I wrote this song when I did. God sent me a word of encouragement before I even needed it! Before my situation had even happened, He was telling me that He never leaves me nor forsakes me.”
Dream come true
Mari has spent many years on stage and her brand of Gospel singing is lively and youthful. It is a testimony of her sincere love for God. Her album is called “Droom”, as she believes that there is a dream for everyone in God’s heart and this album is a dream come true for her.
One can expect vibey old favourites and unforgettable new songs from ‘Droom’.
Mari Michael and Johan Heystek have spent many hours selecting songs and perfecting this offering in studio, to make sure that it will bring something exiting and new to the table. The lyrics will speak to your heart and the beats and melodies will call you to dance and sing for the Lord!
Mari explains the song I am never alone – Ek is nooit alleen nie
The song you are listening to “Ek is nooit alleen nie”, is very dear to my heart. It helped me through a dark time in my life, when I was diagnosed with cancer while I was pregnant.
It means “I am not forsaken”. The message is that God never leaves us alone no matter what we might be facing. I always say that we cannot walk around the valley of the shadow of death, we have to walk through it.
Since the release of my album ‘Droom’ and the music video of “Ek is nooit alleen nie”, I have been able to encourage and inspire others going through similar situations – people seeking the face of God in the midst of their storm.
The key verse at the end is: Joshua 1:9 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. He will never leave you, nor forsake you!”
The music video for “Ek is nooit alleen nie”, contains real life footage that I filmed during the time I was having chemo and the birth of my baby. You should watch it, I would like to share this journey with you and remind you that God is a Big God!