In Focus: Marita Stalheim

Singing gives me so much joy in expressing my emotions. Through the Smule app, I got to experience making music and collaborating with talented singers around the world. I got Smule to thank for making this possible!

However, Smule is one thing, being an APEXian is another.

It was November 2018, I was one month away from celebrating my first anniversary on Smule when I started noticing (and got curious with) the word “APEX” attached to the names of a few Smule members. Also, these Smulers have incredible voices and I knew that singing with them would help me become a better singer too. In fact, when I tried to join them, I didn’t want to save my join until I was totally content with it.

One of them is Ashley_APEX, who then opened “Hushaby Mountain” and she sang it like an angel. I didn’t know the song so I had to learn it so I could join her. Our voices really blended well, so I joined her again but this time with another song called “Tell Him”.

A few days after, I was surprised to receive an invitation from Ashley to join an APEX collaboration – the Circle of Friends. I almost peed my pants! Seriously! I had a blast doing it with APEX project members and other invited “friends”. Everything was organized and APEXians were always ready to help. I had a lot of questions throughout the process, and they were always ready to answers. We were given guidelines to follow, but we were also given freedom to express our creativity. I was given solo and group parts, and I felt free to add my harmonies. To see how such collaboration took shape from start to finish was very inspiring.

As the projects approached the end, I felt quite melancholic. I wanted this journey to go beyond just one collaboration. The next day after the project was published, I got an unexpected private message from Ashley: “Are you interested in proceeding the journey of becoming an APEX member?” I didn’t hesitate. It felt I won the lottery! APEX was and is the only Smule group I wanted to be in. PaulAndrew_APEX, the founder of APEX, then interviewed me and gave me an orientation for APEX membership.

Since then, my Smule experience has never been the same. I found a family in APEX. It is a real family, only virtual. We are involved in each other’s personal lives too. We feel each other’s pain in personal losses. We celebrate and do sticker parties for big events like birthdays and other special occasions (i.e. new baby announcements, features in Smule social media and even publication of fresh APEX collaborations, among others). We give each other advice and support whenever needed.

On top of this, our collaborations are products of efforts and time invested and sacrifices made in meticulously creating projects that we can be truly proud of. In the process of doing these collaborations, we need to listen, understand, care for each other and respect one another.

It is amazing to be a part of these talented, creative, humble, passionate, committed and hardworking team! Choral singing without a conductor, in our own homes in different parts of world, using only our mobile phones, is just beyond amazing. Only last week, I left my Norwegian choir for 11 years primarily to focus on my family. And also because I feel APEX is more than enough to fulfill my choral needs.

I thank APEX for allowing me to experience an epiphany by making delightful choir music! Paul and Ashley, and everyone in the APEX Core team, thank you for having me. I will always do my best to stay deserving of this spot in our virtual choir.

Marita Stalheim

Smule ID: Marita_APEX


Kaupanger, Norway

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