Marzz has a central focus for listeners: for them to enter tomorrow’s world through her mind. Drawing inspiration from the planet Mars’ fiery-red intensity, the rising R&B singer/songwriter (who hails from Louisville, KY), hopes to teach others to embrace their uniqueness.
“You can see all the scars and bumps that are on Mars,” the 20-year-old explains. “I don't think you can even see that on many other planets other than the moon. I feel that's the same with me. I'm not here hiding anything from anybody. What you see is what you get.”
Born Laria McCormick, Marzz grew up in the church as many of her family members -- including her mother and grandmother -- were ministers. She began singing in the children’s choir at age 4 but quickly realized that she didn’t like all the attention. Marzz’ shyness, paired with suppressing her queer sexuality under the pressures of the church, initially forced her to hide inside her own bubble. “With my mom being the minister, I had to come out as the gay daughter,” she recalls. “But I think she already knew. Her heart was broken at first, but she still loves me and treats me the same.”
The singer soon found solace through a mixture of secular and gospel artists, including Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, Erykah Badu, Kirk Franklin, Kim Burrell and the Clark Sisters.
At first, Marzz considered pleasing her mother by going to bible college to learn how to become a pastor. But she knew her passion lied within secular music. So after coming out in high school and having fellow students cheer on her talents during pep rallies, she built the confidence to take being an R&B artist as a serious career.
Marzz transformed the words she scribbled in various notebooks (she currently has 29 of them) into R&B freestyles, which she then uploaded on Instagram. Along with the freestyles, she began to upload covers of popular R&B artists including Teyana Taylor and Ella Mai. Then in late 2019, Marzz’s talent caught the attention of none other than one of modern music’s pioneers: Timbaland.
The legendary producer reached out to Marzz to record a handful of tracks, some of which landed on her debut EP Love Letters. Timbaland also shared her talents on his Instagram page, not only boosting her growing fan base but changing her life. “He told me to stay focused and don't let everybody in my space,” Marzz says of Timbaland’s advice. “He was really amazed at my humbleness. I told him that this can be taken away from me at any moment, so I can’t take anything for granted because it's changing my life and helping my family.”
That focus has led to Marzz’s Love Letters EP, which blends her impassioned, choir-born voice with more millennial-inspired vulnerable lyricism and sultry production. The lead single “So Frequently” discusses a yearning for clarity in an undefined relationship. For Marzz, the track presents two different scenarios that are personal to her, so much so that it took nearly three days to complete due to the overwhelming emotions. “One [scenario] is me going through a horrible relationship that I thought I was going to be excelling in,” she explains, “but I guess it had a different turn. The other is just me growing up and seeing things that my mom went through. So I tried to be my mom’s shoulder to lean on.”
Other highlights include the Timbaland-produced “Cleopatra (Star Player)” that shows off her budding rap skills, the beautifully vulnerable “Countless Times,” and “Wizard” which captures her fantasy-like imagination that derives from her love for anime. The inspiration derived from 1997’s Cinderella starring Brandy and Whitney Houston, which is also one of Marzz’s favorite films. “Call me your wizard and let me be that person to change your world,” she says. “As the fairy godmother, Whitney Houston made Cinderella magical and made her fall in love. I can do that too.”
As fans continue to discover Marzz, she hopes her music will fuel their imagination to create their own narratives -- almost like a magic spell. “When I put my hand on the mic I feel that vibration,” she says, “which tickles and makes you feel a certain way. I think my voice helps heal people as well as myself. I want to try to help people go through their love situations.”