Artist To Watch: Janel Marisse
Artist: Janel Marisse
“If My Life Were A Movie, It’d Be Titled”: The Best Kept Secret
Favorite Movie: Matilda, Kill Bill, Love and Basketball
For Bay Area-native Janel Marisse, music was a divine career path. The daughter of an open-format DJ and sister of a music video director, the ascension from a spotlight-loving child to singer-songwriter came naturally. Janel Marisse is globally recognized through songs such as “Serve” and her 2014 debut, “No Tomorrow.” Using her music as a way to empower and spark minds, Janel’s music can be described as an eclectic mix of pop, R&B, and hip-hop. It’s not too often that you come across an artist so vocally talented with an amazing eye for creative and visual direction.
Growing up, Janel recalls writing songs as a child, ultimately finding her purpose to pursue music. “From then, I just knew to focus on the goal of being a musician, and here I am,” she shared. “As a child, I was a dancer and I would really enjoy entertaining people. I didn’t quite know music was going to be a thing.” It wasn’t until the Filipina singer was 20 that she put out her first song, “No Tomorrow.” Upon release, it was featured in a nationwide commercial from technology giant Samsung, starring music mogul Russell Simmons.
In 2015, Janel Marisse shared Unbothered, her unapologetic debut EP. Her full-length release boasts features from Ye Ali and Garren as well as production from DTB, Julia Lewis, as well as Ekzakt. With standout cuts like “Chose To Be” and “Closer To You,” the project tackles themes of love, staying true to self, and the struggle of time amongst other things. Ultimately, Unbothered laid the groundwork for a rapidly-rising music career driven by self-betterment and the urge to establish herself as an industry heavyweight.
Towards the end of 2020, Janel Marisse shared her eagerly-awaited EP, The New Order. The 8-track offering marked Janel stepping into a new chapter of her life, trading her veil of innocence in order to embrace the dark past she experienced. It’s a forward-facing look at one of R&B’s most exciting names in full flow. “I was in a very dark time during the creation of the project. I felt like at the moment in my journey, I felt very much like a dark angel so I saw that as the perfect time to dive into that concept,” she stated.
Speaking on finding creativity amid the pandemic, Janel shared, “During the process of The New Order, I’ve gotten into meditating and working on the self and mind. If you’re not doing well in the mind, it’s almost impossible to create.” She added, “Moving into a new place, getting your energy right, setting up shop so it can continue to be right. Also keeping everything around you healthy from the food to people; getting rid of all the toxic things in your life. It sounds so cliche, but it comes with having the discipline to cut them out of your life.”
“I’m already finishing up a new project, but I tend to move fast generally after I put a story out. It’s like I’ve already let it out of my system so now it’s time to move onto a new one,” Janel shares in regards to her future works. Aside from creating music, she shared her interests for acting, writing more songs, and eventually starting her own record label.
While Janel Marisse is starting to embark on a new journey in her personal life, she has already begun to cement her place in the music industry. We chose her as an artist to watch for her ability to exist in a lane all on her own. Not overtly chasing fame or attention from her peers, Janel is just like many of us, trying to find her way in a world full of beauty and chaos.
“I just want to be remembered as someone women can relate to in terms of everyday life experiences. We all go through the same stuff, maybe at different levels, but I just want people to see that you can make a living out of being yourself.” She concludes, “I want them to know that you can come from nothing and relate to a Filipino girl that did something for herself.”