Neo-soul/R&B diva Marva Holiday released her latest single, “Reflections,” a short while ago, announcing what she calls “Part Two” of her career.
Explaining, Marva says, “It’s difficult for female performers who are middle-aged and older to return to the music business once it’s decided that they’re ‘too old. I was pushed out of the industry by ageism, but I’m not letting that stop me from coming right back, right now!”
She goes on to add:
“One of my goals is to inspire older women. I will demonstrate that it IS possible to dust off one’s deferred dreams and ‘go for it.’ Age is nothing but a number. Making music, whether mine or that of others, energizes me. I will write and perform as long as there’s an audience.”
Well-known for the hit song, “It’s Written All Over My Face,” Holiday was born in NorCal but grew up in SoCal. Holiday’s half-sister, Yonnine, was the daughter of jazz great Charles Mingus, who took Holiday under his wing.
Holiday started out singing in her church choir, followed by writing original songs. Later, she took over for Sherlie Matthews in Bonnie & The Treasures, an all-female group who hit it big with their song “Home of the Brave.”
After releasing “It’s Written All Over My Face” on GNP Crescendo, Holiday joined Black Magic, providing three songs for their Where Is Love LP, released by Atco. A short while later, Holiday moved to Berkeley, California, where she studied music at Merritt College.
In 1971, she took a job as staff writer with Jobete, the publishing side of Motown Records. Her song, “Woman in My Eyes,” recorded by Stacie Johnson, was her one and only commercial release. After a few years of solo performing, Holiday retired in 1977, co-founding Scrunch Music, followed by establishing the Oakland label Zipporah.
Decades after being released, “It’s Written All Over My Face” achieved popularity in Britain’s soul scene, allowing Holiday to make her UK debut at the Cleethorpes Mirwood Revue. In 2015, she released her version of the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody.” At the present time, Holiday is working on new music.
“Reflections” opens on a gorgeously elegant piano topped by Holiday’s exquisitely dulcet voice, rich and full-bodied, exuding crystalline tones. A gleaming guitar riding the pulsating rhythm infuses the tune with gentle, tender colors, as the music flows on streaming textures.
Holiday’s lush voice gives the song alluring timbres, inviting listeners into a beautiful sonic experience.
Wonderfully wrought, “Reflections” shimmers with layers of warm colors reflecting tints of nostalgia, all crowned by Marva Holiday’s mellifluous tones.