Sofia Marikh: Multi-talented Entertainer

Born in the city of Casablanca on October 15, 1982, Sofia Marikh revealed at a young age that she was a natural in front of the camera when she appeared in an advertisement for diapers at the age of four. She went on to appear in a number of commercials both in Morocco and France, and appeared in two films – Soleil and Wa Baad – during her teenage years. She has since added musician and entertainer to her list of achievements and has been a contestant on the television talent show Star Academy Arab World.

Although she finished in sixth place, her participation on Star Academy Arab World brought Sofia Marikh to the public’s attention, and her talent for entertaining was immediately evident. The show made its debut in December 2003, with the finals on April 4, 2004. The winner was Mohammad Attia from Eqypt, followed by Bashar Al Shatty (Kuwait), Bahaa’ El Kafy (Tunisia), Mohammad Khalawi (Saudi Arabia), Ahmed El Sherif (Tunisia), Sophia Marikh (Morocco), Cynthia Karam (Lebanon), and Myriam Attallah (Syria). Due to the popularity of the show, all eight finalists became household names in the Arab music world.

In addition to showcasing the contestants’ talents in singing, dancing, or acting, Star Academy Arab World trains the participating students in a range of artistic disciplines, including singing, acting, sports, vocalizing, theater expression, musical culture and dancing. Through a series of shows, and voting by studio and television audiences, candidates are eliminated until finalists and winners are chosen by the results of public voting.

Following her success in Star Academy, Sophia Marikh (also spelled as Sophia El Mareekh) embarked on a tour of Arab League countries where she played at sold-out concerts in Tunis, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Dubai and Lebanon. She was chosen to perform in a concert in Lebanon to promote Star Academy France and appeared with other Star Academy contestants in a high-profile TV commercial for Pepsi.

Sofia’s first album Kelmet Hob was released in 2007, with her music video for the album depicting her as a blossoming rose. She was chosen by the Arab Emirates website Al Rai as the best artist for that same year, and was rewarded by Moroccan King Mohamed VI. Sofia Marikh’s other achievements include recording a duet of Barry White’s My First, My Last, My Everything with Jermaine Jackson, and appearing in, and on the cover of, numerous magazines.