Southwood Records

Mar Villarreal

Maria del Mar Espinoza Villarreal was born and raised in Puntarenas, on Costa Rica’s pacific coast, on November 3, 1994.
Mari started singing at the age of 4. Her mom says she has always been obsessed with singing. She’s been performing live on stage since she was in kindergarten. At the age of 7, after winning several stage competitions, she competed in the National Creativity Festival, which took place at Melico Salazar theater in San José. It was there where she fell in love with performing on stage for the people. Her powerful voice made it clear that she had something special.

She has been influenced by artists such as Bob Marley, Muddy Waters, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. Her music is inspired by genres such as R&B, reggae, reggae fusion, dub reggae, funk, soul, gospel and jazz.



Mar started writing her own songs at the age of 17. She started studying Communication, music business and singing classes. She performed in small theaters and venues such as Jazz Café. She had the opportunity of being part of “I AM JAZZ”, a huge jazz tribute that took place in Jazz Café in Escazu, San José.

After being a part of this huge production, Mar decided that she wanted to make her own music. She started working on a particular song for 6 months. It was hard… She wasn’t happy at all. It was then that a very well known costa rican Dj called Dj Jeren contacted her and asked if she would like to collaborate with him. They started working together on her debut album…
Dj Jeren and Mar worked for almost three years on the album. On March 3, 2016 she performed at Hard Rock Café San José with Dj Jeren and Dj Kendo on a freestyle and also made a live collaboration with Mitchell Brunnings form The Voice Holland.
On July 2016, Mar and the Southwood Records production team went to Bogota, Colombia to record the live instruments for the album. They worked with musicians who play with huge latin artists such as Ricky Martin, Aterciopelados, and Juanes.
On September 15th, 2016 she released the first single of her debut album “Made in Costa Rica” called: “Costa Rica”. For Mar it has always been very important to honor the place where she came from. This is why releasing the first single on Costa Rica’s Independence Day was the perfect introduction to the costa rican music industry

The final months of 2016 and early 2017 were dedicated solely to finishing the album. In February 2017 she made a mini promotional tour and a pre-launching show in Kingston, Jamaica. She performed with an international band “No-Maddz”, Jamaica, as her special guests and Dj Jeren and Dj Kendo in a small show. She also appeared as a guest on TVJ’s Smile Jamaica where she performed live with a band and gave an exclusive interview. Mar also recorded a collaboration with jamaican reggae artist Tydal Kamau at Big Yard Studios in a production of Damian and Stephen Marley.

The album “Made in Costa Rica” had the official release show on April 29th, 2017 at Hard Rock Café San José, with Tuff Sound Band from Holland. The event featured the international participation of reggae artists such as: Rapha Pico, Ashwin Jaydee, King Mass and Tydal Kamau. It also included a dj set by Dj Jeren and Dj Kendo to get the crowd going.
Made in Costa Rica was officially released and available in all digital platforms on May 16th, 2017.
In July-August of 2017 Mar made a mini euro tour to expand her musical connections internationally.
On September 15th, 2017 the official video clip for the single “Costa Rica” will be released.
For now, she’s working on a local tour, shows, visual material and new music.

Mar Villarreal is an emerging costa rican artists who seeks to take the music industry of her country by storm and position herself in the international industry with her art. She knows she’s at the beginning of her journey, but wants to be an example for everybody that no matter where you come from or what you own, we can all do unimaginable things if we just believe.

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