Musician to Watch: Marie Miller

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By our music contributor, Carolyn Shields

We were recently graced with the opportunity to ask rising artist, Marie Miller, a few questions. Known for her hit single, 6'2, this mandolin playing singer has risen in the charts, combining her love of folk, pop, and country with lilting vocals.

When did you start writing music?

I began writing music when I was thirteen years old. Songs instantly became like journal entries and my way of dealing with all the beauty and chaos of growing up. 

Describe your writing process...

I always write about people or situations that truly impact me. I've never had the gift of just writing for writing's sake. My best songs always come from a strong emotional connection to the subject with the exception of my more humorous songs which I also I enjoying writing but in a totally different way. 

What are the top three songs on your playlist?

I am constantly changing my playlists  but at this very moment it's "Soon or Never" by the Punch Brothers, Yuna "Favorite Thing," and Emily Hearn's "Cutting Ties."

Any exciting new announcements? Upcoming tours? New album?

Yes!  I am taking time off the road to work in LA on a new album with producer Eric Rosse. Eric produced one of my favorite artists Sara Bareilles, so it feels pretty magical to be working with him. 

You recently played for Pope Francis at the Festival of Families; how was that?

Words can not describe how much of blessing it was to perform for our Holy Father! I know I will cherish the memory for the rest of my life. The whole experience refreshed and encouraged me to continue to work full time in music. On a side note,  I also got to hang out with comedian and fellow Catholic Jim Gaffigan who was also performing that night. My family and I love him, so that was another gift. 

What is your theory on beauty, God, and art?

St. John Paul the Great's Letter to Artists remains my greatest inspiration on beauty.  He writes, "Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence. It is an invitation to savor life and to dream of the future. It stirs that hidden nostalgia for God." As artists we are called to echo the love song God sings to the world, to remind our listeners of their heart's deepest long through art. 

What makes you move?

What gets me up in the morning is the reality that life is a great adventure. I want to climb the mountains and cross the oceans of life. There is so much to discover. 

Which bible verse speaks to your heart and why?

James 1:17, "All good giving and every perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights which whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change." I love this quote from James, because it reassures us that no matter what happens God's goodness is constant. 

What do you believe is most beautiful about a woman’s heart?

My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world, and she is a mother not only to her ten children but to anyone she meets. The most beautiful thing about a woman's heart is her ability to connect with and understand others, just like my mother does with each person she encounters. 

What has been the highlight of 2015 for you?

The highlight of 2015 for me was definitely performing for Pope Francis and spending that whole Pope visit weekend with my family in Philadelphia. I'm not sure how I am going to top that experience!