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singers • Relate Magazine

Chit Chatting With Singing Duo Wild Fire


Written by Jill Sheets

I first found out about the singing group Wild Fire from my Instragram account, and decided that I would check out their music.  I am glad that I did.  These amazing sisters have been singing sense they there young and they have not stopped. Continue to read on about these talented sisters, about their music and their favorite theater acting roles.


R: How did you two get into singing?

Kelli: I started singing and taking professional voice lessons at age five, and Kayla at age six.


R: Tell us about your EP “Wild Fire.”

Kayla: Our “Wild Fire” EP is our debut record that was released in March of 2017. We wrote all of the songs on it ourselves, along with a couple other cowriters. The title track “Wild Fire” is a song about our arrival on the music scene. It is a hard-hitting, high-energy country rock song. Our song “Southern Summer” was inspired from our love of the Texas Gulf Coast. Our song “Social Media Lovesick” is a humorous song about relationships in the modern age with social media, texting and instant communication. Our most popular track is “Believe,” which is an inspirational song of hope. We wrote this song as a means to encourage others to pursue their dreams and never give up.  This has been our most popular song by far.  It has been featured on two TV shows, FM and AM radio and internet radio. We had a great time writing and recording our “Wild Fire” EP.  It took us about six months to complete it from start to finish.


R: I heard that you are recording tracks for a new album. Is that true? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it and do you have a release date?

Kelli: Yes, that’s true. We are currently working on a seven-song album. We started on it as soon as we finished our first EP. Five songs have been completed with two remaining. We think our fans will really love this album. The first single, titled “One,” will be released in early November. Let’s just say if you loved “Believe,” you will love “One.” For our fans who want to be the first to download “One,” they will be able to find it at http://www.wildfiresings.com/music. We do not have an official title for the new album yet, but will soon. Just like our first EP, you will hear elements of country, country rock and pop infused in the tracks. We are also heavy on the harmonies, of course. As far as a release date, we are targeting January 2018.


R: Not only do you sing, but you write your own music. What is your writing process and how do you come up with the ideas?

Kayla: We have different approaches. Sometimes it starts with a chord progression we come up with on the guitar, and then we begin writing lyrics. Other times, we like to write without an instrument. We hear the song in our heads, record it into our phones, and go from there. There are also times that we will overhear a conversation and that sparks an idea. Then we quickly write it down or record it. So we use various methods, but our main instrument we write on is guitar. We draw our ideas from our life experiences as much as possible. We feel it is important to be as open and honest as possible with our art. When you hear our songs, you will know that you have peeled the layer back and learned even more about us.


R: Where can people get your music?

Kelli: You can find us at all the usual distribution channels such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and so forth. We encourage our fans to purchase directly from our the music page on our website, which is: http://www.wildfiresings.com/music

If you want to connect on social media, our website etc., here are some links:

EPK:  https://youtu.be/csNpwg7Z0uw







iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/jr34g9p

Google Play: http://tinyurl.com/hcrj67f

Spotify:  https://tinyurl.com/n63yg8m

SnapChat:  wildfiresings

Musical.ly:  wildfiresings


R: What are some of your favorite songs to belt out in the car or your room?

Kayla: Anything by Sam Hunt, such as “House Party” or “Cop Car.”

Kelli: I would have to say right now it would be Carly Pearce’s “Every Little Thing.” Yeah, that’s my current jam.


R: Tell our readers about Upbeat Kidz Rock.

WF: Upbeat Kidz Rock is a TV show that features young artists under the age of 17 that write, record, and perform their own original music. We were selected for the show in 2016 and filmed our episode in Cleveland, Ohio. The show featured two music videos from our first EP: “Believe” and “Social Media Lovesick.” The show also featured some short interviews of us and our parents. We had a blast on the set, and the people were just awesome to work with. Our episode aired this summer in seven states and Canada. We recently were cast in another TV show called Houston’s Own Country. It is a local access show here in Houston, Texas, that also airs on cable TV. We filmed five music videos which will soon be aired on TV. We will also post these to our YouTube channel once the editing has been completed.


R: I read that you have performed in many theater productions. Is that something you would like to do in the future?

Kayla: Yes, we sure have. We began theater and dance at the age of 5 (Kelli) and 6 (Kayla) and fell in love with theater. We were cast in numerous plays up until 2016 when we started Wild Fire. I think this really shaped us as performers, as we were constantly in front of an audience speaking, singing, and dancing.

