Whether in the recording studio, featured on national stages or crafting a poignant song, Mariama Whyte has the secret recipe that is certain to satisfy even the most discerning palette. A 2019 Verge Fellowship Recipient by Cleveland Arts Prize, Mariama recently starred in the highly acclaimed Dance Nation at Dobama Theatre and Simply Simone: The Music of Nina Simone at national theatrical treasure, Karamu House. She has played leading roles in the Broadway national tours of Disney's The Lion King and The Color Purple. Mariama has performed on the Oprah Winfrey Show, shared the stage with mega-producer David Foster, and has been featured as an actress in independent films and regional and national ad campaigns. She has opened for national and international artists such as Stephanie Mills, Jeff Bradshaw, Algebra Blessett, and Erik Rico.
As a young child, Mariama was immersed in music and performance--studying voice, acting, piano and violin. It was clear to her early on that singing, acting and writing would be integral parts of her life and has since become a great performer and profound songwriter. Born to a Jamaican father and an African-American mother and raised in Cleveland OH, Mariama absorbed the sounds of soul, pop, jazz, rock, hip-hop, Broadway musicals, gospel and reggae. She effortlessly merges her sonic influences and delivers a fresh sound she describes as contemporary R&B with splashes of world, jazz and pop influences, as evidenced in her various music releases including her self-released EP, "Find Your Light."
Inspired by countless music icons of the past and present, Mariama delivers passion and heart in her music and performance. Self described as a "quiet fire and a fearless flame," Mariama's vocal range is wide with a unique and powerful style to match. She effortlessly moves through different vocal sounds while remaining herself and at home in them all. Equally vibrant behind the scenes, Mariama possesses a broad lyrical and songwriting scope, always penning new, unique ideas. She has been recording new music for her upcoming full-length CD, Hey You It's Me, which she calls a musical memoir of her journey since returning home to Cleveland from Broadway tour life. She plans to release her new project in Summer of 2020.