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To watch video of Mariami perform “How the Story Ends” Click Here!
Mariami’s in-studio performance at WERS this afternoon was especially exciting not only because of the singer’s powerful voice and musical talent, but because she is an Emerson alum. She raved about the opportunities the school gave her and how much she loves WERS. Mariami truly is an inspiration for Emerson students, especially those hoping to make it as a musician.
She talked about the advantages of living in Boston as an aspiring musician: “Boston is a really really awesome scene for any muscian that’s starting out because while the talent pool is huge, the audience is still small; it’s not like New York. You don’t get swallowed up. It’s relatively easy to do what you do, get good gigs, and build up a name for yourself.” And that’s exactly what Mariami did. She’s played tons of venues around Boston: The Middle East, Harper’s Ferry (now Brighton Music Hall), Café 939, and more. Though she lives in New York City now, it’s clear her time spent as a student in Boston was central to her development as an artist.
The second she started to sing, Mariami demonstrated exactly what she was talking about. Her voice is very powerful, and she knows how to use it. Though her set was just her voice and the piano, the sound filled up the studio. She had fun with her vocals and demonstrated incredible skill the way she was able to sing full out one second then bring it down to a whisper the next with ease.
While Boston is an important city for Mariami, she said if anything sets her music apart from the mainstream, it is her connection to Georgia (the country, not the state). She lived in Georgia until age seven when her family moved to the US, but her roots have always stayed with her, especially through music. “I take that Georgian tradition of the delivery of the voice, its a really warm, soulful delivery the way women sing…. if you listen to some old Georgian folk songs, you’ll find parallels with my kind of folkloric style,” she said. “Georgian lyrics are very epic, so when I write everything is very big for me.”
The set consisted of three songs, the first called “Never Gonna Be the Same,” which showed off the clarity and soul in Mariami’s voice. Second was “Kvavilebis Kvekana,” which translates to “The Land of the Flowers” and was about her home country, Georgia. Mariami explained that this song is well known in Georgia and she had rearranged it into her own jazzy version, as well as shot a music video that is definitely worth looking up on YouTube. Even though the lyrics are not in English, it touches the listener just by how beautiful they sound. Lastly, she closed with “How the Story Ends,” a song she explained was written for her good friend and college roommate. She joked that this song is her version of ‘YOLO,’ about living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment.
Mariami is coming out with a new album later this year and has a website. With her genuine personality, unique background, and magnificent voice, Mariami’s new album is definitely one to look forward to.
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