“a unique voice…an ancient sound”
—Grammy-nominated jazz singer Gregory Porter
NEW MUSIC ALERT:
Genre: World Music, Jazz, Acapella, Vocal Music
Hometown: Chicago, IL; currently based in Brooklyn, NY
Influences: Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby McFerrin, Rachelle Farell, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder
Contemporaries: Nina Simone, Madison McFerrin, Ndea Davenport, Goapele, India Arie, Norah Jones, Grenique, Laurnea, Muhsinah, Amada Elliot, Sherma Rose, April Renee
Arin Maya is a vocalist, songwriter and arranger whose warm tones and strong voice is harmonically rich. Her vocal control and improvisational abilities carry a distinctive healing sound, that when put into a musical space, defies categorization. Her performances are well received including audience participation with a combination of singing and movement. She sings from a place of intentional love and betterment, and aspires to blur the distinction between music and art.
Grammy-nominated jazz singer Gregory Porter describes her as having “a unique voice…an ancient sound” so it’s no surprise that to some audiences she evokes Nina Simone-esque vibes. In 2010, after catching the attention of Grammy-winning singer Maya Azucena, Arin Maya shared the stage with her as her go-to background vocalist until 2016. In 2011 and 2012 she had the life-changing opportunity to study Circlesinging with Bobby McFerrin and Voicestra; the experience deeply inspired her live performances and overall approach to writing. Since then, she curated a broad and diverse body of work for herself performing and recording with like-minded talent across the genres of hip-hop, jazz and world music.
Arin Maya's professional musical career began as a result of her long-lasting love affair with poetry and music which was expedited when she answered the universe's call to explore a fully artistic life in Paris. Upon return, she began writing and performing with Nick Cassarino (Nth Power, Big Daddy Kane) and working with various experimental and electro-soul producers. From these collaborations, she recorded and produced several projects including her debut EP The Sound of Arin Maya (2010), her first hit cover of Diana Ross’ Love Hangover (2010), and her first full length project Let the Love Come (2011). Solo and collaborative success followed as she went on to play at venues small and large, including Rockwood Music Hall, Harlem Stage, SOB's Sol Village, Core Club, Sofar Sounds and The Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Today, Arin Maya is a featured arranger and vocalist with the Resistance Revival Chorus whose mission aligns perfectly with her own: to revive joy as an act of resistance. Arin Maya has taken the stage at Carnegie Hall or Joe's Pub alongside musical greats like Carly Simon and Phillip Glass, and presently also co-headlines The Experi3nce, an artist-collective turned musical supergroup, with whom she plays exciting venues including New York's famed Blue Note Jazz Club, the Highline Ballroom, SOHO House and National Sawdust. In 2018, Arin Maya is releasing her new solo project, the first single ‘Thank You’ to be released in the Spring.
Currently, Arin Maya is based in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised on Chicago’s south side where she began her journey of musical appreciation through dance. West African polyrhythm and syncopation were her teachers every Saturday morning from the age of 2. Three years later, she began what would become a 13-year immersion in Chicago’s diverse choral scene where she fine-tuned her ear and voice to unique harmonies, and learned the importance of listening. Her parents’ diverse record collection did not hurt her sonic development either—at an early age, she was exposed to the genius of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Stevie Wonder, Crosby Stills and Nash, and her favorite sound-maker of all, Bobby McFerrin. Music which she felt had easy but powerful messaging that gave the gift of life, joy and happiness and motivates her song writing and vocal expression. Using her singing as an instrument in tune with human understanding, Arin Maya wants to encourage listeners to be introspective and inspire their world views.
"Compassion is important. Mainly, with music, people feel like they are being seen. I want people to be with themselves, learn themselves, love themselves, heal themselves, forgive themselves and then go out in the world and do the same thing."
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Original Song: "I Want to be Beautiful" | Show: Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition | Network: Lifetime | Scene: Queen of the Nile Solo - McKaylee