Kelli: I think in the future we would definitely love to audition for roles in theater, TV, movies and so forth. We love being in front of an audience!


R: What was your favorite role?

Kelli: I would have to say my favorite role was Gretyl in “The Sound of Music.”

Kayla: My favorite role was Alice Beineke in the “Addam’s Family.”

R: What are your future goals?

Kayla: Our short-term goals are to continue to write, record, and perform original music here in Texas and grow our fan base. There is a lot of ground to cover here in Texas. In the long-term, we plan to move to Nashville after high school and attend Belmont University. We plan to major in music and continue performing our music in Nashville.

Kelli: Our goal is to become a major artist in the country music world.


R: Do you have any charities that are close to your heart?  If so, which ones and tell us about them?

Kelli: The charity closest to our heart is the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. Our Nana passed away from this terrible disease and we hope and pray for a cure.

Kayla: We also support St. Jude’s and Texas Children’s Hospital.  Kids are very special to us!


R: If you could go back in time, where would you go, what time period, and why?

Kayla: I think the 80’s would be fun. Yeah, I would go back to the 80’s. We love the music from that era.

Kelli: I would have to agree.


R: It is not easy being a teen. What advice would you give them?

Kelli: The most important piece of advice I would give is be yourself. Don’t try and mold yourself into what your peers think you should be. You are an original masterpiece and there is nobody like you.

Kayla: I agree and would also say don’t listen to the haters. You will encounter negativity and people saying you can’t achieve certain goals. They are either jealous or they do not have enough confidence to reach their own goals. Believe in yourself and you will succeed.


R: Anything else you would like to add?

Kayla: We would just like to thank you for this interview and we are so glad that we connected.
Kelli: I agree. We would also like to tell all our fans that we appreciate all of you! God bless!


Photo credit: Molly Young, Rob Iutzwig

Chit Chatting with Sister Group Cimorelli


Written by Jill Sheets

A few years ago, I was blessed to see Cimorelli in concert. When I got to meet the sisters in person, they were nice and down to earth. They would talk and take pictures with their fans. They were also amazing in concert and hopefully I will be able to see them again! The sisters write their own music and play instruments. It is great to watch them develop in their music career. Soon they will be releasing a new album called “Sad Girls Club.” Read on about them, their music, and their new book.


R: Tell our readers about yourselves. How did you get into the music industry?

C: We are six musical sisters originally from California, but now we’re living in Nashville. We also have five brothers and we were homeschooled, so we grew up singing together all the time. We started our band at 10 years old in our hometown (Sacramento area) as a full instrumental band with electric guitar, bass, drums, and two keyboards. Then we started our YouTube career in 2009 and switched to more of an a capella thing, uploading weekly covers of popular songs to YouTube. In 2010 we moved down to Los Angeles and got a record deal with a major label. We worked in the music industry there for five years. It was exhausting and very frustrating trying to be ourselves in an industry where it felt like we didn’t fit “in the box.” Finally, we left our label and moved to Nashville in 2015. Since our move and going independent, we have recorded and released two albums of music, written and published our first book, and toured all over the US, Europe, and South America. Our third album, “Sad Girls Club,” comes out October 27th!


R: Tell us about your new album “Alive.” What are your favorite songs off this new album?

C: I think each of us has a different favorite for different reasons. My (Katherine) favorite is “Alive,” as I wrote a lot of the lyrics and it’s my personal story based on a poem I wrote.


R: You write your own songs. What is your writing process? Do you write things together? How do you come up with the ideas for the songs?

C: Each song is uniquely different. Some we write together, some on our own. Usually it’ll start with lyrics, and if someone has some lyrics but no melody, they’ll have a different sister finish it out. Sometimes one of us will write an entire song on our own.


R: Do you have any plans on touring soon?

C: We have been so focused on recording our new album this year and creating content for our YouTube that we haven’t made touring plans this year, but we are going to make some soon! Stay tuned!


R: Where can people get your music?

C: Spotify, Apple Music, Pledge music and iTunes.


R: Tell us about your book Lessons Learned.  Where can people get it?

C: We wrote it last year! It’s a book of advice and life lessons written for young girls and women. We get tons of questions and people asking us for advice on social media, so we decided to put together a book of the questions we get asked the most. You can get it on our Pledge music page.


R: What do you like to do in your free time?

C: We each have our own individual interests but I would say collectively, we like having dance parties and BBQs with our friends, watching movies, going on walks, and writing music.


