Brixton diva who learnt to sing in ‘Beyoncé version of 8 Mile’ set to wow on The Voice

Brixton songstress Mari Marli is ready to wow the judges on BBC One’s The Voice when she takes centre stage this evening.

The former Burntwood School student has been chasing her singing dream for three years and will stop at nothing to swap her shifts singing in a London champagne bar for showbiz.

The 22-year-old will perform will.i.am’s Bang Bang and will hope to prove to the industry superstar that imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery.

The Voice hopeful has been signing in church since she was ‘zero’ and it was her family’s four-year stint in America during her teens that made her realise music was her calling.

She said: “I moved to America when I was 16 with family and at that age you still have to be in high school, so I went to high school there for a little bit.

“It was cool because they had great performing arts.”

Mari’s move to Florida saw her develop her stage presence by performing in hip hop song battles in what she refers to as ‘the Beyoncé version of 8 Mile’.

She said: “I moved to Orlando and there is a big hip hop scene there, so when you are just practicing as an artist and trying to get out there you end up going out and doing the open mics.

“That is how I got involved in hip hop, going up on stage and doing the open mics with all the rappers which was amazing – it was really cool!”

Upon returning to London, Mari took a break from music and went to university for a little while before deciding that music was her main passion after being inspired by the likes of Lauryn Hill and Chaka Khan.

The singer commented: “Ever since I was little I have been listening to the radio and whatever music is playing I pay full attention.

“It is funny because sometimes I am terrible with remembering names and stuff like that but whenever I hear a song I just remember it – it is etched into my brain!”

The Londoner will be one of 11 hopefuls singing for a space on one of the four teams mentored by will.i.am, Boy George, Paloma Faith and Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs.

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