Marcia Miranda is T&T music royalty.
For over three decades Marcia’s voice has filled homes across both islands at Christmas time. She told us to “Bring Out de Ham” and to “Gimme Love” on Christmas day. And even doled out some potentially marriage-saving advice with her cheeky “Roast Fowl” ditty.
Boys adored her, this writer included. Girls wanted to be her; Marcia was at the height of her powers.
“It is self-satisfying to know I make a difference sharing my gift with everyone. I do it with utmost love for the art form and sincerity for creating happiness and joy, especially for the special Christmas season,” the surprisingly reserved singer told Kitcharee, on Friday when asked to reflect on the last 30 years.
In the same breath she credited her success to the songwriters and producers she has worked with over the years. Without those creatives and an ever growing loyal fan base, she says, she still would be an unknown dreamer.
For 2019 she is featured alongside Lujoe & The Gifted and General Grant on Richard “Charsue” Ahong’s upcoming Mariachi Riddim with the single “Solamente”. The music video for the project, which features Rome (Jerome Precilla) is scheduled for release this coming week.
“I am eternally grateful to the writers and producers who believed in my ability and so gave their best efforts to my songs. My audience and the promoters who continue to trust in my capability to bring a party to life is pretty amazing and encouraging for me.
“I have received several awards, including a national award, but nothing feels better than being recognised for the contribution I continue to make on our musical landscape, especially being the top female parang soca artiste,” she said with a sly smile.
It could have all gone so differently for Marcia. At the height of her success in 2004 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rocked by the revelation she made an immediate conscious decision to see the positives in a potentially fatal prognosis.
“My diagnosis was a near tragic one and my body took on a life of its own. I had never given the disease or even the word cancer much thought before 2004.
“I made a decision to see it for what it is and nothing worse. The medication, the team of doctors, these were tangible gifts in my mind, but it was up to me to make this firm, unshakeable decision to have faith and believe that I will be okay in a couple months,” she said candidly.
Staying optimistic, however, was not always easy. There were moments when the festive singer was herself overwhelmed with feelings of fear, sadness and hopelessness. It was during these times she fell back on the love and support of a strong network of family and friends.
“I found the right people to help pull me through. Friends who knew me to be a fighter, who knew me to never give up easily and they’ll remind me of that every single day,” she recalled.
She further extended that support network by volunteering with the Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society (TTCS). Sharing her positive outlook with people with a similar diagnosis brought new perspective, she said.
“I was able to get outside of my head and be of support to others. I met many caring and wonderful people who are now my friends. People from whom I learned a lot and people who made me laugh. You know what they say about laughter,” she said through a wide smile.
Marcia also found comfort in the arms of her God.
“My prayer was to give me a chance to be of purpose before I died. I didn’t think I had given to the world all God had gifted to me. Many people of varying religious denominations prayed with and for me. In fact, to this day I meet strangers on the street who tell me that they prayed for me. Praise God,” she nodded.
A new focus on good nutrition
To this day Marcia is careful about what she puts into her body. She juices fruits and vegetables and sticks to whole, healthy foods.
“To this day I remain a vegetarian. I do not eat processed foods. Instead I have lots of fruits and vegetables and legumes. Fresh juices are made in my blender every single day and coconut water when I can afford it,” she revealed.
Marcia, however, continues to have minor health issues. She was recently diagnosed with hiatus hernia and acute gastritis. She suspects unusually high levels of anxiety and stress as the culprit.
“The good news is that my journey with cancer has helped me to avoid possible trauma or depression. I am certain that every trial that the Lord allows is a poignant lesson to help in life’s journey. Life isn’t always going to be a bed of roses, but the times in the valley prepare us for the rise to the mountaintop,” she concludedwith great assurance.