R: What are your future goals?

C: We would like our new album, “Sad Girls Club,” to reach as many people as possible. We also want to plan another tour around the world! We haven’t been to Australia and a lot of Asia yet, so we need to get there!


R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them?

C: I know it sounds like a promo, but I genuinely would tell them to get our book Lessons Learned on our Pledge music page! It is packed full of advice for teenagers on things like friendship, family, body image and self-esteem, career advice, spirituality, and even saving money.


R: What are your social networking sites?

C: Twitter: @cimorelliband, Instagram: @cimorelliband Snapchat: @itscimorelli

Our website is Cimorellimusic.com and our YouTube is YouTube.com/cimorellitheband


R: Is there anything you would like to add or say to your fans?

C: Thank you for supporting us all these years and for sticking by us through the ups and the downs. We love you guys with all our hearts and we’re so grateful we get to do this for our career!!


Picture credit: Acacia Evans Photography/ Founder at Big City Thoughts Magazine


Cimorelli’s New Album Might Be The Best Yet


Written by:  Jill Sheets

Cimorelli’s newest album has just been released. Even thought Alive is not their first album, it is their first pop/Christian album. The Cimorelli sisters wrote every song on it. (When you think they cannot get any better, they do!) Personally, I think Alive is their best album so far. It’s catchy and upbeat; it shows off their strong vocals and meaningful lyrics. They have worship songs, but they also tackle hard issues like worthlessness and addiction. These inspirational and uplifting songs will get stuck in your head, especially when you need a certain message.  It is hard to pick my favorite song, as I love them all. Each song speaks to me in a different way, and I’m sure they will for you too.


Track Listing:

  1.    Your Name Is Forever
  2.    One More Night
  3.    Alive
  4.    Never Let Me Fall
  5.    The Love Of A Man
  6.    My God Is Here
  7.    Hope For It
  8.    Kick The Habit
  9.    Find Me
  10.    Love Song (Over Me)

I had been waiting a while for this CD, and it was worth the wait. I cannot wait to see what Cimorelli does next. If you are interested in learning more about this sister group you can go to the links below.






Chatting with Singers Frankel Sisters


Recently, I had the honor of interviewing Lianne and Jaymee, also known as the Frankel Sisters. They were featured on The X Factor and were NYC finalists on The Voice. Read on to learn more about them, their music, and which sister does a mean impression of Miranda Sings.


R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in the music business.

F: We’ve grown up listening to and playing music our entire lives. Our dad was a wedding singer for twenty years and exposed us to all types of music since before we could speak. We grew up listening to Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Billy Joel, and James Taylor (just to name a few) on long car rides and would harmonize with our dad over each record (it drove our mom and brother crazy after a while). Our dad would also play guitar in our living room after a long day of work and the three of us would mess around and write random hooks to songs. When we realized this was something we were passionate about pursuing, we started performing local shows at fundraisers, wineries, festivals, and churches. We started playing at bigger venues such as The Paramount, Webster Hall, The Bitter End, and other live music halls. Right now we are pursuing our career full-force and are in the process of recording our first Frankel Sisters EP!


R: You were also featured on The X Factor and were NYC finalists on The Voice. Tell us about that.

F: Our experiences with both shows were nothing but positive and helpful in shaping us as artists. Performing in front of The X Factor celebrity judges (Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio) on stage at Nassau Coliseum and gaining positive feedback from the four of them and the rest of the crowd was such an adrenaline rush. It really pushed us outside of our comfort zone and ultimately made us better, more in-sync performers.


R: Tell us about your song “Sidekick.”

F: “Sidekick” is about knowing that someone is not good for you long term, but holding onto the temporary moment you spend with them. Lianne wrote the song when a guy she liked told her there was another girl in the picture, but pursued her anyway. The song is bittersweet, but very relatable for a lot of people who face similar experiences.


R: I read that you write your own music. Tell us about your writing process.

F: Our songs have undergone an evolution over time. Lianne first started writing music when she was just seven years old with a song called “Green Grass.” Over time, the content of the music matured and dealt with very relatable, human experiences of love, breakup, feeling awkward, and overcoming judgment. Songwriting for Lianne is a therapeutic way to express and explain emotions. Jaymee’s songs are based on experiences as well, but she mainly starts her writing process with a catchy melody, and the lyrics come later. She can spend hours messing around with different beats and sounds.


R: Where can people get your music?

