As a Gospel singer-songwriter, Ottawa-based Ivorian artist Odélia Mariatou uses her Christian-inspired music to cultivate an attitude of hopefulness in the face of adversity and to express the ultimate strength with a spirit of hope that one can indeed overcome virtually any obstacle as long as one maintain a positive outlook, trust in God, and live according to His teachings. Ever since her baptism, when she chose the name Odélia – meaning “I will praise God” – her faith in Christ has remained unwavering.
There have been trials and tribulations along the way, but she has been able to overcome them; she now finds expression in making good music influenced by everyday happenings and her faith in Jesus Christ. Odélia is a winner at heart and in art, as she has proven by steadily winning her listeners’ attention, ears, and hearts, one song at a time.
Her new 8-track album, ‘Guérison’, was inspired by a personal revelation she received from the biblical passage, John 5:5–9, which describes Christ healing a man suffering from infirmity, cast out and neglected by society. The title refers to ‘healing’ and references Odélia’s own healing journey through Christ.
“Un coeur comme le tien” is the opening track and one that affirms Odélia’s need to possess a heart like Jehovah’s that is so pure, quick to forgive and love. Odélia has an angelic voice that is as powerful as it is gentle. Her crystal clear and gracious vocals gently glide over the refreshing concoction of the piano, bass, guitar, and drums, taking the listener through a heartfelt performance from her heart and soul.
Evoking a human relationship and the desire to be more acceptable in God’s eyes, the tune resonates with heartfelt expression, enhanced by catchy, memorable production and mellifluous church-like vocal harmonies in the background.
“Saint-Esprit, guide moi” translates to “Holy Spirit, guide me” and features a rhythmic guitar with a host of other soul percussion, with sonic depth and color added by the horn section exuded by the trumpet. Odélia’s voice comes alive as she delivers a soul-drenching performance with lyrics that portray closeness with God, his divine holiness, and his never-ending grace.
In the seemingly emotional “Rends-Moi la joie d’ȅtre sauvȇe”, Odélia wants to always feel the joy and unending happiness that come with being saved and giving your life to God. Through lyrics that portray Jesus of the Bible clearly, the wonders of his character, and the excitement of his coming, she hopes to inspire anyone listening to cultivate a healthy and strong relationship with God and the mission of living their everyday lives in the light of His light.
One appreciates how the production and arrangement strike a careful balance, placing emphasis on Odélia’s heavenly vocals and the poignant message behind the lyrics. This is such a stupendous song.
Get your dancing shoes ready and start dancing and jumping with jubilant abandon because as soon as the song “Je t’appartiens” enters, there is no way you are going to contain yourself…not unless you don’t belong to Him, which I highly doubt is the case with your dear listener. The melodies are catchy, with an upbeat and vibrant tempo to echo a proper praise anthem that invites you to dance along like no one’s watching.
This is a track inspired by Odélia’s own personal experiences of God’s refining work. It praises God for his faithfulness towards his children, his everlasting grace, and his undying love. Odélia hopes for every listener and worshipper to know the depth of God’s goodness towards them and for that truth to release them from shame and the empty, false rules of religion into a life of freedom and joy.
In its entirety, “Guérison” embodies the essence of Gospel music. As you immerse yourself in these performances, it’s as if you’re receiving personal healing.
Odélia hopes that you enjoy this album as much as she enjoyed creating it and that you find your own relatability as well as solace in every song on it.