14-year old Mariel began her YouTube channel and quickly gained a following with her talented covers of popular songs. Multi-Platinum and Multi-Grammy winning producers Michael Mangini & Peter Zizzo, who have produced for the likes of The Jonas Brothers, Avril Lavigne, Vanessa Carlton and many more, took notice of her natural ability and charisma.
Joining forces with Michael & Peter, Mariel got into the studio and began working hard on her incredibly fun and fresh EP, “Make it EPIC”. Her EP is a collection of music with a bit of everything – fun, relatable songs, as well as more serious ones. Mariel just wrapped up her exciting “Camplified” tour where she traveled to various camps in the U.S. to perform for the kids.
Learn more about Mariel in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are well into the fall of 2016, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for you and your music?
I would use the word “Epic” which also happens to be the title of my first single that was released this fall The major highlight of this year is releasing that single and my first EP titled “Make it Epic.” It was a lot of hard work but it was so much fun creating this music. Working in the studio with my amazing producers Mike Mangini and Peter Zizzo was the best. There is a lot that goes into releasing an album…. I did a photoshoot with the talented Brandon Woelfel, I filmed the music video for my single, and then this summer I joined the Camplified 2016 tour and performed my music for thousands of campers!!! It has all been amazing. I look back at this past year and I can’t believe how much we have accomplished in such a short amount of time! I’m back in the studio again working, writing and creating. The music life is nonstop but I just love all of it!
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I was always singing and performing as a child. I did music groups, talent shows, musicals, Christmas shows… anything where I could sing and perform for others, I was there. Some of my earliest musical memories are putting on performances every night after dinner.
You recently released your debut EP called “Make It Epic.” What did that feel like? How long had you been working on these songs?
It’s the best feeling in the world! We worked for a while but to see all of it come to to life was the most incredible experience. I’m so proud of what we created! My EP truly is a reflection of me — it’s really energetic and conveys a positive vibe.
What was the inspiration for the songs on “Make It Epic”? In particular, how did the single “Epic” come together? What was it like making the music video for “Epic”?
The inspiration comes from personal experience but also from what people I know are experiencing as well. That makes for happy and fun songs and then a serious side too. “Epic” is about a night that has such a mystique about it, you wonder if it could even be real. I think we created something that really speaks to millennials. Making the video was one of the best experiences of my life. It was definitely hard work but the entire crew was amazing. I couldn’t sleep that night because I never wanted it to end!
What was it like working with the well-known producers Michael Mangini and Peter Zizzo on your debut EP?
Incredible! They really understand me and know what I am going for which is so important.
I’ve noticed that you have lots of covers on your YouTube channel. What have been some favorites of yours? What cover are you working on now?
I love my cover of ‘Hide Away’ by Daya. I had so much fun with it and it truly shows. You’ll have to keep checking back to my YouTube channel to see what is coming next!
Can you talk about your recent “Camplified” tour? What was it like traveling to various camps in the U.S. to perform for the kids? Was this your first ever touring experience? What did you learn about yourself and about performing from doing it?
I love to see the reactions from the crowd when I’m performing. Whether the crowd is hearing a song for the first, or they are singing the lyrics along with me, it’s such a good feeling. I learned how to really connect with an audience. On the Camplified tour, I also loved working with my DJ Willie G and my guitarist Mikey Salerno. It took teamwork!
Do you still hope to continue high school and then perhaps even go to college afterwards or are you very focused on furthering your music career at this point?
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
Education is definitely important to me. Right now music has not interfered with school. I have a balance and am able to still attend school and work on my music during my free time.
Music is my life and I feel it will always be a part of my life and while I’m not sure what future holds – the one thing I do know is, music will be there. I am going to follow my passion wherever that leads me.
One of my biggest inspirations is Taylor Swift. She is talented, graceful, the list goes on and on. I love how she tells stories and spreads positive messages through her lyrics. I’d love to work with her or Justin Bieber!
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs? Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
As a musician I want to continue to create music that makes my listeners feel happy and feel positive about themselves. I hope they take away a great message and a feel-good vibe. I want to be an inspiration to my generation just like Taylor Swift has been to me. I hope to take my music on the road and be able to continue to play in front of live audiences. I also can’t wait to get back in the studio to record new music and use what I’ve learned to continue to grow as an artist. I hope everyone is enjoying the EP!!