F: You can find our music for free on our website (link below), on iTunes, Spotify, or CD Baby by typing in “Frankel Sisters.” We just released our first single, “Sidekick,” and filmed an in-studio music video that can be found on YouTube as well.


R: What would you like people to take away from your music?

F: Our music lets people know it’s ok to be human. We’re not always perfect and our lives aren’t always what they appear to be on social media. The messages we send are real and relatable. Even though everyone in life is different, we all share the same emotions of love, power, strength, weakness, disappointment, and hope. We want our listeners to feel comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone in the highs and lows of life. But our music is versatile, and can sometimes just be mindless, feel-good, and fun. We want to create music that gets stuck in people’s heads and makes for memorable car rides.


R: Do you have any plans on touring in 2017?

F: Right now we are focusing on recording our EP, which will be coming out in early 2017. Once we finish that project, we will be focused on setting up a college tour. Stay tuned for more information on that!


R: If you could tour with any five people or groups, who would they be?

F: Jon Bellion is our musical hero right now. He’s extremely innovative and has proven that artists don’t need to mold their sound or who they are to fit the box of “pop.” He’s shown that popular music becomes popular when you make it popular, which is very inspiring for us. Besides him, we’d like to tour with Meghan Trainor, Charlie Puth, Kimbra, or Tori Kelly.


R: What has been your favorite memory so far?

F: Either performing on stage at Nassau Coliseum or The Paramount.


R: What are five things people may not know about you?


1) Lianne does a mean Miranda Sings impression.

2) Jaymee cooks a really good eggplant parmesan.

3) We wore a conjoined Christmas sweater on Christmas.

4) We both studied English Education and Theatre in college.

5) We won a talent competition on a cruise that our mom forced us to sign up for over a decade ago.


R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

F: When Demi Lovato asked Jaymee “Do you have any tattoos?” and “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?”


R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

F: The best piece of advice we would give any teenager is to stay true to yourself. As clichéd as it may sound, it is the most important piece of advice we have ever lived by. You become who you surround yourself by, so if you don’t feel connected to a certain group of people, get involved in something that might appeal to you more. Lianne was the captain of the cheerleading team at one point, but didn’t find true happiness in that. She didn’t really find her people until she got involved in theatre and found friends who allowed her to fully explore who she is. (That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with cheerleading! Just keep exploring until you’re able to surround yourself by people who make you feel the best about yourself.) Also, everything in life is temporary! Something that may seem like the most massive crisis now becomes something you laugh about not too far down the line. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Everyone feels awkward and anxious at times. Lianne even wrote songs called “Awkward Days” and “Anxiety” about those very feelings.


R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

F: Yes, we are.

Official Website






R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

F: Besides encouraging our fans to share our music with friends and family, we want to thank everyone who has shown support so far on our musical journey!


R: Frankel Sisters, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

F: Thank YOU!


Written by Jill Sheets

Whitehorse: The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss

Whitehorse:  The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss

Written by Ellen Marie Hawkins

Whitehorse:  The Fate of the World Depends on This KissI love the title of this album, don’t you?  It’s so incredibly…dramatic.  It’s a little self-centered, too, in a way, but coincidentally, I’ve been thinking a lot about anniversaries and pondering how different my life would be if certain relationships in my life ceased to exist, or hadn’t ever.  We don’t live in a bubble-who we are truly does affect the world around us, causing ripples and waves in lives all around us.  Whether it is for the good or bad, it is ginormous to think about.

With that said, this album was all about contrast for me.  Whitehorse combines his voice (Luke Doucet) with hers (Melissa McClelland), both accomplished singers on their own, but together they create magic, complimenting and accentuating the other’s gifts.  The songs themselves often take personal moments and shed light onto what it might look like in the scope of the world.  Sometimes it’s social commentary while other times it is introspective reflection on a relationship, but it is all good stuff.

