Musical powerhouse Marisha Wallace announces a double single release, ‘Before I Go’ and ‘Climb Every Mountain’, out now. The tracks are taken from her upcoming debut Decca album, ‘Tomorrow’ out on 27th November.
LISTEN TO ‘BEFORE I GO’ HERE
Marisha’s first album is packed with uplifting show songs and sing-along pop classics, performed with love and emotion. A delightful force of nature, she is set to light up the Winter months with her sheer positivity and joy!
Marisha’s personal story runs parallel with the world’s current affairs. Having suffered from Covid-19 herself, she spent her recovery putting together a version of the classic ‘Tomorrow’ to raise funds for those in the theatre industry affected by lockdown. Eventually recruiting half of Broadway, the West End, and a host of drag queens to join the video, she independently released the track, which ended up on the Radio 2 playlist and landed the No.2 spot on the download charts. Now, with a global record deal under her belt, full of hope and excitement for the future, Marisha presents a very personal album of passionately recorded songs that hold a special place in her heart.
Marisha’s close family member, struggling with Mental Health issues, tried to commit suicide during lockdown. Knowing he could have died was a heavy experience for Marisha and the track ‘Purple Rain’ really resonated with her around that time, she feels it helped their healing and gave her a sense of hope, which she wanted to share on ‘Tomorrow’. The track ‘Alive’ (written by Adele and Sia) and ‘Before I Go’ represent pride, inner strength and empowerment. She felt passionately that there should be strong female representation on the album and the original tracks are all written by women – ‘Free’ is written by JinJin (Little Mix, Paloma Faith), ‘Divine’ by Camille Purcell (Jess Glynne, Little Mix) and ‘Faith’ by Natasha Bedingfield. Marisha is a true advocate for strong black women all over the world, urging them to be open about body image and mental health awareness.
Growing up on a farm in a small rural town in North Carolina, Marisha’s mother worked in a nearby factory while her father helped build the neighbourhood church. It was in that church that her grandmother saw a gift in Marisha and encouraged her to showcase that amazing voice. Just before her grandmother sadly passed away from cancer, she asked Marisha to be her voice during her illness, and to this day, Marisha sings with compassion resonating in every note.
Marisha landed her first job in the touring company of the biggest musical of the day, Book of Mormon. The tour was a smash, making a name for Marisha and earning her first Broadway role in Aladdin. While working on a new production with the legendary Stephen Schwartz of Godspell and Wicked fame, her dream role finally came within reach: the producers of the West End production of Dreamgirls starring Glee’s Amber Riley in the role of Effie, called Marisha in to be her alternate. Just like that, Marisha’s bags were packed, and she was on a plane to London.
She says, “My West End debut was crazy as I had to learn the whole show in five days! It was a bit demoralising to start with. I watched Amber and every time they went, “Here’s Effie…” there would be this huge ovation. Then when I did the part and they went, “Here’s Effie…” there was silence. No one knew who I was. But by the end of ‘And I’m Telling You…’, the whole crowd stood up and wouldn’t stop applauding even though they didn’t know who I was… And British people don’t give everyone a standing ovation, especially before half-time drinks!”
By this time, Marisha was a star. Getting an exceptional talent visa to allow her to stay in the UK, she took the role of Becky alongside American Idol winner Katharine McPhee in the musical Waitress. She then opened for Todrick Hall on his UK tour and then embarked on a headline tour of her own, which is when Covid-19 struck. “I thought I just had a fever” she says. “Then we found other people from the show were also positive. It has been devastating for my industry. Not only performers but everyone backstage, all the creatives, admin, everyone. So, I thought, what can I do to help?”
With nothing more than a microphone from Amazon, Marisha recorded herself singing the classic song of hope and renewal ‘Tomorrow’ from the musical Annie in her living room in Greenwich, which soon attracted the attention of the A&R Team at Decca Records. Released during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, not only with the intention of supporting her comrades in theatre, the song took on a whole new resonance and became a universal anthem of hope.
Bearing a big box of donuts during the album recording session with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, it is her positive attitude, exuberant personality and a touch of Southern hospitality that makes her instantly loveable. With a sensational voice that is guaranteed to bring a chill to your spine and a tear to your eye, she proves she is more than a singer, more than a performer, she is an inspiration. When Marisha tells you she’s “here to stay”, you’d better believe it!
Marisha has recorded songs for the upcoming Christmas movie Jingle Jangle, will feature in Season 2 of Netflix’s Feel Good and will perform in the West End production of Hairspray alongside Michael Ball in 2021.
‘Tomorrow’ is out on Decca Records on 27th November.