Artists of Queens: Mary Desiree

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Coming from a family where every member has a musical talent, it was clear that Mary Desiree would grow up writing and performing. The 23-year-old Jamaica resident said her decision to pursue a career in music was inevitable.

“Music is in my blood and it is my passion. It wasn’t much of a decision to pursue a career in music,” she said. “It’s just one of those things you know you were meant to do.”

MaryDesiree2The singer/guitarist writes numbers that touch on blues, soul and rock music and take full advantage of her passionate, powerful vocals. Many of her songs deal with difficulties she has faced in her life but are also full of hope.

When Desiree first started writing, it was in the form of short stories and poetry, rather than songs. It was during her time at Forest Hills High School when she started to lean towards writing music. She took a vocal training course and was given an assignment to write a song using the poetry structure. That moment marked the beginning of her songwriting career.

“There are so many things I can’t express to people and can’t find words to explain my feelings, but with songwriting, it all just comes out naturally,” Desiree said. “It’s an escape and a way for people to see through my eyes and feel the emotion I’m going through at that moment when I wrote that particular song.”

One of Desiree’s biggest inspirations is her two-year-old son, Noah. His presence changed her life completely, giving her the drive and focus she needs to keep writing and keep moving forward.

“I have gone through so many hardships in life so far, at such a young age, but seeing a smile on my son’s face, it definitely helps me,” she said. “I want to be a role model for Noah so that he can see that he can keep reaching for his dreams, no matter what.”

Desiree’s music has also helped her cope with hurtful moment in her past, such as being cyber-bullied in high school. Her experience with this issue led her to become the program director for “Sticks ‘N Stones,” an anti-bullying program from a non-profit called Windows of Opportunity.

“I want to be able to help out kids deal with this ridiculous epidemic,” she said.

While Desiree mostly plays at bars and venues in the City, she did audition for several television music competitions in the hopes of boosting her career. She tried out for “The Voice,” “X- Factor,” “America’s Got Talent” and “The Glee Project,” the latter of which she reached the top two for online auditions from New York.

Although she currently resides in Jamaica, Desiree plans to move to Astoria to be closer to the music scene where she got started. She can often be seen performing in The Shillelagh Tavern’s Open Mic night, with her next show scheduled for Jan. 11. The Shillelagh Tavern is located at 4722 30th Ave.