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. “I was always a performer when I was younger,” Janel says. “I was one of those diva children that loved the attention.”
Having grown up in the era of the Spice Girls, and later, Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah, Janel was exposed to strong women in entertainment whose respective sounds fused various genres to form an eclectic mix of pop, R&B and hip-hop. When Janel began songwriting at the age of 16, the influence of these acts became clear – the Bay Area singer/songwriter’s powerhouse vocals could dabble into the depths of soul music, bounce along to the jumps and drops of EDM and navigate smoothly over the drums of any 808.
“I just like to ride the beat and make it sound as natural as possible with a catchy, yet unique flow,” says Janel. “Just a girl behind the mic having fun while expressing herself!”
Making her debut in 2015 with the EP Memoirs, the project’s lead single was immediately picked up by Samsung. “No Tomorrow” was featured in a nationwide commercial from the technology giant, starring music mogul Russell Simmons. It was quite the ride for a brand new artist, and it quickly became a whirlwind.
“When the commercial happened, everything went really fast and I don’t think I was mentally prepared for it all,” Janel recalls. “During that journey, there were a lot of hardships and obstacles that included concepts I wasn’t familiar with. I felt like I was supposed to be at the pinnacle of my career, but I didn’t know how to navigate through it, all while being in an unhealthy relationship that left me uninspired and drained me of my creativity.”
Making the decision to walk away from the crippling relationship, Janel had to recalibrate, and like a true artist, turned the experience into her best work yet. With a new perspective, Janel makes her return with “Closet of Lies,” the DTB-produced single that perfectly encompasses a new body of work that details relationship deception, newfound resiliency and perspective as a fearless young woman.
“I now know what I want, how I want it, and have a much better understanding of how this industry works,” Janel declares. “I’m ready to dive in head first.”