Born in Singapore and raised in the U.S., Mariam John (formerly Mariam Suso) has had a culturally enriched east-west upbringing. Mariam comes from a musically talented family of South Indian and West African heritage. This singer/songwriter has been writing lyrics since the age of fourteen while living in Cardiff, Wales.
Mariam attended St. Matthew’s Catholic School in San Antonio Texas and was in the school choir. During that time, she was in the San Antonio Children’s Chorus and also in the children’s chorus for the musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (this was a nationwide musical featuring Donny Osmond). These experiences helped Mariam realize her passion for music and performance.
During her high school years in Cardiff, Wales and then in Santa Monica, CA she began writing lyrics as a hobby and a release from growing pains. In the spring of 2003, she performed with a non-profit organization called City at Peace Los Angeles. They performed the play “Missing Piece/Peace” at the well-known independent “Actors’ Gang Theater” in Hollywood, CA.
In summer 2003, Mariam traveled to Europe. She stayed with her uncle in Finland where she began to learn to play the piano and recorded her first song titled “If we choose to love”. Mariam continued with piano and vocal lessons while attending her local community college in Santa Monica.
In the summer of 2009 Mariam John recorded her debut EP entitled "Unreal". The songs on the EP are a mixture of musical genres focusing on creating a new sound with a touch of jazz mixed with soul and an electric vibe.
Mariam graduated in May 2010 from the Berklee College of Music double majoring in Songwriting and Music Business Management. She says, "I have always enjoyed music and I am happy to be doing what I love. I hope to be able to reach people with my music and have a good time doing it." In October of 2010 she made her professional debut at the well known venue “House of Blues” in Los Angeles, CA.
After winning the Noise Prize open category music section in 2011. Mariam has been performing all over Singapore in venues such as Blujaz, the Esplanade, The Piegon Hole and was featured on an online based music platform called iamlocalized. She was invited to play at last year's Ambon Jazz Plus festival in Ambon, Indonesia and this year's Mosaic festival in Singapore. This budding singer-songwriter has recently released her sophomore EP called Dizzy Girl. The EP takes a new direction in sound and a maturity in songwriting.
Mariam dabbles in fusing classical indian instruments particularly the Indian violin and tabla. Along with various percussion instruments like the Kajira (distinctive of southern india), the djembe (west africa), darbuka (middle east) and the cajon. The goal was to produce an album that focused on putting a new twist into soul music. She states, " I have always wanted to incorporate my heritage into my music but keep focus on soul music being the overall basis, so this is a first attempt. I hope my listeners will enjoy listening to the songs as much as I have enjoyed working on them". She continues to say, " The lyrical content is a bit on the heavy side as this is a very personal album for me. i didn't mean for it to turnout that way but that's what happens when music speaks to you and takes charge. I hope people going through a similar experience will be able to find solace from the songs".
Mariam has been fortunate to have worked with amazing musicians like world renowned percussionist Nantha Kumar, not one but two amazing violinists T.v.Sajith (Indian classical musician)and Kailin Yong (classical musician), Shin Iikura ( pianist and Berklee graduate), Azman Nirwan (electric bass and Marketing Executive at Yamaha S.E.A.) and collaborated with an emerging Singaporean based arranger Seow Yi Zhe (who also contributed to the EP playing double bass and viola) and composer Ting Si Hao (who engineered the project ) .This EP is a precursor for what is to come from this unique and talented artist.
Dizzy Girl- EP 2013
Unreal- EP 2011
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Levi’s Music Challenge