Following the release of her first self-produced full length album, Joy Road, on November 11, 2011, Marissa Guzman has quickly been gaining respect among some of the biggest names in house music. Her new release Joy Road The Remixes features Guzman’s number-one hit remixed by Black Coffee, “Time To Go,” which was also nominated for Remix Of the Year at the SAMAs (the South African Music Awards). Another special feature of the album is the father/daughter remix of “Magic Door,” a career milestone track for Guzman, courtesy of Detroit’s talented Pirahnahead, who used Marissa’s father’s (the late Eddie Guzman), legendary drum loop from Rare Earth’s “Happy Dance” and pairs it with Marissa’s vocals for a chill-inducing creation.
The complete 24 song album features remixes by the legendary Kerri Chandler, Mr. V, Liquideep (South Africa’s hottest electronic music band), Rithma, Demarkus Lewis, Corduroy Mavericks, Paul Randolph, Vindico Del Quade, Malik Alston, Doc Link, Hallex.M, and Ed Mazur G. Producers and DJ’s from across the spectrum of all EDM genres have been praising every single track. Karizma states “Fifth moon Kerri’s mix is killin’ me…” Marques Wyatt says “Definitely diggin’ this!” Quentin Harris states “Loving many of these remixes, in particular Pirahnahead, Deez Rockit Lab, Hallex M & Sugar House mixes.” These are just a view of the rave reviews the album is receiving. The songs are currently available for download on Traxsource, iTunes and Stompy.com. The album shot to #2 on Traxsource just days after its release and is available there at http://www.traxsource.com/index.php?act=show&fc=tpage&cr=titles&cv=148061.
Thanks to the success of Black Coffee’s remix of “Time to Go,” last December Marissa was invited to South Africa to perform the song with Black Coffee and a 24 piece orchestra in Durban, in front of 15,000 screaming fans who sang every single lyric of the song. “It was hands down, the HIGHLIGHT of my career and it was close to impossible to hold in the happy tears!” Marissa exclaims. Marissa just returned for a second visit, attending the SAMA’s and performing four gigs – Sun City, Pretoria, Vaal and Vosloorus. She will go back to South Africa later this year for a longer tour and to experience first-hand how her music can be used to benefit those less fortunate.
Fifty percent of her album sales and any release party ticket sales go to NextAid, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that harnesses the power of music to support sustainable development projects that serve vulnerable children, youth and women in Africa. “I am hoping to spread awareness through my music and make a positive impact in Africa,” declares Guzman. “While we here in the U.S. are trying to get a fair shake for our ‘99 percent,’ in Africa, the global income distribution is even more skewed with hundreds of millions of people living on less than $1 a day.”
To promote the album, Marissa recently released her first official music video, “Magic Door,” a representation of the battle we all face in order to experience true self-actualization. There are four worlds that exist in it, each represented by a different style and setting. The narrative progresses through these worlds with the song as Marissa seeks the lifestyle and persona that best fits her. The final world ends with a choreographed flash mob dance by 60 volunteers in Dolores Park in San Francisco. The video is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1K_5kvXA_0.
Marissa has played many gigs to promote the album including at the 2012 Winter Music Conference in Miami, performing at 10 different parties in just 5 days. Next up, she will be performing at Joy Ride presented by NextAid and Juicy Lucy Records in Detroit during the Movement festival at Motor City Wine, along with Mr. V, Nickodemus, and Professor Nalepa on Sunday May 27th. Release parties are also being planned in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
Raised in Detroit with a father who was on the Motown label, Eddie Guzman of Rare Earth, and a mother who is a painter/interior designer, Marissa had quite the artistic upbringing. Having her dad constantly on the road touring with the band was difficult, but the excitement that goes along with having a father who is a well-known musician deeply inspired her. She remembers her experience as a little girl at concerts with thousands of screaming fans, when the members of Rare Earth would call their kids on stage to help them sing their biggest hit, “I Just Want To Celebrate.” Marissa knew then that she wanted to pursue singing.
With a strong passion for writing, Marissa majored in journalism and landed her first job in advertising, devoting her life to the Ford Motor Company. With such a demanding career, she had little time for her true passion, music, but in her free time she managed to develop a huge appreciation for Detroit’s revered electronic music scene, and started writing vocal tracks over instrumental house songs. She became friends with the legendary Detroit techno pioneer, Derrick May, who convinced her to start her own label, which she did in 2007. Marissa’s mom, Barbara named it Juicy Lucy Records.
During this time, she ended up signing one of her most popular songs, a collaboration with Demarkus Lewis called “Get Yourself Together,” to Italian label, Soulstar, that went to number 17 in the DJ Mag charts. Marissa later released the successful track “Energy Flows” on Juicy Lucy, a collaboration with Ethan White & JKriv of Tortured Soul.
Due to the struggling economy in Michigan, Marissa moved to San Francisco for better job opportunities, and ended up working in the booming technology industry. Living in a city that fosters creativity, San Francisco inspired Marissa through showing her that artists can survive doing what they love. In 2009, she quit her job in marketing to work on her album.
Marissa now produces and arranges her own songs, and feels she has started to come alive musically. Ninety percent of Joy Road is her own compositions, with the songs ranging from Downtempo to Electro Pop, to Ragtime to House, and beyond.
Still a bit of a marketer Marissa notes “I don’t want to pigeonhole myself by only writing one style of music, then you only appeal to one type of audience…why not expand your demographic and appeal to the masses!” Adding “Especially since I have so many different musical influences, having a variety of styles makes total sense.”