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Artist Spotlight: Diving into Miriam Nyarko's Journey So Far

Miriam Nyarko

Miriam Nyarko is a multi-talented British artist of Ghanaian and Bajan descent that is making waves as both an actress and R&B singer-songwriter. She has made her mark on numerous acclaimed West End productions and nationwide musicals across film, television, and theater. Despite her success in these realms, Miriam has recently embarked on a new musical journey, delving into Gospel music with the release of her debut EP titled "The Journey."

The EP, produced by Samuel Jinadu, delves into Miriam's personal journey of faith, struggle, and redemption, inspired by Biblical verses and her own experiences. Tracks like "Drowning" and "Mine (Oh Father)" explore themes of vulnerability, grief, and rediscovery, while "Lifeline" serves as an anthem of hope and worship. Miriam's unshakable belief in God's presence is captured in "Built On You," rounding off the EP with themes of faith and resilience. Through her music, she candidly shares her personal struggles with grief and sickle cell anemia, aiming to inspire hope and courage in others facing similar challenges.

Speaking about the inspiration behind her EP, Miriam Nyarko says,

“My debut EP has been a long time coming over the past few years, and it’s taken many different shapes, sounds and forms. I think if you dwell on something for too long, you encounter the risk of staying stagnant when seeking perfecton. So, I couldn’t think of a better time than now to release these songs. If God has given me these songs for now, then why wait till later? Ultimately, I feel like these four songs are the most accurate and vulnerable representation of me and my faith. I also love the story that this EP conveys – we start ‘Drowning’ and wading through our struggles, but through a journey of finding God, and finding ourselves again, we end with an ever-present reminder that we are all built on Him.”

In an engaging interview with Miriam Nyarko, we delve into her evolution as a rising figure in the Christian music scene. From her beginnings singing in church to the creation of her debut EP, Miriam opens up about her experiences of faith, grief, and illness. Join us as we uncover Miriam's inspiring journey of resilience, faith, and artistic expression in the realm of Christian music. Read full interview below.

Listen to The Journey EP here

Congratulations on your first ever EP! When did the music journey begin for you?

Thank you! I’ve been doing music my whole life. I started writing songs when I was 13 but I’ve been singing from the age of four - started in church and just kept going. Managed to go into the acting side of it and here I am now.

Talking about the EP, I absolutely loved its flow. What was the inspiration behind that?

Music can be a powerful medium for sharing journeys, expressing growth, and affirming your faith in God as your rock. So, ‘Drowning’ is pretty much a look into my heart. My best friend passed away when I was sixteen and my dad passed away not long after. I really battled with my identity and purpose after that. Of course, it was a very pivotal moment in my life. I realised that it’s okay to be hurt, and to feel like you’re under water and unable to swim. It’s in the letting go that God redeems your life and becomes your lifeguard. It’s the first track because that’s where my journey with music re-started. I had given up on music, and then that song came to me. You can’t say "no" to God.

Mine (Oh Father)’ is the next one. It’s incredibly deep despite its upbeat catchy tempo. Through grief I suffered a lot with identity issues and the enemy tried to kill, steal and destroy my joy. It felt like I was constantly recovering. I also suffer with sickle cell anemia which can trigger a lot of pain. For ages it felt like a punch to the face - being given a body that wasn’t able to do all that I was called to do. I fell into a pit and didn’t know who I was and who to call mine. And that’s when God told me “I am yours, I’ve always been yours. You had an earthly Father but I’m always there."

Christ is mine, My father, a constant friend.

Lifeline’ looked into those conversations between me and God which ended with me finally gaining my confidence and picking up my cross to follow God. That's when I discovered and declared who I am. In Christ we are a new creation and we can continue to walk in that purpose and fulfilment. “My sheep hear my voice I KNOW THEM AND THE FOLLOW ME” He’s the Shepherd, I’m the sheep.

That’s when I knew that my life was "Built on Him," which is the last song on the EP. Funny enough, it was the first song I wrote. These songs were not all written in order. It’s like I saw the full picture before zooming in. Sometimes God would show the destination but he won’t show you how to get there.