My favorite song, and the one that best exhibits how good they are at contrasts is the song “Cold July.”  There’s nothing like experiencing sweltering heat while thinking about something that makes you shiver.  “Cold July” is that feeling, wrapped up in a song.  I may not remember the exact lyrics, but mention the title, and I’ll vividly recall that chill down my spine.  Sometimes, that’s just as important as a few lines that remain in your head.  “Wisconsin” is that socially aware song that I mentioned above, but the contrasts are still up front, and I love how they make me think about my little problems in my life and put them in the bigger perspective of the world.  “Texaco,” the last song of the album, begins with ambient guitars that I gravitate towards, but the slow story they spin makes me feel their heavy mood and desperation just as well.  It’s like Thelma and Louise wrapped up in a smidgen under six minutes; it’s a string of really bad ideas, but everyone has thought them at one point or another, melancholy enough to get lost in a daydream that would be a nightmare in real life…

They’re not always slow and dismal, though.  In fact, as “Achilles’ Desire” begins the album, a song about wanting something that really makes you weak, while the “Devil’s Got a Gun,” about chasing after happiness that sometimes seems so elusive, are fast tempo, and musically, intricate and fun and interesting to listen to.  While not exactly happy songs, they have energy, and more important than making you feel, they make you think.  Regardless, Whitehorse has a great momentum, and they’re never boring.   It is that contrast, after all, that makes our lives dynamic, and these songs are overflowing with the white against the black that puts everything into a new perspective.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.facebook.com/WeAreWhitehorse?ref=ts&fref=ts

Interview with Megan and Liz

Interview with Megan and Liz

Written by Ellen Marie Hawkins

megan and liz, bad for meWhether it’s their newest song “Bad For Me” about that boy who never treats you well but you just can’t get out of your head (that just also happens be part of Macy’s latest ad campaigns), to “Are You Happy Now?” their anti-bullying song, Megan and Liz are overflowing with tunes that every girl can relate to.  Personally, my favorite from their This Time EP is “Run Away,” the melodious song about wanting to get away from life without the burden of looking back, or “Old School Love,” about wishing guys still believed in chivalry. Regardless, you’ll find a favorite here, too.  While their musical journey is still just beginning, they’re joining the likes of Taylor Swift, Coldplay, No Doubt, and Usher for an iHeart radio concert in September, literally putting them on stage for the world to notice.  The best thing about these girls?  They are already have YouTube views of over 160 million so it’s safe to say, no matter how famous they become, they’ll still be writing and singings songs that remind everyone they’re still just like us.

Relate:   First memory of music?

Megan:  Mine was definitely singing songs from “The Little Mermaid” around the house.

Liz:  Mine was probably singing with the Karaoke machine when I was about 5. My mom was super into broad way songs, and we would always sing them!

R:  The song “Are You Happy Now?” is your anti bullying message; what was your inspiration to write this song?

Megan:  Our inspiration came from our fans and being online so much. Cyber bullying, along with every kind of bullying, is just wrong. We wanted to use the voices we had to stand up and say that we do care.

Liz: There was a point where we were getting so many tweets and messages asking how people can get over being called this, or being called that, and we made a choice to write the song in a way to help those people.

R:  If you could collaborate with one musician, who would it be and why?

Megan:  Taylor Swift is one just because she’s such an inspiration to our music, but I’d kill to have Lil Wayne rap on one of our songs…

Liz:  Right now I have a major obsession with Hunter Hayes, and I think that a duet with him would be so much fun!

R:  Name one song you wish you had written:

Megan:  “Mine” by Taylor Swift. Great. Song.

Liz:  “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry

R:  You grew up in Michigan but moved to Tennessee to pursue music.  What has been the most difficult thing about the transition?

Megan:  Definitely being away from our friends/making new friends. We didn’t know anyone down here so we had to start all over and find new things to entertain us!

Liz:  The transition over all for us has been pretty easy! But I think the one thing Megan and I can’t seem to find in Nashville is a replacement for our favorite restaurant back home!

R:  Which one of you writes the lyrics and which one writes the music, or do you do both equally well?  Do you always write songs together or is it something you do in private and then share with the other?

M&L:  Megan tends to lean towards melodies more and Liz tends to lead towards lyrics, but when we’re writing Megan might bust out some random awesome lyric and Liz might do the same with a melody! It’s all pretty collaborative. We always write songs together, it’s just how it’s always been.

R:  Some of your songs have over three million views…that’s impressive!  Do you think that you have responsibilities as role models or do you see yourselves simply as performers?

Megan: I think we definitely have responsibilities as role models, but it’s important to remain ourselves and be the performers that we want to be. Luckily, we’re pretty “good girls” so it’s easy to be ourselves and stay good role models.

Liz: I think that I always want to be a good role model, our music is very “us” and I never want to have to worry about a mom and her young daughter watching our videos or listening to our songs. One thing we never want to come off as is offensive.

R:  You’ve been getting great opportunities recently for performances-a show with Hot Chelle Rae for your stand on anti-bullying and even opening for Taylor Swift.  What are those experiences like for you?

