Spotlighting Music Licensing Creative, Marissa Hernandez

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A tried-and-true commitment toward community betterment and keen ear for awesome music, Marissa Hernandez is the kind of woman anyone would be lucky enough to have on their team — or grab a coffee with (one of her favorite things to do).

Having a natural instinct toward music and being able to “feel” what works with a creative project isn’t something that can necessarily be taught. But it’s something that Marissa one of Marmoset’s Music Licensing Creatives has a serious knack for and a skill she exercises every day for clients.

Music is in Marissa’s blood — her father being a self-taught musician who plays numerous instruments and her mother, who plays both the piano and guitar; her childhood inarguably ran deep with positive music reinforcement. Such an underlying presence prompted Marissa to expand her own music preferences and taste, using the music her parents played for as a child as the springboard for discovering her individualistic musical tastes.

“I've kind of found that I don't really like being told what to like. There's a lot of music that my parents would listen to and make me listen to when I was younger. But now that I’ve come back to it on my own, I'm like, oh, I love this! So it's almost like I needed that sort of freedom to make that decision on my own.”

Naturally the arts and music were a driving force in Marissa’s life and underlying motivator in college. Inspired by The Current, a public community-focused radio station in Minneapolis, Marissa set her initial sights on music as her career path.

“They play a lot of independent bands and artists, which really helped facilitate my love for indie music,” says Marissa. “There's not really a strong equivalent to that here in Oregon. And so I went to school thinking, I'm going to start a radio station. And then I thought, well, radio's a dying industry so I probably shouldn’t — that's probably not a great business decision.”

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With other interests in writing and graphic design, Marissa began scouring how music would fit into her professional pursuits. It was when she discovered her niche in music supervision that she secured her dream job overseeing music to picture — her very first sync and catapulting moment when she pitched a Santigold song, successfully landing it on a Summer Olympics commercial.

Aiming to provide exposure to talented, lesser mainstream artists and helping them advance in the music licensing world, Marissa focuses on the bigger picture when pitching music for ad campaigns, films, TV shows and other visual media.

“It’s always really rewarding whenever we can help an artist continue to work and do what they love for a living,” Marissa says. “I feel like it's more direct here [at Marmoset], it's clear to me when we’ve had an influence on someone’s career.”

After acquiring a wealth of experience in music supervision, Marissa began searching for a place where she could share her passion for community alongside music, eventually making her home at Marmoset as a Music Licensing Creative.

“I feel really good about the fact that we have initiatives to help the community here because that was something I really struggled with working in advertising — the question being, am I really making the world a better place? That's something that's really important to me overall in my life.”

Leading her team in internal searches through Marmoset’s catalog of artists for creative projects, Marissa expertly navigates external searches too — a muscle she flexes when a client has ultra specifications for a song they want to license but can’t find it on the Marmoset music roster. Using her knowledge of the music industry and with wide range of resources, Marissa scours and obtains songs that others may not have the same access to or perhaps a lack of insight to inquire about.

With her involvement on Marmoset’s Eagle Scout Team — a group dedicated to discovering and recruiting more obscure artists — Marissa also invests her time and leadership on Marmoset’s Greater Good Team, an internal group focusing on community partnership.

Her wealth of industry knowledge makes Marissa a force to be reckoned with, being able to interpret a client’s asks and vision, offering up her creativity, guidance and expertise in the most genuine of fashions. At the end of the day there’s no question about it, Marissa makes Marmoset and her community a better place.


Listen and play through Marissa’s “All Time Faves” playlist.