How has it been living with sickle cell anemia?

Living with sickle cell anemia has been a journey, but I'm in a much better place than I was in 2021. Back then, I was constantly in and out of the hospital every three weeks, particularly while dealing with grief, which was a major factor in my admissions. These days, however, I'm doing significantly better, although the condition remains unpredictable. Despite the challenges, I try to focus on the positives and have gained mental strength by realizing that having a chronic illness doesn't make me worthless and worth LESS than other people.

How did God find you?

I grew up in church, actually. My parents raised my three brothers and me in the church environment. I always had a passion for singing, dancing, and acting. At the age of four, I started attending dance school, and as I got older, I went to a theater school from year 7 to 11. But something changed when I turned 16. While I always loved Jesus, much of my faith was built upon my parents' beliefs, as is often the case. I didn't really question things. I remember giving my life to God at 7, but it wasn't until I turned 16 that I truly began to know Him personally.

It was a friend's suicide that shook me to the core. I couldn't reconcile how the God I believed in could allow something so tragic to happen. I was away from home when it occurred, pursuing acting, and feeling incredibly lonely. She was one of my closest friends, so her loss made life confusing and unbearable. I even found myself grappling with suicidal thoughts. But then, in my darkest moment, another friend reached out and offered to pray with me. That simple act potentially saved my life. It was then that I realized I couldn't navigate life without God. I had always questioned why certain things happened, but in that moment, there were no more "buts." I made the decision to get baptized and rededicate my life to Christ. Then lockdown happened, and it was during that time that I picked up my first Bible and began to delve into its pages. Through studying, annotating, and analyzing the Word of God, I discovered a genuine relationship with Him. Though I still struggle with grief, I know that's how God found me—in the midst of my pain and confusion.

I'd like to delve into the topic of grief, as it's something many people find difficult to navigate. Can you share what supported you during that challenging time?

After it happened, I thought I had addressed it, but during lockdown, anxiety hit me hard, causing physical symptoms like tremors. I reached out to my mom, who helped me find a Christian counselor. That’s why I rave about therapy. Regardless of sanity, we need counseling. Therapy has been a game-changer for me, teaching me a lot about myself. My family and church community have also been incredibly supportive. Although my dad was skeptical at first, he eventually saw its value. I had her for a year before I lost my dad so it was like God knew I needed someone before the big hit. This experience has shown me the importance of both God and supportive people in tough times.

What would you tell others going through what you’ve been through?

To those going through grief, I want you to know that you are not alone. Your experiences are valid, and there are people who see and hear you. Life is filled with highs and lows, but the key is to navigate them hand in hand with Christ. Remember, your feelings shouldn't dictate your faith in God; instead, focus on the bigger picture and trust in His plan for you.  When it comes to grief, know that the victory has already been won. You don't have to fight alone; let God fight for you and guide you through the healing process. Trust in His love and find solace in His presence.

Regarding sickle cell anemia, you are not a mistake or a burden; you are a blessing, and God can use you in remarkable ways to shine His light. Your life can be a testimony of His grace and strength.

Any memorable moment in this release process?

Definitely hearing ‘Built on You’ on BBC introducing because I felt that only mainstream circular music could be in that realm. It was a good confidence boost.

How has the industry been so far?

It's been good so far. My cousin J Vessel is in the scene. He does a lot of this so it was nice having a way in. I also performed at Solos London, so that was exciting. I'm looking forward to meet and work with more people.

Who would you like to work with?

CalledOut Music, Madison Ryan Word, Tori Kelly are high on my list.

What are your future plans for your music?

I would like to release more singles, features and even an album. It’s nice doing my own thing, but there's something about working with someone that makes creativity blossom. I would also love to release an album. Acting is another passion of mine, not only providing income for my music but also allowing me to shine a light in the entertainment industry. I would also love to write music for big films and eventually branch out into film, television series, and even production - I dream of headlining my own show someday.

Follow Miriam Nyarko for updates on future releases and shows.

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