Barbara Markay has dabbled in many different musical styles during her career. Born and raised in Rockville Center on New York's Long Island, she began taking piano lessons at age four. At ten, she was awarded a scholarship to Juilliard's preparatory division, and a year later began studying violin at the Manhattan School of Music. She graduated from Juilliard with a bachelor's degree in composition. Moving from classical music to pop, she formed a five-part female singing group, the Girl Scouts, and later a musical theater troupe, Little Lulu & the Humpers, that mounted a revue performed in Miami Beach and New York City. Assembling her own band, she toured Europe, signing to WEA International Records and scoring a Top 20 European hit with "It's Alright" and a number two French dance chart hit with "I Don't Want to Be a Zombie."
Returning to the U.S., she took on various musical jobs, including handling synthesizer programming on Carly Simon's Coming Around Again album, assisting Leon Pendarvis on synthesizer programming for Michael Jackson's "Bad" video in 1987, writing arrangements for Saturday Night Live, and serving as a backup singer for Bruce Willis during the actor's fling with music. In 1994, she recorded her first album, the pop-oriented Change to Come, and released it on her own My Thing Music label. Her second album, Heart Like a Song (2000), had more of a world music, Latin jazz feel. Her third album, Shambhala Dance (2005), was in the new age genre.