Trying to make it in entertainment life

Talin Maghakian

The struggles of up and coming musicians are many. Mariette Soudjian has proved that with perseverance and a little help from friends, great things can happen.

Mariette Soudjian graduated from CSUN last year with a degree in Communication Studies. Now you can find her doing what she really loves; performing her music and shopping her demos in hopes of achieving her big break.

“Holding a degree in Communication Studies has allowed me to be more versatile and at the same time helped with music career since the business aspect of it is very dependent on communication skills,” she said.

Soudjian also landed an internship in new media and marketing at Capitol Records.

Although Soudjian’s music falls mainly in the category of pop, her songs demonstrate a wide range of Middle Eastern sounds (such as the Arabic tumpuk), Latin sounds and Armenian folklore influences.

“I have listened to all kinds of music and being that I am half Armenian and Mexican, I try to make my music unique to reflect my ethnicity,” she said.

As unique and appealing as Mariette’s music may be, she knew that the only way to get a big break was to produce a good demo. It was difficult to find the right person with the right equipment and a good understanding of what she wanted. Thus, Mariette turned to a high school friend to help her produce the demo that she would use to grab a listener’s attention.

“Once you have made a good demo, you establish yourself and your style,” she said.

Soudjian feels most in her element on stage performing for live crowds. Her resume includes singing backup for Darnell Jones at Soul Train, performing at Dodger Stadium, The Knitting Factory, the Derby and the Henry Fonda Theatre. One experience she wasn’t too fond of was being a video extra for Bow Wow and Sugar Ray.

“It just felt as though you get used and abused and I wouldn’t do it again,” she said.

Mariette nearly landed one important gig she was hoping for.

“I almost got to sing backup for Christina Aguilera at the Winter Olympics in 2002, but was beat out by another girl,” she said.

The gigs have been pouring in for Soudjian, but she still experiences many obstacles on a daily basis.

“I got hung up on today. That is the dynamics of this industry and in order to get ahead, you just cannot take it personally.”

Talin Maghakian can be reached at