BIO: مريم ساويرس الموسيقى
An Egyptian gypsy, born into a worldly, nomadic family of musicians artists originating in desert sands to urban landscapes and taking her place on the international stage. Mariam Sawires; a unique raw talent bringing her flavour of Arabic/Northern African infused Jazz/ NuSoul to Japan, Germany, Denmark, Egypt, Uganda, Colombia, USA and her hometown of Sydney, Australia.
Inspired by the sweet lyrical high-pitched melodies of traditional songs passed down through each generation, from a young age Mariam began singing to the intricate ancient rhythms from her father’s clay-covered hands on the Darbuka drum. This is how Mariam Sawires came to be the unique raw talent that she undoubtedly is.
Born in Australia, her Egyptian parents explored the Australian outback and the far corners of the Earth making sure that from a young age Mariam’s artistic personality was inspired to develop. Learning to play the piano at 4, by 8 she was composing her own music and at 13 was commissioned to write and record a piece called ‘Voices of Australia’ for HREOC (Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission) to mark 30 Years of Multiculturalism.
In 2016, her arabic and enchanting expressive vocal melisma is featured in the video series of 'Artbreaks;' creative humanitarian short films contributing to a global United Nations campaign. Her rendition of John Lennon’s ‘Real Love’ earned her Yoko Ono’s official approval to be used on Australian TV series The Biggest Loser and then again in Scandinavia the following year. In 2012, Mariam lived in Japan for 9 months as a singer pianist doing 5-7 shows a week to the public. There, in her small apartment she wrote and produced her own music which later inspired her to continue travelling onto the US, Denmark, Germany, Egypt and Uganda in pursuit of her musical aspirations. In this time she seized every opportunity to create with some incredible artists. She recorded in Cairo, performed at various venues in Europe, performed with Qwela Band in Uganda and collaborated with Frontier at SXSW 2013.
Being present in Egypt at the heart of the Egyptian revolution left a huge mark on the young singer who infuses Arabic and Egyptian elements in her unique sound. She is active in the Egyptian community in Sydney and regularly performs at major events and festivals as an Australian Egyptian cultural ambassador. Mariam has also graced the stages of some of Sydney’s most prestigious venues such as: The Basement, The Standard, Darling Harbour, The Opera House, Woodford Folk Festival, Newtown Festival and more.
Her love of solitude and spirituality gives a depth to her writing that surpasses her years and her musicality is heavily influenced by the Soul and Jazz she loves while being beautifully coloured by her love of world music. Currently recording her highly anticipated debut EP at 301 Studios, it features musical contributions from her father, Tarek Sawires and some prolific Sydney musicians. Taking her time in the studio, Mariam is crafting songs that are timeless, boundary pushing and deeply thoughtful to really move each person that comes across her music.
Tarek Sawires and Mariam Sawires
Photograph: John Tartak
Sydney, Australia 2015