Knowing she was playing early and not on the program, I first watched Marissa Grace perform at America on Main Street in El Cajon. A young singer, her strength on stage is well beyond her years. Though the crowd was small in that drizzly morning, people stopped and listened as she sang “RUDE” (The daughter’s side of the story) by Magic! Later to find out that it was a remix she created after a father sent in his version of the song to the “Jeff & Jer Showgram” on KyXy 96.5. They heard it, and then played it with her quickly getting more than 30,000 views on YouTube.
This is something that Marissa Grace loves to do with cover songs and her creativity in her remixes is remarkable. Especially knowing that the girl from La Mesa who attends Christ Lutheran School in La Mesa is only 12-years-old.
But there is much more to Marissa Grace than re-mixing cover songs. Playing the piano since age 4, she also plays the ukulele, and “a little guitar.” She is a true and through songwriter/singer and her first album “Marissa Grace Music” is a witness to where this young artist is heading. With a few cover songs, the majority of the album is her original music. Placing a genre on her music is difficult, as she has infused generations of genres into her creations. With “In my Dreams,” she flawlessly moves from a light reggae beat into a sweet melody and when you think you have it she pops up into a falsetto and then breaks out in rap. Her songs evolve and no genre can put her in place.
Marissa Grace said she really has no specific goals at 12 other than to write the next song, play the next gig and see where her music takes her. She is not ready to push herself other than doing what she loves most. Her parents, who support her fully feel the same, and do not push her in trying to get her to another level. And they will not need to because the direction she is heading will gain momentum on itself.
Listening to her album, going through her YouTube channel and on to her website, she is a natural entertainer in whatever she decides to do. She has the soul of Mama Cass in her rendition of “Dream a Little Dream” by The Mamas and the Papas. Her original “Hit Me Up” is a song that I can hear teenage girls singing all the time. (Long story short—girl meets boy, gives boy phone number, girl waits for the text or call.) It is perfect, and watching the lyrics version on YouTube with all the emoticons is a show in itself.
Her voice is as powerful in her sweet low register, as it is in her highest falsetto and everything in between meshes it all together. Her style fits her personality, as she loves to sing and write songs about young love and social injustice (cyber bullying). In watching her perform, either live or on video, she is fearless, but better than that, it is evident that she loves what she is doing and has a lot of fun with it. “Cup Song Medley” is as entertaining to watch, as it is to listen. “See You Again,” (Wiz Khalifa) is a moving tribute to Ryan Willweber of Santee, recently killed in a car crash at West Hills High School.
Her album is fit for any age with renditions of “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” mashup to “I Ain’t that Kind of Girl” which is in full dance club mode.
Regardless of her originals, how she sings them, they all have one thing in common. The words mean something and she has a message in each one of them. As talented as she is at this age, she is one to take notice of now, and take the time to hear her music or watch her perform. Because people in the industry, are already listening.
Marissa Grace is performing at the Del Mar Fair on Sunday, June 14 at the O’Brien Stage from 3:00 p.m. – 4 p.m., so there is a first chance.
But why wait, find her music at www.marissagracemusic.com, www.soundcloud.com/marissa-grace-music, YouTube, and follow @marrissagracemusic on Instagram.