In her day job working freelance in London’s media sector Maia, 23, occasionally gets to create podcast jingles, but the passion project she turns to in her free time is the series of singles she began releasing while locked down in Buxton in 2020.
The Buxton Community School alumnus said: “Music for me is not about taking it one direction of being a performer. What I want is to have that connection in my life, whether that’s composing for radio or sharing songs with people.”
The ability to flit between musical worlds is key for an artist likened to Björk for her restless creativity, self-taught DIY ethic, and a voice which reveals new shades with every note.
The five tracks Maia has released show her confidence growing from sparse ballads to lushly atmospheric pop, with more in the works for 2022.
Maia said: “My musical upbringing spanned from Kylie Minogue to Miles Davis, and I’m always trying to do something different. I started playing the piano when I was 14 and the framework of the songs still begins that way, working through emotions or trying to figure out what I’m thinking about.
“Then I build up all the melodic layers on the computer. It gives me a bigger canvas to play with and I really enjoy the process of taking the idea of the song all the way to whatever it becomes as the final piece.”
She added: “I hope I can work up to writing a full album, but for now the songs are more of a recording project, and the way I work can change every time.”
Maia’s work has caught the ear of BBC producers, who recently invited her to play an acoustic session on Radio 4 entertainment show Loose Ends, backed up by Matt Taylor and Isaac Neilson Buxton, formerly of Buxton’s Fuzzy Felt World.
She said: “They are fantastic musicians, really creative and adaptable and the response to the performance has been lovely. Hopefully we’re going to do some more cool stuff together.”