SongVault Artist Profile
Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Maarja Kivi (pronounced Mar-ya) was born on January 18th, 1986 in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. By the age of 7 Maarja won the national Estonian singing contest for children "Laulukarusell 1993" (in English "Singing Carousel") organized by Estonian National Television, she also won it in 1994 and 1998. She has been the only person who has won the contest three times. Soon Maarja was known as the face and voice of an internationally known pop girl-group Vanilla Ninja. The girl-group enjoyed a fast ride to fame in Estonia (Her first album sold more than 20,000 units.)
In 2004, Vanilla Ninja’s album "Traces of Sadness" reached gold and platinum status in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (selling more than 200,000 units). The album was released in many other countries around the world including Japan, South Africa, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Czech Republic etc. Despite the fame and high ranks in various international music charts, TV shows and awards, Maarja decided to leave the band at its peak to make real rock music, not pop-rock.
Maarja's debut "Could You" in January 2006 landed huge success in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Estonia, and Finland, reaching the top 40 in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In addition, her follow up single "Shine It On" reached the top 40 in the same countries in September of that year.
All of those years Maarja wrote her own songs and in the summer of 2007 she made her dreams comes true. She recorded her solo album & was deeply involved in the writing process for all of the tracks as well. It was recorded at the Document Room in Malibu with world famous producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley (Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Led Zeppelin, Him, etc.) with the help of some amazing musicians. Including Paul Crook (MEAT LOAF, ex-ANTHRAX, SEBASTIAN BACH) on guitar, Scott Metaxas (ex-NUCLEAR ASSAULT) on bass, Derek Sherinian (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ex-DREAM THEATER) on keyboards and Brian Tichy (ex-OZZY OSBOURNE, SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, GILBY CLARKE, PRIDE & GLORY) on drums.
Her touring band members include:
Paul Crook – guitar (MEATLOAF, ex-ANTHRAX, SEBASTIAN BACH)
John Miceli – drums (MEATLOAF)
Wayne Carver –bass (QUIET RIOT)
Maarja is amazing singer/songwriter; she wants to rock the world and is ready to prove it with her new songs, powerful performance and incredible recordings!