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17 Mar

The One To Watch: Desire Marea, Healer & Artist!

Talented, queer and multidisciplinary artist, Desire Marea, lovingly leaves a piece of himself on every song he touches. 

 His sound is influenced by his journey of healing, love for fashion as well as the evolution of culture. Through beat and melody, he feeds, heals and nurtures the souls of many. 

Born Buyani Duma, Marea was raised in Amandawe, a rural town on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. He believes that his current reality and the kind of person he is today can both be attributed to his upbringing. 

I think the one thing that affected me the most about my upbringing was how supportive my family was about me pursuing the arts. 

They didn’t ask me many questions, they afforded me the opportunities that helped shape who I am today. I’m very grateful for that and I hope more black families cushion creative children in an environment of love and support,” he said.

Growing up as a lover of all things fashion and film, Marea developed his love for music through observing the music choices made in fashion shows and some of his favourite movies. 

“I really wish we had Shazam back then (lol). I had to google “what song did they use in the Versace show Spring Summer 09”. When the gift of music came later through divine ways, there was a solid foundation of my love for music and its intersection with visual culture,” he said. 

In 2020, Marea released his debut studio album ‘Desire’. Through the album, he took listeners on a journey of his own life and healing. He is also a member of performance art duo FAKA.

Speaking about what music means to him, the musician expressed that it is all around us and likened it to life itself.  

“It’s the sound of things. Everything.  Every object, every feeling, every experience, every entity, it all has a sound to it. Music is life to me”. 

His sophomore album ‘On the Romance of Being’ is set to release on the 7th of April and is expected to be nothing short of a masterpiece layered with creativity and texture.

As an overall creative, he shared that his creative process is driven both by his pursuit of truth and his curiosity about the human condition. 

“I feel creativity should always be driven by devotion to the truth, whatever the truth is in that moment. Whether it’s right or wrong. Our commitment to the truth will add layers to make better sense of our complex condition as human beings,” he elaborated. 

The artist’s inspiration also comes from different places including nature, God and the cosmos of all living things singing. 

Also a traditional healer, Marea seeks to fortify spiritual wellness in the lives of those he sees. He also shared that, more than anything, his life of healing has been an act of consistently and intentionally inhaling love and exhaling fear.  

“My journey of healing is defined by love and forgiveness. It requires courage and irrational faith. It’s about being alive and feeling everything fully, without fear,” he explained. 

Thus, when he is not in the studio making music, Marea can be found working in his healing practice. 

He also spends much time engaged in research, working out or even practising his Grammy acceptance speech. 

Above all, the musician views music, healing and identity as aspects which are all interlinked by that which makes us human. 

I think the common denominator here is the human soul which should be prioritised and cared for through all the above perspectives.” 

When asked where he sees the Desire Marea brand in the near future, the phrase “where the money resides” was his simple and confident  answer. Indeed, the artist’s continued  growth, impact and healing are everything we look forward to! 

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