Trance Fixxed Meets Marcie Joy
Marcie Joy is an internationally renowned Singer / Songwriter for various major Electronic labels, and has charted in the Top 10 worldwide. She regularly performs at high profile events around the globe, opening for Markus Schulz, Dash Berlin, Nadia Ali, Paul Oakenfold, and more. An established journalist, Marcie is also the producer, creator and host of the radioshow “Marcie Presents Behind The Lyric”, which airs on over 40 major FM and Internet stations worldwide.
Marcie recently kindly took time out from her busy schedule to talk to TranceFixxed about her numerous projects, and her plans for 2014:
TranceFixxed – Hi Marcie, it’s nice to meet you. First of all, many congratulations on your recent engagement to (House music producer and DJ) Anthony Webster. How did you two first meet and get together, if you don’t mind me asking?
Marcie – It’s great to meet you too Tim. Thanks for taking time to speak with me, and for the congratulations. Anthony and I met when we shared a stage together at a gig in Cape Cod. We had the opportunity to hang out poolside after the show. Neither of us could ignore the instant chemistry we felt on a music and personal level, and we were pretty much inseparable from then on. He makes me smile and laugh and we support each other through good times and bad.
TranceFixxed – You and Anthony have released as a free download a cheerful Housey Christmas song, ‘Christmas Time Gladness’. We haven’t had much festive Electronica in the last few years – what made you decide to do one this year?
Marcie – It became a tradition to put out a holiday song each year since my first parody tune with DJ Riko for his Mixmas compilation. Last year I did an original holiday track with Fadi Awad that had support on Radio Disney. I didn’t get a chance to write an original this year, but Anthony and I wanted to have some fun making this past summer’s big hit ‘Summertime Sadness’ holiday party ready! ‘Christmas Time Gladness’ is sung from the perspective of one of Santa’s elves- all dressed up in pointy shoes waiting for Christmas day.
The other holiday project I worked on this year was with Simpkin, (Steve Birch). We wrote a song as a gift for Home Away Boston, a charity that provides free lodging to families with children being treated for critical illnesses in Boston. It will see a release in 2014 and all proceeds will benefit the families in need.
TranceFixxed – Do you have any other Christmas traditions?
Marcie – Boston does a fabulous job decorating the city for the coldest, darkest days of winter. It’s magical to walk around the parks to sight see, and then warm up with hot cocoa…with marshmallows, (lots of marshmallows)!
TranceFixxed – As we’re only a couple of weeks from Christmas, are you all ready and prepared, or do you like to leave everything till the last minute?
Marcie – I am not much of a shopper, to be honest, so I avoid those crowds. I try to get my work done ahead of time this time of year to allow for as much time with my friends and family as possible.
TranceFixxed – For your latest release ‘Keep Us Alive’ you collaborated with up-and-coming Bulgarian Trance producer Vladimir Nikolov aka Vla-D. What do you look for when choosing songs / artists to work with?
Marcie – Vla-D did a stunning job writing music for my pre-existing acapella. Not many producers can do that in a way that produces such an organic relationship between topline and the rest of the track. He really stunned me.
In general, I aim to work only with skilled artists who are dedicated to their art form and to open communication. I’m not interested in games or popularity contests. When choosing a collaborator, it isn’t easy to know who is going to focus on the work itself and who has darker motivations, but I feel that through both good and bad experiences, I’ve come to have a great core group that I work with now. I trust their abilities and I admire their work ethics and values and I feel free to write the music I feel most connected to. I trust them with the technical and emotional aspects of songwriting.
TranceFixxed – To me, writing lyrics and songs sounds a really quite difficult task Do you write the lyrics to all your music, or work with a team of people?
Marcie – I write the lyrics to most of my songs. It can be challenging, but capturing multiple layers of emotions in one phrase is quite therapeutic for me, and I would do it even if no one ever heard any of my songs. I have sung lyrics written by others from time to time, and am always open to doing so because I enjoy bringing my interpretation to the collaboration and opening myself up to new ideas. I learned to sing, and found my own style by singing work written and performed by others. I tend to write alone in my studio often, but I would never be happy working entirely alone. Music is all about a balanced give and take with others.
TranceFixxed – Do you ever get songwriter’s block? What inspires you to write music?
Marcie – I create in one form or another every day, and as such, I have confidence that there is a well of inspiration that never runs dry. There are always more ideas, it’s just a matter of staying open to them and not letting fear, stress, or the inner critic block the creative channels. Imagination is a muscle that can be exercised or stifled. I’m inspired by anything and everything, and sometimes I have more ideas than I know what to do with. They may not all be good ideas, but I keep an open mind because some ideas come in a sudden a-ha! moment, and some simmer for awhile and have to wrestled with before developing in a way I am happy with.
TranceFixxed – You’ve worked with a variety of different artists over the years and produced a number of different genres of Electronic music. Do you have a favorite genre of Electronic music?