Megan:  I don’t know how else to describe them except that they’re literally dreams come true. It’s so unreal and we’re so lucky to have opportunities like these.

Liz:  Being able to work with artists that we really look up to is just so incredible. There are times when we both have to stop and say, “wow, we are really living our dream right now.”

R:  Name one quality that you like best about yourself:

Megan:  I like how driven I am. If something needs to get done, in my mind, I can’t do anything else until it’s done. This is both good and bad, but most of the time it’s good!

Liz:  Well, I would say one quality I like about myself is that I am pretty chill about a lot of things. I try not to stress out about the little details.

R:  Favorite thing to do when you’re not writing/singing music:

Megan: I love to bake! I’ll look up random cookie/brownie creations on the internet and try baking them. My family just LOVES that… ;)

Liz:  I love to paint! Or do anything crafty. I could spend hours in Michael’s craft store and be totally happy.

Please visit www.MeganandLiz.com for more information and be sure to download their music from a digital retailer of your choice.

Pop (with a Rock Edge) Singers, Michael and Marisa

Chit Chatting with singers Michael and Marisa

Written by: Jill Sheets

Michael and Marisa

Michael and Marisa

Picture credit Maring Photography /Charles and Jennifer Maring

Recently Relate had the honor of interviewing singers Michael and Marisa. Continue to read on about them and their music.

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Marisa: I’m happy energetic, like to be on the go, love physical activity. I’m loud, outgoing, fun and funny.

Michael: My name is Michael. I’m 12 years old. I play guitar and am very creative. I love computers and pretty much anything that has a plug on it (or batteries). I love music. I can’t function without it.

R: How long have you been singing and writing songs?

Michael: I wrote my first song by myself when I was four and recorded it on my Fisher Price cassette player with microphone. I have been performing gigs playing guitar and singing since I was 7.

Marisa: I’ve been singing all my life and started writing songs when I was 8.

R: What is your song writing process? Do you start with the words?

Marisa: We start with an idea and then write words and last the music. I (Marisa) like to write meaningful lyrics that will make people think or inspire them. Michael comes up with creative ideas so easily and then we write the song together.

R: How would you describe your music for those who have not heard it yet?

Marisa: It’s Pop with a Rock edge or you can call it Pop/Rock. The lyrics usually have a message that other kids can relate to. We write songs hoping that we will get the listener to think or feel something or take some kind of action.

R: Michael, how long have you been playing? Do you play any other instruments?

Michael: Guitar since I was 6. I play keyboards.

R: Marisa how long have you been playing the drums? Do you play any other instruments?

Marisa: Drums since I was 8. I also play keyboards and other percussion instruments.

R: Tell us about your song “The Same.: How did you come up with the idea for the song?

Michael: It was after the Phoebe Prince incident (she committed suicide after being severely bullied) when bullying was a hot topic in the news. In our song “The Same”, the bystander sees her friends bullying a lone girl and decides to leave her popular group to go over and talk to the girl. Kids are the only ones who can really stop bullying. For kids to tell kids to stop bullying in a song is much more powerful and effective than for grown ups to say stop bullying. We think we can really have an impact on helping to solve the bullying problem with this song.

20% of all sales of “The Same” will go to Kids Against Bullying http://www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org. Where can people get the song?

On itunes.com, facebook.com/michaelandmarisa and on www.michaelandmarisa.com

R: What advice would you give someone who is being bullied?

Marisa: To stand up for yourself. Don’t let yourself be pushed around. Look the bully in the eye and respond right back.

Michael: Learn how to take a stand. Have backbone.

R: Tell us about your debut album, “Kickin’ It Together?” How long did it take you to make the album from start to finish?

Michael: We started writing and recording the songs when we were 8 and 9 and finished when we were 10 and 11.  It took 18 months from start to finish. There are 12 songs on it. In the beginning we were writing songs to perform live and not specifically for an album. Then it turned into a CD project produced by Billy Garzone in Boston. The last five songs were co-written with Emmy nominated Amy Powers, and Jeannie Lurie (Disney/Hannah Montana) and produced by Amy Powers and Russ DeSalvo.

This CD has some strong messages in the songs about taking care of the environment, helping others, living your dream. Other songs have more everyday topics like being a guy, trying to focus on the moment, being opposites but having fun together, having the power to change the end of a daydream that doesn’t go that well etc.

R: What is your favorite song on that album and why?

