For Bay Area native Janel Marisse, music was a divine career path. 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. Making her debut in 2015, her single was immediately picked up by Samsung. “No Tomorrow” was featured in a nationwide commercial from the technology giant, starring music mogul Russell Simmons. This week, Janel dropped her latest EP, “The New Order”, which marks a new chapter for the Filipina singer and feels most like her true self. In “The New Order”, Janel sheds her veil of innocence in order to embrace the dark past she has faced with songs inspired by fantasy and dark magic. Learn more about how it all came together and listen to “The New Order” below.
HR: What three words describe your new EP and why?
JM: Midway through the recording process I knew that I wanted to push for a mystical, dark fantasy trajectory- both sonically and topic wise. The journey I was describing had to do with seeing beauty in the ugly, a lot like a dark angel.
HR: What was the most challenging part in creating this EP from start to finish?
JM: Honestly, the actual creative process in itself was the part that came the easiest. The most challenging part was finding exactly WHAT I wanted to depict in it. But once I discovered that, it allowed the rest to be an easy process.
HR: When did you know the EP was complete?
JM: When I recorded Off the Record (Freaky). It was the last song to go on the project and my heart just knew I needed a record like that to finish it off. At that point my idea of the project being a book of love spells just all came together and OTR came to me the fastest.
HR: What kind of ‘sound’ did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
JM: don’t really go in to the studio with a specific expectation especially when it comes to the sonics because it creates blockage when I write and record. But I do know I walked into this project with a motive to be more expressive and raw to show my audience my authentic personality/character.
HR: Considering this is your first EP what did you do differently compared to your previous projects?
JM: This time around I was able to implement more live instrumentation and be more involved in the production, which was one of the most enjoyable parts in the process of creation. I also chose not to have features on the project solely to focus on expressing my own journey and experience this time around.
HR: What are your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
JM: My personal favorites are Chopstix and Off the Record. “Need to get a grip like chopsticks” and “never hungry, he eat it like a snicker,” tend to be the listeners’ most recited lyric.
HR: What overall theme / mood were you trying to capture while writing for this EP?
JM: Mystical, destructive, moody, love spells, lustful
HR: Are there any ‘crazy’ behind the scenes stories you can share with us?
JM: So I was on a shroom binge this past summer lol and that was when I discovered it was a cheat code. I remember being in the last session I had for The New Order and I made 3 of the 8 songs on it and I was just like “wow if I would have known, I would have recorded the entire project in 2 days!”
HR: Why this EP and why now?
JM: The top of this year was an introduction to all the craziness that’s still occurring. Meanwhile, I was also experiencing a very dark time in my life until I finally found the light, which inspired me to create this project. At the end of it all, we must find beauty in destruction. And truthfully- there is.
HR: Now that the EP is out, what’s next?
JM: Time for visuals- both music videos and live performances. My merch along with some other cool stuff is about to drop which I’ve previewed on social media. Other than that I’ve been back in the studio working on new content to be ready for you guys once the campaign for The New Order finishes out.
LISTEN TO THE NEW ORDER BY JANEL MARISSE
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