Marcie – I don’t have a favorite. A good song in any genre is a good song. I’ve heard poorly produced tracks that contain brilliant ideas, and million dollar produced tracks that strike me as derivative schlock. There is no set formula for what makes a song good.
TranceFixxed – Other vocal artists I have spoken to have been keen to stress the importance of the VSA (Vocalist Songwriters Alliance) and the important job it is doing fighting for their corner in the cut-throat music industry. Have you ever needed the help of the VSA to resolve disputes about royalties etc.?
Marcie – I’m the East Coast Representative for VSA, and have dedicated time to the organization because I agree with its core philosophy. I admire the brave founders and members who have been strong, fair, and intelligent about speaking up against injustice in the business. I’m happy to be part of a group that is not afraid to show support for our peers and colleagues. Life is too short and art is too beautiful to waste time, karma, and energy being cut-throat. I wish VSA existed earlier as I could have used their help to resolve disputes over the years, and I do rely on the VSA nowadays to help set a standard for contracts and accountability. I hope artists will realize they are worth more than the monetary value labels and corporations place on them.
TranceFixxed – EML Recordings have recently launched a Remix Competition of ‘Muse’, which you produced with Osvaldo Nugroho. Do you like hearing other people remixing and reinterpreting your work?
Marcie – I do! This is the, I think, third remix contest I’ve been involved in. Each time, I’ve walked away with at least a few new contacts and solid reinterpretations of my work. In fact, I have an upcoming album with Ukrainian producers Bozon Higgs, and I originally met them through a remix contest. They brought a very unique take to my release ‘Ocean Wave’ with Aurosonic, and I’ve been in touch with them ever since. I can’t say enough good things about EML Recordings. It is one of the few labels out there whose modus operandi I respect.
TranceFixxed – I have to admit, I hadn’t heard any of your ‘Behind The Lyric’ radio shows till I did some research for this interview, but I listened to episode 32 the other day and I really enjoyed it. I usually prefer radio shows with less talking in them, but I found that after listening to the stories and meaning behind the lyrics, I was listening to the words and the music more intently than normal. For the benefit of those who haven’t tuned in before, could you describe what they could expect from your Behind The Lyric radio show?
Marcie – I’m so glad you enjoyed what you heard! Behind The Lyric features exclusive interviews with artists telling the stories behind their tracks. Back in 2007 I saw a real need for a show that would focus on the artistic process that goes into songwriting and highlight the efforts and passions of the singer / songwriters who pour their heart and soul into the songs we love. The music industry can focus too much on hype and fame, and not nearly enough on the soul of a song. Songwriters open up on the show about the blood, sweat, joy, and tears that goes into making music that touches the core of the listener.
TranceFixxed – Episode 32 was first broadcast in September 2013. Do you know when we can expect episode 33, and are there any guests you can confirm will be in the next show?
Marcie – Behind The Lyric Episode 33 will debut December 17 on DI.FM Vocal trance and features a stellar line up including Austin Bis, Erica Curran, and more. More airdates to follow, so please stay tuned at www.behindthelyric.com.
TranceFixxed – Not content with ‘just’ being a full time international recording artist and producing your own radioshow, you’ve also been busy making music for kids, including releasing your album “Make A Discovery (Songs for kids)” following a successful Kickstarter project. What prompted this change of musical direction?
Marcie – I’ve been working with kids as a nanny, camp counselor, musical choreographer and movement therapist for many years, and just built up a pile of ideas for songs. I’ve known for years that I wanted to make a children’s album one day, and Kickstarter provided the chance to make that dream a reality. I write when I have something to say, and the only way to say it is through music. I got to a point in my career where I knew taking time to create music for children would be most fulfilling for me. I was lucky to be able to bring in friends and collaborators from the EDM scene and work outside the usual box to make a diverse album that explores both fun and serious themes. I’m so happy with the album, and grateful for everyone who supported the endeavor. It’s all I hoped for and more, and I’ve since branched into doing kids performances and teaching kid’s music classes all around Boston. At this stage of my life, it makes me the happiest to sing with children.
TranceFixxed – Finally, what can we expect from you in 2014?
Marcie – There is a lot going on right now! I’m actually a little overwhelmed. 2014 will see new releases with Constantine Papadimitrious, Martech, Simpkin, Anthony Webster, and Ferdas Digital. There’s the above mentioned Muse Remix Contest as well as a giveaway of a TC Helicon Mic Mechanic Vocal Processor sponsored by Behind The Lyric and VoiceCouncil Magazine. I’m working on TWO music videos, and a full length album with Bozon Higgs that explores a darker side of my writing and vocal style. Also, if you’re following my kid’s music, there are new free downloads available at kidsmusicbymarcie.com.
TranceFixxed – It’s been great to talk to you, thank you for your time. Best of luck with everything and on behalf of your fans everywhere, we look forward to hearing more music from you very soon!
Marcie – Thank you! I hope your readers will feel free to be in touch with me anytime through social media (see links below)