Marisa: “I Bet I Could” because it’s supposed to inspire the listener to do their part to make the world a better place.

Michael: “A Guy Like Me” because it’s about every guy and how they are. It’s relatable and everyone can sing along with it and mean it.

R: Tell us about your up and coming EP, “It’s LIke That.”

Marisa: I really like the songs on it and have them on my ipod. I mean even if they weren’t our songs, I would like them. Peter Zizzo (Avril Lavigne, Pixie Lott, Celine Dion, Vanessa Carlton) cowrote the songs with us and produced the CD.

Michael: We’ve progressed a lot since the first CD. The sound is much older and we are playing the kind of music we like to listen to.

R: Where can people get your music?

Marisa: On MichaelandMarisa.com, facebook.com/michaelandmarisa and on itunes. The official release of our new EP is September 7th, but it is available as a fan package with a t shirt, and other stuff on our web site: michaelandmarisa.com.

R: You are currently touring. What is your favorite thing about touring and what has been your favorite place so far?

Marisa: Favorite place ever? Or this year? We’ve done 250 shows over the last five years and we have so many favorites. I remember playing the Whisky-A-Go-Go in Hollywood, CA when we were 8 and 9 and feeling like “Wow….this is so cool”. We just played some dates on the Camplified Tour which is fun because the tour arrives at a camp and the artists spend the day interacting with and then performing for the campers. We teach them guitar, decorate shirts with them, are interviewed by the campers, then do a Q. and A., the show and then a meet and greet. So we our role is to make an amazing day for the campers from morning to night. It’s fun to see how excited they get. We also just did the last leg of the Bamboozle Road Show tour which was amazing.

Michael: I love interacting with the audience and fans at meet and greets. I love the feeling of performing the music for the audiences. It’s fun to hang out with other bands. My favorite performing experience ever was when I was 8 and got to open for Drake Bell. I got to get to know him a bit over the weekend going with him to appearances and he even showed me some guitar. Getting to be a part of Drake’s show and then have my own meet and greet at the table next to his was surreal for me. I related to so many things about Drake and his music and couldn’t believe it was happening.

R: What is your favorite song to perform and why?

Marisa: I love to perform “The Same” and feel the emotion in it every time I sing it, but it is a heavy topic and a slower ballad. I also love performing “Can’t Miss a Beat” because I wrote it about how day to day life is from the perspective of me as a drummer….how I hear everything around me as a rhythm. I bet other people do that too, like dancers and other musicians. It’s a faster song and the audience dances to it and gets into the rhythms in it.

Michael: “It’s Like That” because it’s about the rush that you feel on a roller coaster. I love that feeling and wanted to describe it in a song. It’s fun to perform and I think about that no gravity feeling when I’m playing it.

R: If you could tour with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Marisa: Taylor Swift because her fans are so amazing and a lot of them like our music as well. I love how she creates her show and is a part of staging her songs. She’s so talented in so many ways. The way she writes songs so easily about her life experiences is inspiring to me.

Michael: I’ve been a fan of Paramore for 3 or 4 years and have been performing their music for that long as well. I love their sound.

R: What was it like giving an impromptu performance with singer, Lily Allen?

Michael: Insanely cool!! Marisa and I had just finished making a parody music video of Lily Allen’s song, “The Fear” and had been listening to her music 24/7. We LOVE her wordy and very clever lyrics and the variety of musical sounds and rhythms she uses and her humor. We made the parody video ourselves. I love directing movies and also edited the video, with Marisa as Lily, and me as the butlers. We also changed some of the words to make the parody even funnier. The week after we finished the video, we went to her concert and she invited us to perform “Smile” with her on the stage. We are the biggest fans of her music and it was an experience of a lifetime!! Someone in the audience videoed us singing and dancing with her and they put it on youtube. Otherwise we would have been sure it was a dream.

Marisa: Amazing! So cool! Awesome!! Surreal, a dream come true!!

R: What singers and bands can be found on your ipod or mp3 player? What is your favorite song by each one?

Marisa: All of The Beatles (I Wanna Hold Your Hand), ACDC (Problem Child) Led Zeppelin (Communication Breakdown) Lily Allen (Him), Travie McCoy/Bruno Mars (Billionaire), No Doubt (Don’t Speak), Jonas Brothers (A Little Bit Longer), Victorious Soundtrack (You’re the Reason), Taylor Swift (Our Song), Demi Lovato (Don’t Forget) and so many more….

