Maranda Curtis was born on August 4, 1979, in Miami, Florida, the fourth of seven children to W.S. and Darlene Curtis, former R&B singers who had their own groups. “I would sit in their rehearsals and listen to them sing,” Maranda recalled. “That’s how I learned to harmonize at an early age.”
Maranda’s favorite artists growing up ran from Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, the Emotions, and the O’Jays to John P. Kee, James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, and the Clark Sisters. Today, she also finds inspiration from singers like Tasha Cobbs, Le’Andria Johnson, and Tim Bowman Jr.
Maranda made her unofficial singing debut at age ten when her mother overheard her scatting along with Anita Baker on the songstress’s “Good Enough.” Astonished, her mother trotted Maranda out to sing for the entire neighborhood. “I knew I had a voice, but I was too shy,” Maranda said. “Back then, I didn’t see gospel as an option because I was only presented with R&B and jazz. I knew you had to be a go-getter as a professional singer and I was too shy for that. So I planned to join the military.”
When Maranda was twelve, the family moved to W.S.’s Georgia hometown. By the time she was an adult, her father had entered the religious ministry and today pastors New Beginnings Ministries. Maranda joined the church praise team and the choir where she continued to practice and develop her gifts.
Maranda led the VIP Mass Choir on its 2005 recording of “Great Is Our God.” Later, Kee offered Maranda the worship leader position at his New Life City of Praise Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. “John P. Kee was my bridge into the world of gospel music,” she said.
Maranda served five years with New Life, then another six years as worship leader at House of Hope Atlanta. Meanwhile, during a 2016 trip to Dallas, Maranda was invited to lead worship at a local mega-ministry. Initially hesitant, she was convinced when she learned that the “mega-ministry” was none other than the Potter’s House, led by the world renowned Bishop T.D. Jakes. “I served that Sunday and the next day, they invited me to be on the staff,” Maranda recalled.
In 2017, Maranda released her first EP, The Maranda Experience, Volume 1. To her pleasant surprise, it debuted at #1 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart. Her next project, 2018’s Open Heaven – The Maranda Experience, featuring the BMI Trailblazer Award-winning composition, “Nobody Like You Lord,” also hit #1. Stellar nominations poured forth.
In March of 2019, Maranda’s mother passed away. This experience of loss and healing, and her steadfast faith, channeled her new album Die To Live (Butterfly Works / Red Alliance Media / Fair Trade Services). It represents not a departure from Maranda’s praise and worship style but an extension of her musically. “The album may feel new to some people, but it’s who I’ve been all along,” Maranda explained. “I’ve always been versatile and so I wanted to branch out and be creative… People identify with honesty and with real emotions, and the past two years have been the most realistic for me. My mother’s passing, the pandemic—it can’t get more real than that. This is my reality, but it is many people’s reality. I want everyone to know that it’s okay to feel and also that there’s a Savior to run to.”