Marcè Underwood is a classically trained singer, poet and businesswoman from Cape Town. She leverages off her near 10 years of combining music, education and business to promote and sustain herself in the South African music industry.
After matriculating at Stellenberg High School in 2006, Marcè graduated with an honours qualification and diplomas at University of Cape Town, Shaw Academy and BHC School of Design. Her dissertations included – Opera music performance, Adult & Higher Education, Design, Digital Marketing and Music Education Curriculum Development. On the education front, she has trained and developed a variety of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in finding fulfilling music careers and paths in the industry. Her outreach projects include preparing individuals for the workplace in the Hospitality industry.
Marcè has performed on many stages in South Africa and also in Cardiff, Wales. She has performed alongside artists such as Lira, MiCasa, Kyle Shepherd, Buddy Wells and other genres such as dance/soul-lounge music projects. She is passionate about raising her daughter, Scarlett, with the same values that she was brought up with; kindness, honesty and pursuing your innermost passions with drive, while also enjoying & learning from every experience.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and your journey thus far.
Leaving home at 17 to study and live independently were the beginnings of me having to put a plan together that combined music performance and business in a manner that is truly authentic and profitable. At the end of the day, I believe that you need to create that balance between developing your craft, using your creativity and giving back to those around you.
Was it easy breaking into the music industry?
It was not an easy one! There are many talented musicians out there who go unrecognized. In my opinion, we need to be schooled into the business side of the industry too. When we study music, and are fixated on our craft alone, we miss out on developing our signature brands – as an artist – which is key!
What advice would you give to aspiring Singers?
Take every (paying and non-paying) gig out there! Get as much exposure as possible in the earlier part of your career. Sooner or later you’ll be able to name your price.
What is it that you are passionate about?
I am most passionate about education. I know that the only way for the legacy that I develop and create to exist in others, is through educating others on how to create it for themselves.
What is your personal motto?
Freedom of Time (owning your time).
Freedom of Money (creating financial freedom).
Freedom of Love (accept loving yourself, being loved by others and loving them in return).
Who or What has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
Life! I’ve gained and contributed to many a organisation over the past 12 years – my CV will tell you. But I can honestly say that each and every moment spent in these organisations has developed me. Firstly, by being part of massive international corporations and secondly, the advice and conversations with many of my ex colleagues who have remained my friends to this day.
What advice would you give a woman wanting to follow her dreams?
The universe responds to what you put out. Put yourself in a good mood every morning when you step out of bed and you’ll start to see the difference in your day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You’re doing your best. Don’t be so apologetic!
Who or what is your inspiration and why?
I acknowledge my faith as being the main source of inspiration, I don’t always give enough time to spirituality but when I look at how it’s carried me through my toughest times, I must say that there’s definitely a peace that exists within each of us which is greater than our own understanding.
Your favourite daily affirmation:
I believe in the power of positivity.
Your favourite quote:
“Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” ~Khalil Gibran.
Which book are you currently reading?
A non-fiction book called The Women of the Cousins’ War – great , researched compilation of 3 biographies in one book!
Which book can you read over and over again?
The biography of Che Guevara called: A Revolutionary Life.
What are your top 3 business tips?
- Be friendly but stay professional.
- Pay attention to detail and always be thorough.
- Dress the part.
What would you say is the secret to your success?
Knowing what my strengths are and how to adapt to any situation handed to me.
One general piece of advice you would like to share:
Be completely present to every moment.