Raised in the church by well-known musically-inclined parents, Mirabelle Fobi is a Cameroonian-American nurse who set out to reinvent her own life and pursue her life-long passion for the arts. “Music has become my outlet,” as she simply puts it, without making us perceive the weight of her endeavor.
This is probably one of those stories that you’ve heard a thousand times. Yet, if we take a closer look into what this woman has gone through in this unworldly scenario we are currently living in, we might get to the conclusion that this is not just another talent knocking on the door of the untouchables to validate herself, but rather a strong independent woman who loves herself.
Her music is influenced by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Manu Dibango, Celine Dion, Sam Cooke and Fela Kuti. After tirelessly fighting on the frontlines, she wanted to turn all the pain she experienced inside the walls of those hospitals and see things in a different light through the power of music.
Mirabelle’s debut single “Zigiyaga” introduces an eclectic blend of Afro Funk and Blues, generating a new pop sound that showcases her brilliant soulful vocals. The electrifying, catchy tune is set for release on January 24, 2022 on YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.
The song’s official video, composed of paradisiac visuals, feel-good acts of freedom, and a vibrant choreography, makes everybody move with a contagious sense of lightness. It is inspired by the happiest places she has envisioned as well as her love for nature and freedom. We sat down with Mirabelle to talk more about her project and how she turned her passion into a reality.
Can you tell us a brief background of yourself and your journey?
I grew up in the church with musical parents singing in Acapella groups and later became a worship leader. Still honoring my gospel and African roots, music from the ’60s & ’70s resonates deeply, with a lot of Soul. My family sang almost every day in the house.
My intention 23 years ago after arriving in the US was to study music and, coming from a family predominant in academia, that wasn’t gonna fly. Fortunately, I never gave up on my dream or halt my creative process.
What inspired you to become a singer-songwriter? Which songs, musicians, films, and performers have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?
My environment was musically stimulating, my parents were choir conductors who traveled abroad a lot when I was young bringing back great music. Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Fela Kuti, Manu Dibango, Sam Cooke to name a few. Clint Eastwood is a genius, love his innate chivalry and charisma. He draws you in. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’s soundtrack is timeless. I’m an old soul.
What was the first project you worked on? Can you walk us through the process of preparing for this single?
I started small projects as young as 13 going from house to house singing acapella or Christmas carols. It was very liberating, feels like yesterday. I have had a couple of unfinished projects due to multiple reasons. It just wasn’t the right time. I have been building momentum for this project and I’m glad it’s happening now, no sooner or later. It’s the perfect time.
What was your biggest takeaway from your first experience working as a professional?
Trust no one, especially when you want something so bad and eager to deliver. Not everyone has the right motive or intention. But when you find that right and reliable person, hold them tight to avoid being exploited.
How do you balance your career as a nurse and as a singer? Do you prefer one over the other?
Maximizing the use of my time is key. I made time for myself when I was a bedside nurse after working long hours. I’m now in nursing management. No matter what happens, I will always be a nurse with a BSN and MBA. I just halted my MPH program to launch my music career. Being a nurse and now an ICU manager has its challenges especially with the current health climate but mostly rewarding. Music is my home and outlet. I am thrilled and humbled that its finally coming alive.
Can you give us an overview of the songwriting process? What is your particular process or style?
My writing and composing process is all soul inspired. Finding myself or self-discovery came with more clarity in art appreciation and using that as the creator for unique music pieces. Life’s challenges also forged me to avoid settling, especially after losing both parents within a year, back in 2018. I called it a Post-Traumatic Stress Motivator. Tough times seem to fuel my creative flow.
How can producers help songwriters improve their craft? Are there specific ways that they can do to serve you better as an artist?
Absolutely. By listening or looking for the sound beneath the lines. A producer with an elevated mindset that’s willing to veer from current trends and dive deeper in creation. That happens being in the moment and staying open.
What do you think the future of the music industry would look like? What kind of genre do you think will emerge and capture the attention of producers and executives?
That’s a good question. The captivating factor towards our phones, apps, electronics, etc. to me can be good or bad but would likely shift music’s future towards again likability. On a positive note, it would bring hope and freedom to become, more expression, daring more and getting out of our comfort zones. I can only think of a future genre with more sophistication in technicality. We must not simmer down the power of the vocal instrument.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind as an artist? What’s next for you?
Love, Freedom, Kindness. What’s next for me is releasing an album, collaborations and unveiling my highest and greatest unapologetic art expression in whatever I do.
Finally, tell us about the song and the meaning of its title “Zigiyaga”.
Zigiyaga means “live now”. The song is all about freeing yourself from the past and the worries of the future and living your best life to the fullest now, while you have it. It’s a pick-me-up catchy tune to brighten someone’s day.
Mirabelle’s debut single “Zigiyaga” and its catchy tune are set for release on January 24, 2022 on YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and SoundCloud – check it out!