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Live From Home — Maya Vice

Can't leave your house without: My phone, wallet and lip balm  
Based: Melbourne, Aus

Describe your sound to our audience:
My sound is electronic soul with elements of jazz, funk and blues. 

When you first started making music what did it sound like? 
It was definitely blues. My father would have me sing at his gigs, and that was all he was playing. I love blues so much still to this day. But then I got obsessed with old soul jazz singers, like Etta James, and moved into that sound. I skipped over the RnB phase, but I did have my time singing Metallica and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. 

How did 2020 shape you professionally and personally, and what did you gain from experience?
2020 was one of the best and worst years. I spent the last three years before that travelling every six months, for six month periods. I had overseas traffic and a record label I was signed to in New York — everything was excellent! I was basically working six days a week in the summer. Financially, I could sing full-time and afford to travel and make music — it was like this perfect plan, you know?

At the start of 2020, I lost 60 gigs, six months of travelling, and I had to say goodbye to my label overseas. I feel like my whole life combusted in one month. But looking back, I realise that losing all that work brought my soul back. I learned how to be completely self-sufficient. I definitely had a massive wave of productivity — I learned how to DJ, build my own events, and edit videos. Now I feel like I'm in this whole new place which is fantastic. It was forced "get your shit together time". It's still not the same. I miss travelling so much, and I think it's hitting many people that we're not going to be able to go for a while now.

In Melbourne, we're lucky to have a slow return to live music. You've played a few gigs recently. How has the return to live music felt?
There's still a lot of uncertainty around restrictions, and I just want to let that settle down and build a fantastic show next summer. For now, I've been doing DJ shows as my outlet to perform, which has been really fun and gives me time to create an epic performance. 

So what's next?
I'm creating a 35min live album with five main tracks and interludes with different visuals, which lead into each other, kind of like a live version of Beyonce's Lemonade. This album will be played in my live shows' background to create an epic soul, funk experience. 

Who are you collaborating with to create the visual album?
Photographer and Videographer James Rush will do all the visuals. And I'm using only friends' brands and work. Everything I'm going to be wearing and everyone being featured within it is an aspiring artist. I'm just trying to involve as many people as possible who I really believe in. I want to keep it all authentic local friends brands.  

What are some of the key messages coming out of your upcoming work?
My music explores themes around mental health, body image and identity — not really knowing where to place yourself in the world. Growing up in Australia, I felt heavily isolated due to having different features. Later, I gained a lot of weight and became this person who was put down a lot. I tried to take control of my life and learned how to feel strong in my identity. 

In my music, I want to talk about how people who have never felt like they belong can always find a way to find those who will accept them for everything they are. It's about opening yourself up and not trying to fit into a conformist box. There's so many conditions — for women, especially —  that say we have to do all the things society expects from us. In my music, I want to say that you can find your own path and surround yourself with people who reinforce your happiness. 

What is your experience with the Nuraphone?
What I love most about the Nuraphone is the clarity. I hear different parts of the same music that I hadn't heard before. The little faint flute in the back that you hear as though you are literally listening to it through a proper studio sound system. It's so incredible. It just makes me appreciate music so much. It puts me in this mode where I can focus.

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