After a massive 2017, neo-soul vocalist Maya is back with a stellar new single Blackout, about a moment forever lost in time. The young artist has also dropped a video to accompany the track, directed by Grace Moore. To celebrate Blackout, Maya sat down with us to tell us her favourite Melbourne live music venues.
1. The Evelyn: I chose the Evelyn as one of my favourite venues as I’ve been performing there for the last four years and it is still kept the same beautiful music community and staff energy. I have never felt more at home in a venue. It also cultivates incredible local artists, always giving a chance to new musicians and acts.
2. The Penny Black: I’ve done a few shows at Penny Black and every time I’ve been there the staff have been incredible the sound has been really evenly spread out throughout the room. I feel like it’s a good stage for medium crowd. It’s also a great venue for a walk in crowd, a lot of people visit the venue not just for its music, therefore its great for acts wanting more reach.
3. The National: The National is one of Melbourne’s first live music venues. I have seen everything from rock bands to jazz bands and everything else artistic grace this venue. It has incredible acoustics and a really responsive crowd.
4. Paris Cat Jazz Club: There is nothing is better than sitting down having a drink and listening to jazz, this venue is not just renowned for its jazz but it’s incredible acoustic energy from all genres. I also feel like it’s important to keep these types of venues busy because the jazz scene is so small in Melbourne.
5. Howler: I love Howler because it’s industrial design is amazing it’s a really great venue for having a dance I really think it also brings a great energy of people just like other venues around Brunswick. The room has great acoustics and great staff.
Blackout is ominous, and intuitive – as though Maya knows something we all don’t, and she’s trying to let us know. Her flawless vocals sit atop a motivated rhythm section with urgency and skill, as her lyrics persuade the listener to pay attention. Joel Quartermain’s expert touch has propelled Blackout into a whole new dimension for Maya, and as her star begins to rise one can only wonder what’s to follow. Speaking on the creation of the track, Maya says, “Releasing this single has got to be one of the most exciting times of my career. Blackout means so much to me lyrically and I feel like the production is the next step sound that really represents my aesthetic…Most people have ‘blacked out’ before, whether it’s when they drink, if they black out a bad memory, or if they just forget certain things. This song takes you through my perspective and how I felt when it happened to me – it was inspired by so many moments of blackout in myself that I still fight everyday.”
The video is as striking as the track itself. Dramatic lighting cloaks Maya and her sisters, as Maya tries to navigate her own personal blackout. Maya was specific about her goals for the video, as she reflects, “The Blackout video shows a cross between the dark reality and positive space. It captures a representation of the dark energies that are felt in those fragile times, juxtaposed with a bright, welcoming space that leads to happiness. The video, set the morning after the night before, features the Blackout Girls chasing me out of my dark memories until finally I arrive at a space where there is no black. There I’m free from the watchful eyes of the blackout, and surrounded by positivity and light.”