When Marina Maximilian wrote “Late Bloomer” it was as a reminder to forgive herself. Re-envisioning the song, which Maximilian released earlier in 2021, the Israeli artist recorded an acoustic version of the song with an accompanying video.
“I wanted to share with you the intimate version of the song, the way it was written, played in my home,” Maximilian tells American Songwriter. “You are very much invited.”
With the lyrics, Don’t make it grow too fast / I’m here / I want to last / Don’t let it slip away / I want my song to stay, “Late Bloomer” is a soulful preach to chase dreams regardless of how long the journey lasts.
For Maximilian, an actor, a classically trained pianist, and a composer, “Late Bloomer” also captures a sense of allowing ourselves to dream like a child and to fully fulfill ourselves like adults, she says, something envisioned through the chorus, So many years I’ve tried / And held my head up high / And only now I feel I’ve found / Some things come back around / Making my mama proud.
“I have the privilege to fulfill myself in a country that I emigrated to with my family,” says Maximilian of the song, “I am so lucky to bring my voice to my society, to be meaningful to my people, and to achieve so many goals. But some dreams haven’t been treated properly yet. Though I’m not a kid anymore, I have the right and the obligation to keep dreaming, keep daring, challenging, and fully fulfilling myself.”
Sitting at the piano singing through the more stripped-back “Late Bloomer,” the video also features footage of Dror Cohen, a former pilot who lost his ability to walk, founded the NGO for disabled athletes, and fulfilled his dream of participating in the Dakar Rally. First meeting Cohen when she was 13, the athlete has been a constant inspiration for Maximilian and for her “Late Bloomer” story.
Maximilian, who first gained popularity after competing on A Star is Born, the Israeli version of American Idol, has also starred with Patrick Dempsey and Alessandro Borghi in the television series The Devils and has served as the face and ambassador for luxury brands Yves Saint Laurent and Dior, as well as Adidas.
In 2021, Maximilian released her third Hebrew album and will release her second in English by mid-2022.
“Like most of us, I want to contribute to our world, to our society, leave a mark, be meaningful, make a small change in people’s hearts,” says Maximilian. “Some goals are reached easily and some take time—sometimes a lifetime.”
Photo: Dudi Hasson