Singer, Songwriter, Goddess
By Nancy Colasurdo
In her debut album, Idols, Marisa Bettina poses a question in her lyrics to someone she used to lean on
who is now gone — Do you remember me?
It is haunting, plaintive. Drawn out so it skims across the senses. Repeated so it lingers.
The listener is inside her skin, lulled by the earthy vibe of Marisa Bettina.
It’s not just the lush, sultry voice that creates the vibe. It’s in the name that easily rolls off the tongue.
It’s in the powerful connection she has to the divine feminine.
This is a singer and songwriter who exudes her truth and has a way of being in the world that is fluid.
She answers to her soul.
“My music is the most truthful way to experience me,” she says.
But, she is clear: Don’t let all the spiritual awareness bring to mind some oddly virtuous being.
“I like meditating,” she says. “But I like taking tequila shots, too.”
Her essence is part musician, part goddess.
The musician wrote her first song at age 11 and has nurtured that passion since then. Her guitar teacher
and now producer shares her love of rock and roll and helped her connect to her music. Her piano teacher, classically trained, encouraged her to make her music more heart-centered and spiritual.
The goddess cites two books — Florence Scovel Shinn’s The Game of Life and How to Play It and Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts — as “massively influential” in her life. Shinn is a prosperity author who inspires people to “image” their lives. Mama Gena teaches women to “use the power of pleasure to have their way with the world.”
“It shifted my focus,” Marisa says of the Mama Gena book. “It taught me to think — how can I love and accept myself as a woman? My life became consumed with self-pleasing activities. It helped me learn how to be a woman, not a little girl.”
Part of that challenge was realizing she couldn’t be herself with her mother as her manager because her
mother couldn’t see her as a woman. Now in her 20s, Marisa sees that she was inviting in people who were not respecting her.
“I come from a pretty traditional Italian family where a woman’s life is all about making life beautiful for
some man,” she says. “I had to grow into the woman I was meant to be.”
What she has carried over from that aspect of her life is appreciation for her now-divorced parents’
support of her creative pursuits and a fierce love of her now-deceased grandmother. The ‘Bettina’
portion of her name is an homage to her Nonna, whose primary language was Italian but “knew I was
Somehow they all knew the music was how the introverted girl, the one who became a vegetarian at age nine, would find her way in the world. For a while it was the place where she could express about the fear and insecurity and loneliness she felt growing up. So often, she says, she was inhibited.
One day she was in a jewelry store in Manhattan when a woman asked, why do you like to hide?
“She was right,” Marisa says. “I was putting up an energetic shield. If you want to be seen, you need to step into the light. That opened a totally new door for who I want to be in my life.”
The wholly female musician taps into all of it and lets it pour forth through her singing and writing and being. The belief in a higher power, angels, crystals, fairies, and tarot. The Chihuahua who is like her
daughter. The burning desire to spread positivity in the world. Her empowering connection to her yoni.
The teachers who get her to dig deep and be the essential Marisa.
“I would love people who are searching for a deep connection or soul awakening through music or in their life to get that through my music,” she says. “I’d like for them to think, wow, there’s someone else who feels that way. I’d like my music to be planting the seed for people to grow into who they feel most comfortable being.”
She invites them to be vulnerable. The kind of vulnerable that asks, “Do you remember me?” when one has no idea of the answer.