Australian artist Ida Maree has had quite a musical journey. From the clubs of the Gold Coast, to the theatres of Sydney, and into Black Gospel Churches of Melbourne, Houston, DC, Birmingham, and LA, her travels and singing have encompassed the true path of a musician searching for truth in her life. Her debut album Saving Grace was acclaimed as 'The Album of the Year' by Australia’s leading Christian Radio Charts. But while in Nashville in 2014, Ida came into contact with Grammy nominated producer Billy Smiley (WhiteHeart, Johnny Cash, Clay Aikens, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sandy Patty), and they formed a partnership which came full circle in 2018. Bringing her new album Chapter 2 to the forefront of music in 2020 will be the culminating effort of these two kindred souls.
What is your earliest memory of music? And, how did you get started in music?
Singing in my grandmother’s kitchen as a very little girl, leaning up against the refrigerator to reach the high notes, whilst holding a self-made microphone - the electrical chord from her iron which I cut off!
I started singing as the lead vocalist of the school choir at the age of 7. Throughout my primary education I was involved in all musical performances (choir, Vocal soloist, with leading roles in musical productions and concerts). I was encouraged to seek professional singing lessons by my music teacher in secondary school and at 14 years of age I began working professionally in a corporate band which led to my first television appearance.
What was the first song you ever wrote? What or who inspired you to start writing music?
`he first song was “When I say I Love You” which I co-wrote with my vocal coach. He had jotted down a few lyrics along with a such a beautiful melody and it was in one of our sessions he expressed that he was compelled to hand it over to me to complete however I felt led. The demo recording ended up on my debut album “Saving Grace”.
Do you play any instruments? If yes tell us about it. If not, do you work with a band or studio musicians? Do you produce your tracks or work with a producer?
I have the basic skills to work on my material during the writing process, when it comes to performing and recording I definitely leave that up to the professionals working with session musicians. To date I haven’t produced my own songs. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with an amazing producer.
What is your favorite part about being an artist (performing, recording, writing, playing)?
As an artist I have to say I honestly enjoy every aspect from writing, recording and performing, they all go hand in hand. I love the creativity and challenges involved in the writing (although there’s nothing fun about writer’s block). Recording in the studio and working with my producer is so rewarding hearing it all come together and it being raised to a new level. Then having the opportunity to share your music and unite with your audience I find as such a humbling and rewarding experience.
Do you have any advice for young women pursuing music?
Refine your skill, invest in your talent/gifting. Be diligent across all areas of your craft and be dedicated in pursuit of your dream. Surround yourself with the “Right People” - those who believe in you and your vision; that conduct themselves with integrity with an upstanding reputation in their field. Do your homework and research them and never be afraid to ask questions. Build a core team that will impart and lead with wisdom, knowledge and clarity of direction; that will challenge, motivate and inspire you towards bringing the vision to fruition. The “right people” will tell you what you need to hear and not necessarily want you want to hear!
For readers who have never heard your music, can you suggest one or two songs to start with?
I’d definitely have to start with “Watching & Waiting” I’d call it the catalyst song. The time I found myself at a crossroad questioning my present and future positioning in life and music. Followed by the what I like to call my statement song and title of my upcoming album “Chapter 2”. It’s a reflection of my journey in approaching a new season and mindset; the decision to stand firm and not to be shaken - a time of saying “enough is enough” in order to step into a chapter.
Where can fans access your music?
Find on Apple Music.
For more information about Ida Maree, please visit her website.