Reviews & Dunn - You’re getting ready to embark on your first nationwide tour opening for J. Brown. How have you been preparing for the show?
I’ve been really heavy into studying my set- watching it grow from the ground up. I’ve teamed up with an amazing producer and musicians to give the audience something to remember. I’ve enjoyed taking apart songs and rebuilding with the “MARIAH.” touch. Rigorous vocal training and a consistent work ethic is a daily routine. I want to give people strong energy and have them feel that energy through my delivery.
Reviews & Dunn - Who were some of your early influences growing up musically?
Mariah - There are so many individuals to choose from- but I will condense to three: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mahalia Jackson.
Reviews & Dunn How did you link up with the Gardeners for “Bizness”?
Mariah - I’ve had the pleasure to get to know the Gardners musically in other projects, as well as my affiliation with University Park Records. Mike Gardner spearheads the group. We wanted to introduce our partnership in a fun yet powerful way- which is how “BIZNESS” was born.
Reviews & Dunn - Speaking of “Bizness”, was the song written from personal experience?
Mariah -Absolutely. I think of it as God giving me ability to put lyrics to lived experiences. Prayerfully listeners can be empowered by what they hear. Today, it’s so easy to spread your business and your life through means of social media. I wanted to take a different approach- and keep my bizness to myself. You never know if you’re giving the enemy the ammunition needed to defeat you.
Reviews & Dunn - If you had the ability to time travel would you rather see Whitney Houston’s My Love Is Your Love Tour or the TLC Fanmail Tour?
Mariah - Both tours were out of this world! If I just had to choose, it would be Whitney Houston’s My Love Is Your Love Tour. I love how personable she was and how she showed us a glimpse of her world with her beautiful daughter. Children are near and dear to my heart- considering the fact that I’m a NICU nurse. I loved that moment when they performed together. It was authentic and pure.
Reviews & Dunn - Is there anything you would like to add and where can fans find you on social media?
Mariah - I am so thankful to be on this journey with J. Brown, and so very excited to meet people! To follow my journey, my Instagram is @_mynameismariah_. You can find me on Facebook, Tik Tok, YouTube, and Twitter under the name Mariah Hester. And…Never settle for less, because God created you for more!