In the build up to our next episode of the American Song Contest, we had a chance to meet with New Hampshire’s representative MARi. Together we talked about our mutual love of Christina Aguilera, her time on La Voz, and her gratitude for this great opportunity. Learn more about her in our interview below!
Hello MARi and welcome to ESC United! I’m thrilled to have you on the site and get to know you a bit better as an artist. For our readers who might be learning about you for the first time why don’t you give us a quick introduction?
I am a Spanglish artist quickly becoming a crossover queen… I’m in this so deep now that there’s no going back so “hey world, I’m here” xoxo
You’ll be representing New Hampshire in the American Song Contest this coming spring congratulations! What has life been like for you since the cast announcement was made?
I am in superwoman mode, juggling everything & getting ready! It is so busy but so fun and exciting! Live shows & people are my favorite things ever so in full prep mode to make sure we give the performance of a lifetime to the whole world who has been anticipating this incredible show that I am so grateful to be apart of with so many talented artists!
Every artist has their origin story as a musician, that moment when they realized they had the passion and potential for a career in music. When did you realize you had a love for music, and when did it develop into a career?
When I was 9 years old I started to play the keys & sing on my grandfather’s piano and then did my first talent show at an Elementary school in New Hampshire called Hallsville & you could hear a pin drop when I opened my mouth and sang. I literally knew then there was nothing else for me.
I sang in church for 12 years and then joined the CCM industry for a time before my debut on the La Voz (Spanish version of the voice) then decided to join the latin industry since I am proud of my Cuban-Puerto Rican roots and who doesn’t love the latino culture?
What do you feel makes you and your music unique or different from other artists in the industry today?
I am definitely unique to say the least. There’s a difference between pride & confidence and I am confident in who I am and what I do so there is no need to try and be like, sound like, or look like anyone else. I am what I am behind closed doors, or out in public. I am gaudy, fierce, & fabulous but can sing, write, rap, and am bilingual. I’m like a piñata there’s something here for everyone.
You mentioned your time on “La Voz” where you were coached by Luis Fonsi. What did you learn about yourself as an artist from your time on the show?
Luis Fonsi was an amazing coach and I admire him greatly. La Voz gave me a platform and open door to join the latin industry who welcomed me in with open arms and I have now been on mega tours and even have a chart topping hit called “Chicas Malas” with the Frida Sofia, one of the coaches daughter Alejandra Guzman. It taught me to take the moment you have and work it not just expect that to be it, but to work even harder and go for more using it as a compliment to the rest of your career.
If you were able to collaborate with or open a tour for any artist of your choosing, who would you pick and why?
I would choose Christina Aguilera. She is so timeless and iconic. She is a an artist than can do it all, has mega chops, and fashion and I look up to her for tenacity and fighter spirit as well.
I won’t lie – I think Christina would be high up on my list too! And if there was no music in the world and you had to pick a completely different career, what do you think you’d be doing for a living instead of performing?
I would do interior design for sure because I dress my home, like I dress myself and I love all things like hgtv and commercial flips as well.
Is there anything that our readers would be surprised to learn about you? Something they couldn’t just find online or on social media?
Honestly nothing, I am in open book, what you see is what you get. I have been public about health, relationships, no hair & makeup days, etc. I believe in keeping it real because I am really the poster child for “if she can make it, I can too” I will say this though… most people don’t realize that my name MARi has a lower case “i” so that I remember to stay humble so that’s a fun fact for you.
Let’s chat more on the American Song Contest again, the big reason we’re both together today. How did you first learn about the contest, and what drove you to eventually submit a song?
I got an email about auditions and was kinda of at a lull moment in music and a really bad personal moment and was like I need this and the very next day submitted. I had a peace in my heart and knew somehow that I had to be on this show and my daughter who is my whole world who always tells me to never give up because if not everything we have been through would be in vain, (& trust me everyone has their story but I’m pretty sure no one has had even half the battle I have) then told me I needed to get on this because whether or not I won it would be a mega stepping stone or a win regardless in our lives and world and so far it has been.
You had mentioned on Instagram that your song took a village to create – what was it like working with your songwriting team and how did your ASC song come together?
This song and story is my life’s anthem and I dedicate to everything going on the world at this moment to encourage others to lift up their heads and fly, to be a figher and survivor…this can be your moment if you want it to be. My team was so vital because every lyric, melody, production was key to making this masterpiece that is going to touch so many lives. Shoutout to Andreas Carlsson, Ali Dee & team at the Practice Worldwide for being humble geniuses. Also, to NBC, & Atlantic, I mean seriously every single person has treated us all with such respect & kindness and that I am forever grateful.
For those who want to connect with you ahead of or after ASC – where can they find you and your music?
All my social media handles are @MARiBurelle.
Last question – is there any message you’d want to share with the ESCUnited readers?
They say it’s not over til the fat lady sings… well just wait cause I’m comin for ya and it’s gonna be truly unforgettable!! Much love to you all!
Well MARi, I want to thank you again for your time today and we wish you the best of luck in the American Song Contest moving forward!
Remember #YOU can catch MARi on an upcoming episode of the American Song Contest Monday nights at 8 PM Eastern/7 PM Central. #YOU can also jump into the ASC discussions on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!