Michael: All of The Beatles (She Loves You), Lady Gaga (Just Dance ), Avril Lavigne(Complicated) Shakira(Whenever, Wherever/Suerte), Train(Hey Soul Sister), Paramore(Misery Business), Drake Bell (Telegraph), Most Top 40 songs from the last 10 years so I can D.J. and take requests any time.

R: If you could make a guest appearance on any Disney Show, which one would it be?

Marisa: Wizards of Waverly Place, ABC Family, Make it or Break It, We’d love it if Disney would create a show about a brother/sister pop/rock duo and we could play ourselves.

On Nickelodeon, we’d love to be on Victorious or iCarly.

R: What has been your most star stuck moment? Who was it and tell us what happened?

Michael: I have so many of these….Avril Lavigne’s music was the first “older music” I listened to. When I was 4, someone working at the mall gave me a copy of her demo CD. She was one of my first musical role models and I got to meet her when I was 5. I was so excited. When I was 8 and doing my sound check at the Whisky-A-Go-Go nightclub in Hollywood, Drake Bell came in and I couldn’t believe he was standing there with me. I got to play “I Found a Way” for him and he was smiling and hitting his leg he liked it so much. I couldn’t believe I was playing his song for him and that he liked it. Then Lily Allen was another one…..Marisa will tell you about that one….

Marisa: Yeah, we had no idea that we’d end up on the stage performing with her!! It was crazy amazing and then she told us to come back and hang with her after her show. I also loved meeting Fergie and the Black Eyed Peas and when I was about 9, I got to meet Vanessa Hudgens backstage at one of her shows during the height of High School Musical. She was so sweet! I remember she told us to “stay in school”. Gwen Stefani was also amazing to meet. She’s about 6 feet tall with her heels and her face is like a porcelain doll.

Michael and Marisa

Michael and Marisa

Picture credit Maring Photography /Charles and Jennifer Maring

R: What do you do in your spare time?

Marisa: I love to do gymnastics, tae kwon do, dance, go biking with neighbors, text with my friends, stay very active, drum of course, songwrite, sing

Michael: Anything to do with music like making movies and videos, remixing songs, my iphone, finding new aps, tae kwon do, amusement park rides

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

Michael: I love long showers, so relaxing all that water and being clean, I’ve always wanted a dog, I’m obsessed with Lady Gaga and all her props and creations, I love Times Square and L.A., I’m terrible at Guitar Hero, I like the long car rides when touring,

Marisa: I’m big time Type A and a perfectionist, I love little kids and babies, I read really fast, if I weren’t a musician, I’d want to be a gymnast. I like to climb.

R: What are five things or people you cannot live without?

Marisa: Ketchup, Pasta, bread, Purell and my family

Michael: My guitar, my computer, my iphone, baby wipes and my family

R: What are your future goals?

Marisa: We want to tour the world and get messages across to our audiences through our music. We want to lift their spirits and inspire and empower them and give them a good time at the shows.

R: What is the best advice you have ever gotten and by who?

Marisa: If you close your eyes and picture yourself doing it, you can do it. (Randall Sneed when teaching me to perfect my back tuck on the hard ground, just last week)

Michael: Never give up (various successful musicians have told me this)

R: What advice would you give someone who wanted to become a singer?

Michael: Never give up, live your dream (I guess what goes around comes around, or something like that)

Marisa: Sing to your favorite songs and the feeling will come out

R: Do you have any charities that are close to your heart? If so, tell us about them.

Marisa: Twice I have cut 12 inches off of my hair and donated the hair to Locks of Love. I wait until it gets really long. I’ve also crocheted hats for cancer patients and when I was little would donate all of my birthday gifts to Children’s Hospital.

Michael: Wow…..we have so many…we have played at dozens of fundraiser concerts for major charities like Jimmy Fund, Dana Farber, Pan Mass Challenge, Children’s Hospitals and so many others. We have also donated all proceeds from some of our concerts at the Hard Rock Cafe to Autism, Toys for Tots, Music Programs in Schools, and more.

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website? If so, what is the address?

Marisa: Website: michaelandmarisa.com

Facebook: facebook.com/michaelandmarisa


Michael: twitter.com/rockon1881

Marisa: twitter.com/xoxodrummer1313

R: Other than this one what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

Marisa: What’s your middle name?

Michael: Will you go to the prom with me? By a 17 year old when I was 11.

Michael and Marisa, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

Michael and Marisa: Thank you for interviewing us!