MP3 Maria Kizirian - Retro Man
A combination of hard driving rock guitars, hard hitting beat, and a soaring chorus. all sung with multi-octave powerful vocals.
1 MP3 Songs
POP: Power Pop, ROCK: American Trad Rock
Maria Kizirian is from another world. Born in Finland’s Arctic region and partially raised in middle-America by a rocker, producer, and master guitarist – Maria is a product of God given talent, early exposure to world class music, and very cold weather.
As far back as she can remember - music represents a driving force in her life. At the age of four, she started violin lessons and performing soon thereafter with other young students at recitals while her father, Jake Voutilainen, accompanied her.
"I think that violin is more of what my parents considered would lead to becoming my profession" she laughs. I remember making cute songs about my siblings, and that was my entry into songwriting without even realizing it."
Maria was a stellar violin student from early. At age 10 she was performing with the Joensuu City Philharmonic, and advancing rapidly. Meanwhile at home, bands such as Heart and Bon Jovi shaped Maria into a rock n’ roll fan at the age of seven.
Violin was Maria’s primary instrument and she started playing the piano as well at age eight. Despite her love of music, and her classical training, she had no idea that she could sing until she took part on a whim in a singing competition held at her Middle School. She was just as shocked as everyone else that she had a strong voice. The win encouraged Maria to start entertaining dreams of pursuing life as a singer. She also received training by the top pop/rock vocal coach in Finland.
The violin immediately began playing second fiddle as Maria started to record demos and meet with record company executives. At age 17 she was asked by BMG to join a Pop girl group. What seemed a great opportunity quickly fizzled away due to her sense of responsibility to first finish high school. This decision was not in vain – she continued to hone her singing and write songs - building a repertoire.
Within 2 years, EMI Music Finland courted her to sign and join the company’s ranks as the one of the country’s Pop music elite. "Of course I was still green in terms of what it REALLY means to be a recording artist and work hard for one’s dreams," Maria says.
As a member of a highly recognized music family in Finland, Maria was in certain ways stuck creatively. She was often compared to a relative that was already well recognized for success in a different style and genre of music and often reminded of her rocker dad. In order to differentiate herself, Maria minimized her association with the music of her other family members and emphasized that she was not just a vocalist but a songwriter too.
Maria realized that to get what she wanted; she needed to give her songs a special and unconventional touch. The results resonated with the media - radio charted her singles and the largest daily publications featured her as “The New Name in Pop Music.”
During the making of the record ‘Once upon a time,’ Maria married an American. While she was gaining popularity, and all the signs pointed to a promising future, her family ties also became more of a factor in the media attention; while in some ways it was positive, Maria felt stuck too. All things combined led to Maria’s decision to move back to the US.
Returning to the land of her music roots, "this time, there were no limits to what I was allowed to do", she says. Maria took her greatest risk to date by going independent and shining a light on the deepest and sometimes the darkest parts of her heart and soul with the birth of her US album ‘On The Rocks.’ The album is a collection of literate, often brutally honest songs that reveal Maria’s renegade soul.
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Maria and Jake collaborated on the record in innovative ways. For example, while Jake was still in Finland and Maria in the US, Jake produced the music, and Maria recorded the vocals. Maria finally even took her father’s advice that was given at the time she started singing, and playing less violin: “don’t leave the violin behind, keep it going, but play it in pop music, and electrically.” Maria followed her dad’s advice with “Mr. X,” and since she’s continued to develop her signature violin sound.
Maria also ventured into the production world, where she has been playing all instruments herself, and has come to fully embrace creating songs from start to finish. Retro Man is her first song of self-produced singles to be released - mainly digitally in 2008.
Maria notes that with growing radio support across dozens of stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and elsewhere; plus the tens of thousands of fans on MySpace, exposure through show tours and other media: “I am in a good place now. I believe I’m getting better at making music that has meaning for people in the midst of their daily lives.
Career-wise, there is nothing like owning your own music and recording – this allows me to run my own show and destiny. I can use the music pretty much in whatever way I want and make decisions on the spot. This also means that nobody can make me sing anything that I don’t truly believe in.”
Let''s be honest...it is not as if she ever really did…
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