Multi-instrumentalist Mariah Ver Hoef [Vur-Hoof] self-recorded and produced her first album of all original music at age fourteen. A year later she produced her second, and at sixteen, she has now released her third solo album.
Influenced by artist such as Linda Ronstadt, Vanessa Carlton, Fleetwood Mac, and Nickel Creek, Ver Hoef has developed a sound that puzzles genres. Somewhere between folk and pop she has created a body of work that varies from simple acoustic to electric guitar-driven songs. Her albums have grown in strength as she has matured, and she continues to shape her own style. Born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, much of Ver Hoef's early work was inspired by the striking beauty of the wild and harsh climate of where she lived. At sixteen she writes about change and the simple fact of growing up.
Ver Hoef started her musical career at age five when she began classical training on the violin, but she grew tired of the strict rules of the classical world and taught herself guitar at age ten. About a year later she wrote her first song during a year she spent in Seattle, but she didn't start writing seriously until she returned to Fairbanks at age 12. Being educated at home allowed her the freedom to pursue her passions and nearly every spare moment she had she spent with her guitar.
With a hand-held digital recorder and some free online mixing software Ver Hoef self recorded, performed, mixed, produced and manufactured her first full length album “Memories” under the stage name of Mariah Z. Although an impressive feat in of itself, Ver Hoef wasn't satisfied with the simplicity of her first attempt and decided to record her second album at 10th Planet, a local recording studio. With the help of the owners and outstanding musicians, Pat Fitzgerald and Robin Dale Ford, and a former fellow-homeschooler, Sabe Flores, Ver Hoef released “So Far Away” in July of 2009.
“So Far Away” gained Ver Hoef a fair amount of recognition on the internet, especially on Jango internet radio, where she was repeatedly in the top ten artists. Pleased with the positive response, Ver Hoef was already working on her third record, “Space Between Two Worlds.” With two albums already under her belt, Ver Hoef's skills had grown not only as a songwriter and musician but as a producer as well. Adding several more instruments to her repertoire, including electric guitar and keyboard, Ver Hoef was able to lay down all the tracks excepting the percussion and bass, giving her the ability to create a sound that was truly her own.
Ver Hoef continues to write songs and currently attends the University of Alaska, Fairbanks full time while finishing her high school degree. Apart from her music, she enjoys skiing, hiking, rock climbing, art and spending time with her older brother, Lander, to whom she dedicated her latest album, “Space Between Two Worlds.”