(Editor's note: The following article is based on information submitted by the Ryan School PAC.)
They are barely older than the audience they played to, but when brother and sister pop duo Michael and Marisa cranked up the volume and rocked the gymnasium at the this week, they might have well have been Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.
The 5th and 6th graders at Ryan went wild, dancing, shouting, singing and waving their arms. The event was sponsored by the Ryan School PAC.
Michael and Marissa, born and raised in Boston, recently released their new song, “The Same”; a song penned by Michael and Marisa with LA music producer Peter Zizzo (Avril Lavigne and Vanessa Carlton) which tackles the bullying issue head on.
The pop duo, regarded as one of the most popular teen bands in our region, has close to 475,000 YouTube views, and over 10,000 Facebook fans. They have performed in over 300 engagements in dozens of cities and national venues across the country. Engagement highlights include the Bamboozle 2011 tour, the Camplified tour, the Hard Rock Café, City Hall Plaza/Boston, New York’s Lincoln Center, Hollywood’s Roxy Theatre, Whisky A Go Go Night Club, Nashville’s RocketTown, and many openings for national artists. The new song, “The Same” is part of a four song EP.
“The Same” has recently had an impact on how youth are viewing outsiders in schools and is increasing awareness of the severity of bullying. “The Same” helps us realize that bystanders can really help in the charge to knockout bullying! With almost 120,000 views over the last month, the video is connecting with school age children across the world and making them more aware of how they can help their friends and classmates who are being bullied.
The duo wanted to write a song that would be for kids written by kids, explaining to them that they have options. The goal of "The Same" is to get bystanders in a bullying situation to take action. Michael says, "If our new song, "The Same", causes even one bystander to take a stand, that one action could be the start of a chain of events that could help to stop bullying!" It is the kids who stand there and watch the bullying take place that Michael and Marisa want to be impacted by their song and video. The song takes you through the mind of the bystander as she deliberates what she should do when she sees a girl being bullied in the cafeteria. She weighs whether it is really worth being a part of the "popular" crowd if their behavior hurts other people in a very serious way. Throughout the video you can see her observing and thinking about what kind of person she wants to be. Michael and Marisa feel that kids will listen to their peers even more than they will respond to adults.