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Behind the Music: The Struggle of the Independent Artist

Detroit singer Maurissa Rose and others share musical highs and lows

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Maurissa Rose clearly remembers the day she got a call to rush over to a Detroit studio to record a duet with Universal Motown recording artist Kem.

Recording the song, “If It’s Love,” as a featured artist for the third single on Kem’s “Intimacy III’’ album was sure to be one of the best things that ever happened to the veteran singer.

Considering the duet was hot on music charts for 52 weeks and still is a radio hit, perhaps it should have been her big break. 

Instead, her dream was diminished. She was paid a session fee for her work; having her name listed as the featured artist on the single was the only thing the singer says she requested.

While she was given credit on the album, when the single was released, there was no mention of her name. To make matters worse, the song was re-recorded and released featuring Kem’s Universal label mate, Island Def Jam recording artist Chrisette Michele.

Detroiters noticed the difference in the two versions. They discussed it on Facebook, called in to the radio stations asking for the Maurissa Rose version—a rich, deep rendition— although many of them didn’t know her name.

Armando Rivera, program director for 105.9 Kiss FM says the station continues to play the version featuring Rose because she’s a homegirl.

However, K.J. Holiday, Director of Urban Programming for Clear Channel Communications’ WJLB-FM 98/WMXD-FM 92.3, says he wasn’t aware that the Detroiter recorded a version until months after its release and continues to play the version featuring Michele.

“The devastation of having a national record that I couldn’t gain exposure from is a nightmare,” Rose says. “It was a major disappointment in my career. I’ll get another turn. I’ll get another ride on this rollercoaster.”

Dramatic ups and downs are as integral in the lives of the independent artist as the music itself. Sometimes, they are signed to a major music label and suddenly dropped without explanation or they find their project was shelved and never gets off the ground.

Old to new | New to old
Apr 20, 2012 03:00 pm
 Posted by  aquciemarie

MAURISSA ROSE!!!!! YOUR VERSION ON THE IF IT'S LOVE SONG WITH KEMISTRY IS AMAZING. YOU ARE AN AWESOME SINGER AND GOD IS GOING TO BLESS YOU IN MORE WAY THAN ONE. CONTINUE TO ON YOUR JOURNEY! STOP AT NOTHING!!!

Apr 23, 2012 02:07 pm
 Posted by  TiaMaria

Listen, I heard your version of If Its Love on the radio and went searching for who you were. I could not get over your voice and have followed you ever since. Keep going and never let your fans down cause we are not going anywhere.

Apr 25, 2012 01:35 pm
 Posted by  Damali

KEEP PUSHING GIRL BECAUSE YOU ARE TALENTED!

Apr 26, 2012 07:04 pm
 Posted by  rel

You know what's funny in Cleveland they play the Maurissa Rose version but credit Chrisette Michelle. I always felt Chrisette had gotten a lot more soulful. I love Chrisette but she's more jazzy

Apr 29, 2012 10:25 am
 Posted by  mdotson

I love the Maurisa version better although I am a great fan of Chrissette Michelle. That does not mean that every song is for everyone and clearly this song was made for the vocals of Muarissa Rose. She truly have the vocals that make this song hot.

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