Listen to Maya Marie, and you’ll hear the artists that she grew up listening to. Her vocals are as powerful as the lyrics she sings.
Maya grew up just north of Seattle and played her first show at Cafe Racer, which led to many more performances around town. She released her latest EP earlier this month on Bandcamp.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Name: Maya Marie
How did you get into music?
I started playing guitar when I was 9. I really liked rock and roll, so I just kept playing that kind of music. Eventually, I started writing my own songs. I’d call it a folk/rock vibe with some soul. I’ve been playing other instruments, too, like the bass, and I played the clarinet, bass clarinet, and the marimba in marching band.
Who are some of your musical influences?
My mom listened to a lot of music and my dad listened to a lot of rock and roll. The influences are definitely from the ‘60s and ‘70s — I was listening to Al Green, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, BB King, and Sister Rosetta Thorpe.
How has the pandemic affected you?
I’m not getting inspired by as much as if I were going out to shows and seeing other music. But I’m in a new project called Stereo Sauna, and it’s given me time to try and learn other instruments.
I’m so into the bass right now. I’m a guitarist, and I think like a guitarist. I think about melodies and don’t usually think about what’s holding down the music. It just feels really good to play that grounding sound — the deep bass, the groove.
You performed at CHOP with the Marshall Law Band. Can you talk about that experience?
It was definitely something that will be remembered — not just CHOP but what it brought to everyone’s eyes. The police were the scary part. You saw how many people were there and how peaceful it was while we were being pretty much harassed by the people who were supposed to protect us. I don’t think what CHOP brought to light is over.
I just hope that the community keeps getting bigger and stronger and everybody keeps working together. I work at the Blue Moon Tavern, and we’ve had donations brought in for the homeless. If you have any donations you want to bring to the Blue Moon, we will hand them out.
I wanted to perform the song “Caged” and for people to listen and hear it and understand it. That it’s okay, we’re all in this together. And also to bring to light my emotions of how I was feeling. It was an uncomfortable thing to do, but what is a protest? Is a protest supposed to be comfortable? Music gives another understanding, another way to hear and learn.
Favorite local venue to play?
Favorite local venue to see a show?
House shows — they feel real and everyone dances!
Favorite song from a local artist or about the PNW?
“Stay Evil” by Black Ends