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INTERVIEW: Maya Solovey

Hi Maya, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hiya! Thank you so much for having me! I’m doing great! Just got back from a couple weeks in the west coast, and happy to be back in the New York shuffle!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “With You”?

This is a song that was written during the recording of the record by my bandmate Hank Sullivant, of Kuroma and MGMT. It was July at the time, and high summer in Woodstock NY, where we were recording the album. Bees were buzzing, crickets were chirping, birds were singing… you get the idea. This song came from this kind of scene– a breezy summery lilt. I’m glad it’s coming out now, while we still have this indian summer happening in NYC!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

While there was no specific event per say, there was a specific image we were talking about at the time– the “flick” of one’s jeans.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I have videos for a handful of the songs on this record, but sadly this one didn’t get one yet!

How was the recording and writing process?

This record was recorded for the most part, in a span of 10 days. I’m constantly writing songs, so I always have a pretty decent catalogue on hand for the recording of a project. The folks in this band were my longtime producer and collaborator “Bassy” Bob Brockmann, James Richardson and Hank Sullivant, of MGMT, and Robert “Chicken” Burke, of Parliament Funkadelic. The band and I went up to a cabin near Woodstock NY, picked the songs of mine for the record, rehearsed them, while Hank and I worked on his songs a bit as well. We had one day off, then head into Applehead Studios and recorded basic tracks and overdubs or 6 days. Then the band left, while I stayed with Bob Brockmann to finish up the vocals. Of course the post production process took many more months to finish, but most all of the music was laid down right then and there, in a very short timespan. This record, like all records I suppose, very much represents that particular moment in time.

How has your upbringing influenced you as an artist?

I was raised to be very independent, with a lot of personal choice and freedom. (My folks’ parenting style was pretty hands off). So here I am I suppose, a very independent artist! The space and time I have to create and engage in this lifelong artistic process is extremely important to me. Then there’s my parents’ musical influences of course… My mother listened to a lot of classical music, but my father, a product of the 60s, really loved Simon and Garfunkel. I think it was those records, and Paul Simon’s songwriting, that really latched me onto folk/pop music.

What role does MA play in your sound?

I grew up in in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, which is set in the Appalachian Mountains. It is quite rural there, with lots of space, peace and quiet. An important element of music to me, and something that I always try to engage in my own music, is silence and intimacy, particularly of the voice. While this forthcoming album has lots of moments of a very full production and high energy, (the product of a group of people in a room all contributing their sound) it is countered with a handful of songs that invoke a sparse solemnity– the quiet of nature.

How have your travels influenced your music?

They have influenced both myself and my music in a big way. It is less apparent on this album, but a few of my past records were very much tied into a particular culture of music I was into at the time. My earliest EP was a mix of piano pop and indian music, laced with sanskrit mantras. (I grew up in an Ashram). Then on my subsequent album, I was deeply involved with Brazilian music, and Central and Latin American music. Half of that album were songs I wrote in Portuguese and Spanish. Besides my own music, I continue to be involved particularly in Brazilian music, and am actually married to a Brazilian musician. There is one song on this album, in Portuguese. It is called “Cachorro Quente”, which means hot dog. The song is a pretty tongue and cheek (though slightly allegorical) love story between a hot dog and its bun.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Definitely! It’s the harbinger of my full length new album, “Blue Heart”!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

It’s looking like the album will be out sometime in October, or early November at the latest. It’s named “Blue Heart” after one of the songs on the record.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’ve definitely got a couple dates planned for New York! The album release party is currently scheduled for October 9th, at Rockwood Music Hall. After that, I may or may not head off to play in Europe later this fall.

What else is happening next in Maya Solovey’s world?

One thing I’m really excited about is my new Patreon page that I just started. (https:// www.patreon.com/mayasolovey) it’s basically a direct subscription to the artists you care about and support, on an ongoing basis. I think it’s a brilliant thing for both artists and fans.

Besides that, I’ve actually just finished writing songs for a play, by the acclaimed playwright Erik Ehn, which is scheduled to premiere October 20th – 30th, in Providence RI. I’ve also just signed on to do another one by the same playwright, which will go up at La Mama, here in NYC, in December.

In addition to that, I’m already antsy to start recording another album! Like I said, music is a lifelong practice, or perhaps compulsion. In the words of the great artist Jeanne- Claude, aka Mrs Christo: “Artists don’t retire; they die.”

For more information on Maya Solovey:

Facebook / Website / Youtube / Soundcloud / Twitter

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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