South African singer, Mariechan finally has the opportunity to pursue a solo career; but that hasn’t stopped her from reflecting on how the industry treated her after she fell pregnant.
The singer, who rose to fame as one third of the girl group, Jamali, fell pregnant when she was 23. This happened to be around the same time that the group was recording its second album and in an interview with TshisaLive, Mariechan explains how quickly things changed in the industry when she became a mother.
She said: “I became a mom. I fell pregnant and it was really shunned upon. I was 23 years old and we were busy with our second album. The label didn’t see me as a role model any longer. I was painted as this ‘certain type of person’ who just didn’t belong there anymore.”
While an unexpected pregnancy is challenging at any age, when you’re in your early twenties and dealing with it alone, it is easy to feel frightened or worried. However, as she overcame each phase of motherhood, Mariechan realised that she was not only capable of juggling parenting with her career, but that it was growing her self-confidence too!
“It wasn’t any help that I had to be strong for myself and my baby. But that is where my life really took a turn for me. A lot of the changes started there, I learnt to peel off the layers of insecurity and all the other things that were projected on me to taint my confidence and my identity. As I stepped into my motherhood shoes, I knew I had to be the woman that I’ve always set out to be.”
Fast forward to 2018 and the singer is determined to make a name for herself as a solo artist and in an earlier interview with TshisaLive she explained why she’s excited to share both her talents and vulnerabilities with the world.
“I feel like I am now letting people into quite a vulnerable side of myself that people never got a chance to see because when you are part of a group, you know, packaged for the group. When you are part of a group in this industry, you’re built for the group, that means being told, ‘this is what you’ll look like and this is what you’ll sound like’. Basically a lot of things are scheduled for you for the sake of the group.”
Mariechan and Jamali rose to fame circa 2003 when they emerged as the victors of the music talent show, Coca Cola Pop Stars.
These days, she’s hanging out and making music with the likes of Shekhinah and giving us a lot to be excited about with her own releases too.
If you haven’t already heard it, Mariechan’s new single, Missed Calls is available for streaming worldwide.