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Interview with Maya Lucia

Garage-Pop singer-songwriter Maya Lucia is the queen of hearts. Having spent the last 5 years bouncing between the Pacific and the Atlantic, the Minneapolis native pulls from coastal DIY sounds. Her elastic vocal styling and angst-ridden lyrics effortlessly float between punk, pop, and surf-rock.

Growing up surrounded by music, MAYA’s dad would come home with CD’s from artists of all genres. She started learning piano as a child. From there, she got into guitar and wrote songs through that instrument. “To me, the guitar feels limitless. I performed a lot in high school and in coffee shops, and a few years into college, I met my bandmates. Samuel (Stroup), my drummer, has been with me the longest and I began writing songs that he would have fun playing to. I wanted the music to be loud, so that’s how my songwriting developed into what it is today.”

Naming indie favorites such as Snail Mail, Indigo De Souza and Phoebe Bridgers as her main influences for the track, MAYA draws from her combined influences, totally owning her own brand of gutsy DIY indie-pop. 

maya lucia photo by simran gvalani
Photo by Simran Gvalani

Who inspired you to make music?

I was really inspired by the music I grew up listening to. Recently, whenever someone asks me this, I think of Nelly Furtado’s album from 2000 “Whoa, Nelly!” – I vividly remember the physical copy of that in my house and just staring at the cover. It was and still is one of my favorites. I also listened to a lot of local music from 89.3 The Current – a local station in Minnesota – and that was something that really made me want to make music. 

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

It’s completely changed. Our attention spans are different. TikTok is a great example of that. There are a lot of great things it’s changed, like connecting with other people, finding local bands to play with. But it’s also changed how artists create music. Sometimes it feels like there’s a certain box you have to stay in order to succeed. You lose a little control of the way that your art is consumed. People shuffle albums, they skip songs, they hear you in the context of someone else’s playlist. It’s not a bad thing, per say, but it’s something I think about when I’m creating. 

Have you got a ritual of sorts when writing and thinking about your music?

I like to write alone. I would say that’s my only ritual if that counts. I’ve been really particular about that lately. Like I can’t have anyone around at all or I won’t write. I think it has to do with how intimate creating is, and I don’t want people listening to that. 

How would you describe your music?

It’s a fusion of West Coast and East Coast DIY. I grew up in the midwest, went to university in California for a year, and then transferred to Northeastern University in Boston. There was an internship program built into my curriculum, so I went back to California for about a year and then was in New York right before the pandemic hit. The music I write has hints of punk, pop and surf-rock in them which comes from all the moving and lack of stability in one location. 

What’s next for you?

We finished mastering our upcoming EP, tentatively titled “(when) it hurts (less)” in the fall, and we’re planning on releasing it in the Spring of next year. We’re planning some tour dates for February, looking into some festivals, and I’m writing the next EP as well. I’m manifesting success, exciting releases and tons of touring in 2022. 

What are your top two favorite songs of all time? Why those songs?

I think Wilco has written some of the most timeless songs. Jesus, Etc. will always be one of my favorites. I’m always mesmerized by the track – the lyrics, the strings, the percussion – it’s one of those songs that will never make sense to me. I don’t know how they did it. 

maya lucia simran gvalani 1
Photo by Simran Gvalani

What was the last series you watched on TV?

I’m currently watching Insecure, Succession, and two Real Housewives shows (Salt Lake City & Potomac). I binged Generation on HBO over Thanksgiving while I was dog sitting for a friend. 

What do you think the greatest invention has been?

The internet for sure. I learned so many songs on guitar from the internet. And it’s given me a lot of access to other musicians and artists. 

Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?

I can’t think of any, to be honest. 

If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?

I would ask them for advice. General life advice. Things they think I should be doing. I’ve been reflecting on this lately. I’ve discovered so much about myself and my identity over the past few years. I wish I had these self discoveries years ago. It would’ve helped me respond to situations better, and be a better person to myself and others. So I would love to know from my future self how I can best prepare for the future. And I would ask for a hug. 

If you had to describe yourself as a flavor, what would it be?

This question is killing me! I googled a list of flavors and was instantly overwhelmed. I’m going to say “Honeycrisp Apple”. Specifically, that apple. They’re satisfying and I make these sandwiches on marble rye with gruyere, Honeycrisp and arugula several times a week. I highly recommend checking out the Honeycrisp Apple Wikipedia page. And then thinking of me in that context. 

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