Mari Wilson (The Neasden Queen of Soul) first arrived on the scene in the early eighties with her skyscraper beehive hairdo, bizarre sense of fashion and fully choreographed twelve piece band The Wilsations. Mariʼs live shows were spoken about as an event - pure entertainment.
In 1982 Mariʼs records began entering the charts and she soon had six hit singles, the biggest being ʻJust What Iʼve Always Wantedʼ and ʻCry Me A Riverʼ, both taken from her album ʻShowpeopleʼ.
In the mid-eighties after constant touring of the UK, Europe and the United States, Mari reduced the size of her band (and her hairdo!), changing direction with a more intimate show. With regular appearances at venues such as Ronnie Scotts, The South Bank and festivals alongside legends BB King and Ray Charles,
Mari has also appeared in musical theatre, playing Nickie Pignatelli in Phil Willmottʼs production of Sweet Charity, Annabel in the black comedy, The Chainsaw Manicure.
In 2000, Mari was the obvious choice to play Dusty Springfield in Dusty The Musical, which toured number one venues throughout the UK.
After appearing with Boy George in the West End musical, TABOO, Mari wrote, produced and recorded her album, Dolled Up, which was released in 2005.
As well as an occasional presenter on BBC London Mari has also performed theme tunes to various TV shows, including her hit version of ʻPerhaps, Perhaps, Perhapsʼ for the globally successful BBC TV Show, Coupling.
In September 2007, Warner Bros. released ʻMari Wilson - The Platinum Collectionʼ a compilation of Mari’s back catalogue, to mark the 25th Anniversary of Just What I Always Wanted.
Mari's one-woman musical – The Love Thing, inspired by her 2005 album, Dolled Up. It was writing the songs for this musical that led to Mariʼs 2008 album, Emotional Glamour. The show played London's Leicester Square Theatre selling out for five nights to standing ovations.
2011 saw Mari team up with song-writing and production team, Boisounds to release pop-dance extravaganza O.I.C., “an infections, groovy-to-the-bone single that lifts you from it’s first beat”.
In spring 2012 Mari released ‘Cover Stories’, a new intimate and acoustic studio album covering some of her favourite material including songs by Chrissie Hynde, Big Audio Dynamite and Ron Sexmith. Mari co-produced with string-arranger, orchestrator, composer and pianist Simon Hale.
With fans constantly asking Mari to perform the songs of Dusty Springfield, January of 2014 began with the first of many sell-out concerts featuring Mari's interpretations of Dusty's classic hits and Mari's performance of Dusty and Cilla songs with The BBC Concert Orchestra for Friday Night is Music Night.
This all led to the release of Mari’s critically acclaimed album, Pop Deluxe in 2016. Mari breathed new life into the songs of Dusty, Cilla, Petula and Sandie with an electronic soulful pop treatment produced by Mari and Alastair Gavin, mixed by the legendary Dave Bascombe.
Mari has been touring her sensational Pop Deluxe Show all over the UK. She even brought back her exciting 8-piece band, renamed The New Wilsations. Mari’s
electrifying London shows featured special guest Marc Almond at Bush Hall and Marc returned the favour by inviting Mari as his special guest in September 2018 at the “one night only” Soft Cell concert at London’s O2 venue .
Mari has also been a regular guest with Heaven17’s British Electric Foundation.