On the Rocks
Maria, a Pop artist from the Arctic Circle, is a singer is no stranger to making world-class music. Her first real gig - while still in her teens - was singing on the opening band for Deep Purple and Bad Religion at a large festival in Europe (1996). She released a solo Pop record under the EMI label called 'Once upon a time.' It was rising on the radio charts, but a major change was in the air. Maria left EMI, Scandinavia, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to put her emotions into words, sounds, and music that could be expressed in emotive rock. She started this journey humbly as an intern in Oakland, California's Studio 880 (Green Day). When she wasn't grocery shopping for Chris Isaak's canned sardines, answering phones and serving coffee to various other artists, she observed how legendary producers and engineers such as Mark Needham (Fleetwood Mac, Michelle Branch, The Killers) and John Shanks (Sheryl Crow, Ashlee Simpson), and noteworthy Tone (Carlos Santana) created new musical masterpeices. Maria struggled to find the sound that expressed her inner thoughts and decided to build her own home studio and to start recording her own songs. After being invited to attend a private showcase SXSW '04 and having several in-depth discussions with music industry insiders, Maria realized her sound and started honing each song. Described as Pop music that rocks with a melodic bluesy twist, she day in and day out worked at perfecting that sound into her vocal arrangements for 'On the Rocks.' Maria knew her sound had taken shape in her mind and that there was only one person who could 'get it' and whom she could trust to develop the music for what she was envisioning - her father, Jake Voutilainen. Jake is an accomplished producer and musician in Finland. Maria and Jake collaborated in inventive ways: Maria would make draft demos, send them to Jake over the internet. The two would chat online to agree on a song's particulars, and then would simultaneously produce the recordings: Maria sang and recorded all of her own vocals in her home studio, and Jake played and recorded all of the instrumental tracks in his home studio in Finland. Maria and Jake met together in Finland to mix 'On the Rocks', and then traveled to Stockholm, Sweden to master it at The Cutting Room (The Hives, Backstreet Boys, Ace of Base, etc.) One other notable credit on the record includes Michael C. Ross for mixing 'Mr. X'. Michael's engineering and mixing tenure include Grammy winning and nominated records for artists such as Eric Clapton, Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Vanessa Carlton. Maria Kizirian is preparing for a 2006 tour with her new band to support the 'On the Rocks' record.