This beautiful brown poet and songstress is a delightful soul to speak to, and incredibly talented. I had an opportunity to interview this Goddess from Chicago, and was relieved to find that there was still, yet another artist who despite the compelling circus of the mainstream, remains true to herself and true to the legendary craft of creating timeless SOUL.
Find the audio interview below, along with her bio and links to learn more about her and her art…[audio: http://soulified.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/ArinMayaInterview-Pt1.mp3] [audio: http://soulified.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/ArinMayaInterview-Pt2.mp3]
Jan 14 & 28 – Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Pates & Traditions Restaurant
Jan 29 – Montclair, NJ – HeART Gallery Feature
Feb 10 – Harlem, NYC – Billie’s Black – Spoken Soul Feature
March 25 – Harlem, NYC – Harlem Stage – Soul: Remixed, Revisited, Reconstructed
Video links: (these are performances and interviews)
http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=463506842322 closed performance of “lemon drops” summer 2010
Brooklyn-based artist ArinMaya is a singer/songwriter with her soul wide open. Her style cannot be contained but is often characterized as graceful and healing, whether she’s scatting through standards, riffing to R&B or improvising over electro-beat. Her voice culls audiences to remember the sensuality and mystery of Sade, the deep hurt of Billie, and the wisdom of Nina. And her songwriting sends audiences to a hopeful, sometimes private place where they are comforted, satiated and affirmed.
Hailing from Chicago, ArinMaya was born into the arms of two music-loving parents whose record collections spanned from Paul Simon’s Graceland to almost every album released by Sweet Honey in the Rock, from show tunes like Ain’t Misbehavin’ to Pharoah Saunders and Stevie Wonder’s entire discographies. From age 5 she wanted to be in every choir possible, and she was. ArinMaya participated as section leader or soloist in Trinity United Church of Christ’s children’s and youth choirs, the Chicago Children’s Choir, the Community Renewal Society’s All God’s Children and every single choir she could join in high school at the Latin School of Chicago. She even gave strong voice to the teenage and women’s drill teams at church, filling the 3,000-seater sanctuary (sans microphone) every other Sunday with “I’ve got a feeling, I’ve got a feeling church, I’ve got a feeling the TUCC drill team’s gonna step for Christ.”
In college at Howard University, her focus was studying, but she did get to stretch her lungs out for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority as a song leader and briefly in Howard’s Gospel Choir, then led by Richard Smallwood. A year-long exchange at Stanford allowed the songstress to join the popular Everyday People a cappella with whom she toured and recorded an album.
Though music was never far from her mind, it took a few years of dedicated yet unfulfilling work in New York for her to step out onto the tightrope of her dreams. At the end of 2007, ArinMaya took the bold step of leaving her job to leave for Paris—city of light. While in Europe, she also visited Berlin so that by the time she was heading back to the states, she had explored and become more comfortable with performing solo for audiences at such venues as The Swan Bar, Le Blue Note, and Cotton Club Berlin, sharing the stage with artists like Mario Canonge, Catia Werneck, and Fumi Tokie.
ArinMaya’s return to the states only confirmed she had been traveling in the right direction and she has been writing, collaborating and performing ever since at venues such as Brooklyn’s Joloff Restaurant, D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, and New York’s world-famous Blue Note, to name a few.
Her debut recording, The Sound of ArinMaya, was released in Spring 2010 and continues to be well-received and downloaded by audiences worldwide. 2011 will prove to be even more exciting, as the singer plans to release her first full-length recording with long-time collaborator and guitarist, Nick Cassarino, as well as some other collaborative projects.
ArinMaya has grown and continues to grow into a widely sought after artist and looks forward to spreading her love for the craft and artistry of music to audiences worldwide.