Monday, February 27, 2012

Musician Spotlight: Boston-Based Band Michael & Marisa

Musician Spotlight: Boston-Based Band Michael & Marisa
BY: David Mills
Boston, Massachusetts -  Our "Musician Spotlight" today is on a brother/sisters duo that perform great together. Michael and Marisa are musicians that started a band by the same name that we want to hightlight and promote. In this "Musician Spotlight" you will gain a better understanding of this wonderful brother/sister duo band from Boston. These two wonderful brother/sister duo are musicians to watch as they are on the road to have a very successful career. You will be able to see some photographs of these two musicians, a Q&A we were able to conduct with them and more.
With Michael(age 14) on vocals and electric guitar and Marisa (age 15) on drums and vocals, their harmonizing produces an exciting pop/rock blend.  This brother sister duo is experienced in performing at all kinds of venues including: concert, charity events, fairs, festivals, nightclubs, amusement parks, professional and collegiate sporting events as well as private parties and functions.  They are experienced with audiences of all ages from the tween crowd to the bar crowd.  They perform to intimate groups of 50 as well as to large crowds of 20,000 with complete comfort.  When performing, they establish a rapport with their audience from the first song and always make sure the audience has fun.  They are always smiling and are easy to work with.

Summer 2011, Michael and Marisa co-wrote with producer, Stokes Nielson at EMI Publishing in Nashville resulting in two new songs, one was released Fall 2011 and the second to be released shortly.

In December 2010, Michael and Marisa released an EP of four songs co-written with Peter Zizzo (Avril Lavigne, Vanessa Carlton, Celine Dion) 

In June 2008 Michael and Marisa released their debut CD of 12 songs.  Five of the songs were executive produced by Emmy Award nominee Amy Powers in Los Angeles of which three were co-written by Jeannie Lurie, who has written many hits for Top 40 Disney teen icon Hannah Montana, aka Miley Cyrus.

Michael and Marisa co-wrote the other 7 songs with Boston based producer Billy Garzone. 

Michael is proud to be endorsed by Gibson Guitars.  Marisa by Vic Firth drum stick company.
Marisa In The Recording Studio

Some of Michael & Marisa Highlights Are

Opening Act for David Archuleta, Disney's Mitchel Musso, Nickelodeon's Drake Bell, Cody Simpson, Greyson Chance
Bamboozle Roadshow Tour
Whisky A Go Go and Roxy Nightclubs, Hollywood, CA
Ecofest at Lincoln Center, New York, NY
Rocketown, Nashville, TN
Boston Celtics Professional Basketball Game  (18,000 people)
Hard Rock Cafe
House of Blues
Various Six Flags Amusement Parks
Hershey Park
2008 and 2010 Camplifield Tour
Boston City Hall Plaza
Kiss 108 FM Radio Featured Performers
Featured Performer at Price Waterhouse Coopers Holiday Party at Boston's World Trade Center

Michael & Marisa In The Recording Studio

The following is our Q&A we were able to conduct with Michael & Marisa recently.

When did both of you start singing?
Michael and Marisa: When we were still in diapers….
Michael:  I wrote my first song at age 4 and took lots of videos of Marisa and me singing before then. I had a kiddie video camera called Digital Blue that really worked.

Growing up was it your dream to become Musicians?
Michael and Marisa:  It wasn’t a dream.  It’s just what we did since we were very little.  Since age 2 and 3.

Are your parents and friends supportive of you both being Musician?
Our parents are very patient with the whole thing and very good to us.  They aren’t musicians at all.

Do both of you write your own songs?  Yes, we do.

If so, is it difficult to come up with lyrics?
Marisa: No, we keep a book of songwriting ideas and write them down as they surface.  There’s a lot to say.

What inspires your songwriting?  Marisa: Things we see that we like and others that we want to change.  We want to inspire our peers to feel good about themselves.

Along the same line. Who inspires both of you with your singing and why?
Marisa: Although sometimes fresh, Lily Allen writes very clever lyrics.  The Beatles have hundreds of innovative songs.  Vocals of singers like Adele, Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato

When did you both get booked for your first concert?  
Michael:  When I was 7.  I had played guitar and sang three songs at an open mic and then was asked to play a festival.  The sound guy at the festival then asked me if I wanted to play several other fair/festival typed gigs.

Marisa:  Michael invited me up on stage half way through his set as his “special guest”  to play drums and sing.  Then soon after we became a full blown duo.

Where was your first concert?  Marisa: First big concert was at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, CA.  We played songs by The Who, CCR, Pat Benatar, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers and more.

Were you both nervous to perform that first concert?  No, not at all.  We don’t get nervous.  We love performing.

We read you performed as the opening act for David Archuleta, Disney's Mitchel Musso, Nickelodeon's Drake Bell, Cody Simpson, Greyson Chance. How did it feel performing as their opening act?  Loved all of those shows.  Each one is different.  Michael:  For me, at age 8, Drake Bell was my role model and opening for him was surreal.  He was very nice to me and taught me a song on guitar.  Marisa:  David Archuleta has an amazing voice and was so sweet to us.  He tweeted about us to the world!

Tell us about your other performances at such places like House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe, Boston Celtics Basketball game and the various  Six Flags?  Michael: We’ve played House of Blues and Hard Rock many times.  The sound is great in those clubs and the fans are ready to have a good time.  Michael: At the Celtics game I played the National Anthem in front of 20,000 people.  I had just turned 8 and went up to center court and when I strummed the first note I noticed that someone had turned my amp off after my sound check, so I just walked over to it, turned it on and kept on going.  Michael: It’s great performing at Six Flags because after the show we get to go on the roller coasters!!! 

