Conscious artist releases fourth album
By Confidente Reporter
AT the age of four in Ohalushu a village in northern Namibia, artist and songwriter, Maria Immanuel who goes by the stage name ML, would sing her heart out to her family members, the birds and the trees while they cultivated the land.
Now 34, and with an international recognition award for ‘Best Artist of her time’ Zikomo Awards Africa 2021, ML smiles with nostalgia, saying her songs are a source of encouragement so as to help keep the adults motivated while labouring .
Inspired by her collection of cassettes of Michael Jackson, whom she grew up listening to, ML also attended primary school in Belgium and later South Africa, and today she releases tunes to the promise of a new Africa.
Widely regarded a socio-political conscious singer, her interest in human rights is evident in her music, addressing and asking pertinent questions in her songwriting.
One thing is clear, ML dreams of a better Africa. This she transcends into her music, delivering a spectacular fusion of a distinct sound. The result is an exportable contemporary Shambo Pop genre.
With her newest album ‘Money Music’ released worldwide on June 18, this Namibian artist is serious about her message. ML has hit collabos under her belt, boasting 10 years of experience in the music industry.
Having always sung, as well as groomed and managed one of the biggest kwaito stars in Namibia while a student in university – it was only in 2017 that she debuted her ‘Independence Day’ album, paying tribute to her motherland.
In her latest project, ML raps about musicians getting recognition for their value and dues from the music industry; on heritage, culture, the unity in our diversity and determination of the industry to transform Africa into a global powerhouse, through music.
Coming from a small nation of 2.4 million people, and having access to a 1.2 billion market of the continent – ML uses this awareness to her advantage.
An independent artist, ML is also the founder of Titanium Media, and an investor in various economic sectors such as tech, cosmetics and media and is amongst the winners of the Challenge des 1000 2020 Africa – France Summit.
To enrich her learning, ML delayed her singing career to prioritise her education. She holds a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Namibia and a Master’s Degree in International Trade Law and Policy from the Graduate Business School of the University of Cape Town.