Soul singer-songwriter Mariam released her debut EP Heart to Heart on Friday the 4th, with the lead single Be There For Me a catchy pop masterpiece. Based in south London, Mariam fuses soul, folk and pop to create her own unique blend of music. Crediting her compositional skills to her Nigerian heritage as well as being a self-taught guitarist and member of the London Community Gospel Choir (who have supported artists such as Tom Jones and Sam Smith), the hard-working singer has produced a polished EP that is set to launch Mariam’s career.
Be There For Me, the lead single from the EP, makes good use of melodic rhythm as well as instrumental rests. The main lyric in the chorus ‘be there for me’ is dispersed with melodic ‘ohs’, an excellent technique to trigger memory and recognition (which is the reason why the track’s chorus gets stuck in your head). I think that the broken chords in the piano part during the first half of the third chorus would have been more effective if they were arpeggiated, making the crescendo to the climax even more pronounced.
Mariam’s vocal prowess was on show for What I Want (Interlude). I think the beat could have been introduced closer to the middle of the track, as the song felt as though it needed to be stripped back even more than it already had. In Without You, the exclusion of the cymbols made the track sound earthy, an excellent choice to compliment the atmospheric sustained chords. The second interlude, Grow, was fairly simple in its construction so as to allow Mariam to go crazy with ad lib, and I was impressed by her restraint on this point. With a monumental voice like hers, it’s easy to go overboard with vocal gymnastics: her self-control showed her experience. The last track switched time signatures, which is an interesting choice and one you don’t hear often in a pop song. My only issue with the song was the echo on the melody in the third verse, it could have been cut back a bit or left out completely.
Heart to Heart is a brilliant debut for Mariam. It is clear she has the musical experience and know-how to make her way up the charts, I give the EP 9/10.
To hear the lead single Be There For Me click here
Download her EP Heart to Heart on iTunes