Is it hard being a brother/sister duo?  Hard?  No.  It’s easy because we live in the same house so we can rehearse any time and often.  We are like twins…..less than a year apart with opposite personalities.  We don’t fight.

Are your friends at school supportive of you both being a brother/sister duo?  Marisa: We don’t mention it at school and do our best to just be normal kids when we are there.  Kids do know what we do and many have happened to be places where we have played and they say:  “Wow….we had no idea.”

On the subject of school, is it hard pursuing a career in singing with both of you in school?  Michael: It’s impossible.  We run ourselves into the ground and have late nights.  It’s like two full time jobs.  

Tell us about the song "The Same" and the Music video for it?  Marisa: It was inspired by Phoebe Prince who was a teen from Massachusetts who committed suicide as a result of being severely bullied at school.  The song is written from the point of view of the bystander and takes the listener through the mind of this bystander as she ponders what to do when her friends bully a lone girl in the cafeteria.  The music video is exactly how we envisioned the song.  What’s amazing is that many schools across the U.S. have actually learned “The Same” and have sang it at their school assemblies.  Some have asked us to go to their schools to do a concert and when we play that song, they all sing along to it.  

Out of all the songs you both wrote, what is your favorite and why?  Well, “The Same” has had the most impact and is a big and moving song.  We have another song like that coming out soon called “Beautiful Comeback”, which is about teen struggles with a positive message. 

We heard you both were in the recording studio in Los Angeles recently. Can you tell us a little about your new projects?  Marisa: We LOVE our new songs….You guessed it…We call them Lily Allen meets The Beatles.  The lyrics are funny and clever and the music Beatlesque.  We can’t wait to release them.

Michael tell us about being endorsed by Gibson Guitars?  Michael:  Gibson invited me to their showroom and let me pick out a guitar about 3 years ago.  I chose a black Les Paul Double Cutaway, and also have an Epiphone by Gibson and a Gibson Bass guitar.  In October, we did a showcase at the Gibson Studios in Los Angeles and everyone out there was very nice to us getting the sound just right.

Michael tell us about performing with Marisa?  Marisa is an awesome drummer.  She keeps a steady beat and is always smiling.

Our final question Michael, what should our readers know about Marisa?  Huh?  Don’t you want to know about me?  Just Marisa?  Ha!!  I’m awesome and so is Marisa.  She’s very nice, smart, loves interacting with her fans, she (both of us) has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, She’s done ballet, tap, jazz for 12 years and pointe for 2 or 3.  She’s very strong and can do lots of push ups.

Marisa, we hear you got endorsed by Vic Firth drum stick company. How does it feel being endorsed?  Vic Firth merged with Zildjian last year.  Both companies are amazing and have sent me sticks and cymbals.  I got to tour the Zildjian factory and saw how Cymbals are made.  Did you know there is a secret recipe for the metal that only the Zildjian family knows?  Also, each cymbal is tested by hitting it a few times and there are only 3 or 4 people qualified to pass the cymbals.

Marisa tell us about performing with Michael?  Oh, OK….equal time….Michael is funny.  He says crazy things and is very creative and musical.  He was born musical.  He can sing any note you tell him...I mean he has perfect pitch. He uses his computer to make, change, remix and create music and videos all the time.  

Final question Marisa, what should our readers know about Michael?  He’s a giver and is always thinking of the other person.  He’s an awesome brother and lots of fun.  He always keeps me laughing.

What advice would you both give to someone wanting to get into singing?  Sing.  You can learn a lot on line about singing.  Listen to yourself, practice singing, join singing groups, sing to all the songs you like, play with your voice and try to imitate voices you hear so you learn how to manipulate it.

Michael and Marisa, what do you hope to accomplish with your singing?  Well we sing, but we are really multi-taskers.  Michael plays guitar while he sings or piano and I play drums or piano.  So singing is what we do while we do something else.  We hope to continue creating inspiring music and to perform it live for fans all around the world.

Is there anything else our readers should know about you both?
We’re very interested in what our fans have to say so like us on facebook at or subscribe to our youtube channel at: Comment because we read the comments on facebook and youtube and will post answers.  We have web casts from time to time and you can tweet in questions and of course follow us at: @michael_marisa.  We often do meet and greets after shows, when venues allow it, so stop by and say hi sometime.  Love to meet all of you. We post tour dates...half of our shows are over the summer. Website is:
Michael In The Recording Studio

We want to thank Michael & Marisa for taken the time to answer our question. Michael & Marisa filmed a music video to go with their song "The Same", one of our favorites, that we would like to share with you all.

We hope you learned more about these wonderful musicians that have a very bright future ahead. Michael & Marisa keep up with the great work. It will be great to see where these two will go with their music.

Our next "Musician Spotlight" will be on The Veayo Twins from Maine, going live Friday, the 2nd of March.

Rocky Coast News is pleased to have Michael & Maisa as our latest "Musician Spotlight", where we highlight, promote up and coming musicians that have amazing vocals, sound, style and/or who are able to play an instrument well singing.

Rocky Coast News
Reporter, David Mills
Rockland, ME 04841

Rocky Coast News is a division of Rocky Coast Media delivering Nautical, Community & Entertainment News

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