In this NSFU exclusive, it's Marian Cray's turn to answer 10 Questions.
1. Tell us about your musical journey. How did it begin?
I started singing when I was 3 1/2 years old. My papa used to sing songs (he is a musician and singer by the way) when my mom was pregnant and I believed that helped me to love music, especially singing. My parents noticed that I have the potential to learn more so they decided to enroll me in music school. I got the chance to be a part of Center Babes (a group of kid performers) at Center for Pop Music Philippines and was offered to perform in different TV and theater shows not just in singing but also became a child actress at the early age of 6.
For 2 years I've been having fun studying while working as a performer because as a child I just thought I'm playing doing what I love and not working at all when suddenly my papa had been seriously sick to the point where I needed to stop and focus on taking care of him. After 4 years of going back and forth in the hospital he passed away when I was at the age of 11 leaving us with a lot of debts.
Moving on, I continued my singing career joining contests, guesting and singing on live events to help my mom earn a living until college years. It didn't stop me there as I strived hard to keep on practicing and improve (upto this moment) and started eventually to upload my cover on YouTube and started to write my own compositions.
Back in the Philippines I began teaching kids singing lessons at the convenience of their home and when I went to Singapore I was hired to be a performer at a restaurant located in Clarke Quay. That time my husband's friend was looking for a singer for their band so I was blessed to be the chosen one. We performed in different places and events as an acoustic or full band whatever they needed for their event up until this moment.
2. Who or what are your musical influences?
First are my parents, second my teachers, third my husband, fourth are my friends and co artists who make me listen to all genres of music and fifth my favorite singer or performers whom I usually get ideas in improving my singing skills.
3. What was the most recent record you listened to? Did you like it?
Adele's newest single "Easy on Me" and "Ghost'' by Justin Bieber. Loved it!
4. What’s your greatest musical ambition?
I want other people to know and sing my songs and be inspired.
5. Which song best defines you?
At the beginning by Richard Marx & Donna Lewis and Journey by Lea Salonga
6. How does this COVID pandemic affecting your music career?
During the pandemic, there were no live gig offers so we started more live sessions online, doing more recording for cover songs, doing collaborations and writing original songs on the side while doing my full time job as a music teacher. I'm really loving doing it and thankful where I am right now in my music career despite the pandemic and still praying for more opportunities to inspire people and share my love through music.
7. Is there a song you wish you’ve written? What and why?
As of the moment I don't think of one as I'm still in my journey in writing more songs soon.
8. How do you listen to music?
I'm listening while on my way home or purposely searching on spotify and watching YouTube new music videos.
9. Who is your dream band mate?
I'm good with all musicians out there as long as we both complement in our genres and styles. It will not be difficult on my side as I have a wide range of genres, just not heavy metals:)
10. Give one tip to upcoming artists who are trying to be productive during this difficult time.
Just do whatever you can do during this difficult time. Don't stop dreaming. Always remember giving up is not an option. Pray for wisdom and guidance and for sure He will guide you through your music journey.