MIRIAM CHRISTINE: Little Zee"Miriam Christine -Malta's New Soul Sister"
When one thinks of soul, rhythm and blues, culture, creativity and cross-over appeal, singer Miriam Christine comes to mind. This young, forward-looking and highly talented and versatile singer has already won the hearts of the Maltese audience when she represented Malta at the 1996 Eurovision song contest.
She has indeed also obtained the appreciation of audiences all over Europe when she finished in the Top 10 in that selfsame competition.
Born in Brazil but raised on the Mediterranean island of Gozo, Miriam Christine was destined to hit the big time. At the tender age of 6, she was introduced to singing and piano lessons. She took to listening to soul music but was also disposed to listening to various other styles- from Beethoven, Mozart, and such jazz greats as Marian McPartland, Oscar Peterson Fats Waller and of course jazz singers like Billie Holliday and Nina Simone. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross were also big inspirations as were latter day talents like Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, and Alicia Keys. She took all of those different genres of music and rolled them all into one, to create a style all her own.
The road to success wasn't an easy one. Raised in the small island of Gozo, she had an idyllic upbringing but then this was in total contrast to the rhythm and blues ambiance of New York or Detroit or even San Francisco. On the other hand, it helped Miriam Christine to project a different approach to rhythm and blues. She took to singing and took part in various festivals before eventually winning the Song for Europe Festival and representing Malta in the 1996 Eurovision with the song In A Woman's Heart.
Yet, as any aspiring level-headed artiste can tell you, the Eurovision despite a potential audience of 400 million viewers isn't exactly the right career path for artistic integrity. Miriam Christine was quite aware of such a situation and so she started to slowly but surely develop a new style. It meant a new musical direction as well as a new look. Her new direction addressed the music she loved so much and sought to discard the mainstream, predictable style she delivered with In a Woman's Heart and "Smile and Shine", her debut album. It was now a question of soul, rhythm and blues and Afro-American styles, which after all seem to be part of her psyche.
Miriam Christine did eventually release her first two R&B singles, which have lately garnered a lot of airplay on local stations. The songs in question are Hold On and Reptile Lover. Both songs immediately show her clear soulful delivery and her commitment to give soul music its dues. These songs are just part of a new soul project Miriam Christine intends to issue soon. It will also be the first soul and rhythm and blues album from a local talent.
Excerpted from an article by music journalist Eric Montfort, "The Times of Malta"
Since this article was published, the tracks 'What We Really Mean' and 'Hush' have been released and also proved to be very popular.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Little Zee
2. Reptile Lover
3. You're The Reason
4. Interlude: Amor Condicional
5. Conditional Love
8. Ain't Afraid
9. Symptom (of my loneliness)
11. What we really Mean
12. (You give me) Energy
13. Hold On
14. Mystery Mama
15. Outro: Answers