For anyone privileged to have witnessed a live Maryel Epps performance, the mere mention of her name can bring a smile to their face. Her voice is a full, rich alto with range and a robust essence that turns a song into an experience. Couple her vibrant presence with a delectable meal shared with family, friends and fellow fans of the diva and you’re likely enjoying Sunday brunch at City Hall restaurant. Epps has been performing at the Miami establishment for four years; gratefully sharing her gift of song with customers looking for a unique dining experience.

She recently spoke with the South Florida Times for a few minutes before heading off to a recording session.

I knew that singing was my calling when…I sang at a children’s wedding called Tom Thumb and the bride then asked me to sing at her real wedding and I was only 5 years old.

If I wasn’t a singer, I’d probably be…a motivational speaker, not a preacher, but a motivational speaker who also gives massages.

When I’m not singing, I’m…swimming, looking at TV and eating. My favorite show is Chopped on the Food Network.

My favorite “old school” singer is…Chaka Khan but I don’t want to call Chaka old school. She’s Aries like me and we don’t like being considered “old school” she’s “always” school.

One “new school” singer who could pass for “old school” is…Miguel. I love him. Jasmine Sullivan has that old school thing but I didn’t like when she knocked the windows out the car. Chrisette Michelle. They’re more “pop,” but I like Demi Lovato and Katy Perry’s very powerful. Oh, oh, oh, Anthony Hamilton, for sure.

Sunday brunch at City Hall means…great vibration with people, sharing my gift from God and having people enjoy and in some cases, change and lighten up their souls. I thank the people for coming. I’ve had people cry, I’ve had older white men come up and ask for a hug afterwards. I’ve had wives bring their husbands up to me after the show to say, “He doesn’t like going to church, but he likes coming here.”

Maryel Epps is…blessed. Maryel Epps is a miraculously blessed goddess, (she says with a chuckle). Some things happen in my life, so miraculously. It’s very apropos in reference to what I feel.