Local songbird and multi-genre singer, Maria Immanuel, popularly known as ML, has released an album ‘The Diplomat’ that has people talking.
‘The Diplomat’, a 19-track album, was launched last weekend at an intimate media party at the Maperes VIP Lounge in Eveline Street, where she also performed with a live band. Attendance was by invitation only.
“I found myself in a career that allows me to represent my country at international forums and developed the love of being a diplomat for my beautiful country Namibia. Equally, I want my music to represent Namibia wherever it finds itself. ‘The Diplomat’ is therefore a truly Namibian sound for the world,” said ML at the launch.
ML is no newcomer to the music industry. She is known for singing with Exit, and for her first single titled ‘Kushiinge’ in 2011.
“To be honest, I was never actually ready to launch myself as an artist. I wanted to finish my degree first, then my masters and then get married before I turned 27. The latter, however, is still pending four years after due date,” she said. “It is my first album and you know what they say, the first cut is the deepest. Releasing my first album means a lot to me because it is the album to launch my career as a musician.”
One of the hit songs trending on social media is ‘O’radio’ featuring Neslow. The video is also attracting many viewers on You Tube. Other hits include ‘Kasi Love’, ‘The One’ featuring Exit, ‘Come over, I sing’ and ‘African Child’.
She said the album is diverse and caters for everyone. “My hope is to make a mark in Africa with my music. I want to enter the African market, as a Namibian female artist. I also hope to inspire people, especially young girls and boys, to believe in themselves. Ultimately, I want my music to touch and mean something in people’s daily lives and for them to enjoy it,” she said.
ML grew up in Belgium in the early 1990s where she started her pre-school. She completed her primary school between South Africa and Namibia and eventually permanently moved to Namibia for high school finishing in Walvis Bay.
She has been writing music since her teens. Some of her best memories in high school were the musical ones. At the university, ML met her artist friends Exit and Mushe, who went on to become household names in the Namibian music industry. ML decided to pursue her degree while her music mates went ahead and launched their music careers. When she graduated, she got her first job and started managing Exit who went on to launch a successful solo career. ML also paid for Mushe’s first solo album, which launched his career.
ML has made a name for herself as one of the first female music managers to successfully launch a successful artist in Namibia and establishing a household name record label, Rockaz. She has featured Exit on one of Namibia’s hit songs titled ‘Go to Malawi’.