"Maya Rae already has an impressive grasp of the jazz form, and she’s determined to make this
classic style speak to kids her own age."
- The Georgia Straight
"Her album Sapphire Birds is accomplished and speaks well of her depth, and proves there is a lot of pop and soul that takes Rae out of the jazz world… the arrangements are sympathetic, remarkably spare enough to provide Rae with accompaniment but giving her room to stand out and sing.” - Vancouver Sun
One of Canada’s Top 35 Jazz Artists Under 35 (CBC) "…a supremely gifted artist who is able to
phrase like Sarah Vaughan but write a lyric like Joni Mitchell."
The uncertainties of first love. Misgivings about a friend's choices. Thoughts that come and go.
The best music has the power to illuminate a moment in time more vividly than anything else. A
song, well played and passionately sung, has a life of its own that goes beyond genre and
temporary musical fashion.
The songs on Maya Rae's new release, 'Can You See Me?' - like
those on Joni Mitchell's Blue or Tracy Chapman's self-titled debut album - are timeless and
Poised at the crossroads between innocence and experience, Maya's voice communicates with
an immediacy and commitment that most artists never attain. In an age when so much music
feels overproduced and lacking in genuine emotion, Maya's songs come like a breath of fresh
air. Vital, committed and uplifting, 'Can You See Me?' is the real deal.
Because she's been singing professionally since the age of twelve, recorded her first album of
jazz and classic pop standards at thirteen, and has gone on to sing with some of the biggest
names in Canadian jazz, it's understandable that much of what's been written about Maya has
focused on how much she's accomplished at such a young age. And, even though she was just
shy of 18 when 'Can You See Me?' was released, the quality of the music speaks for itself.
Confident and vulnerable, soulful and revealing, the songs on her new album are as impressive
as you will hear anywhere. Produced by veteran roots musician and multiple Juno Award winner Steve Dawson, Can You See Me? takes the listener on a journey through the soul of a deeply talented young artist.
Maya and her brother, Gabriel, started writing songs together in the summer of 2018. Inspired
by classic singers like Carole King and Nina Simone, iconic performers such as The Beatles and
Joni Mitchell as well as modern-day artists like Ed Sheeran and Adele, Maya felt ready to record
an album of original material
That's where veteran roots musician and producer, Steve Dawson came in. On the strength of
the demo she sent him, Dawson invited Maya to come to Nashville, saying that he had time to
record the very next week. She flew down a few days later and almost immediately found
herself at Black Hen Studio, surrounded by some of the hottest young musicians in Nashville
with whom Steve had gathered to collaborate with Maya on the new material.
With a group
that included Kai Welch, (keyboards/trumpet) Jamie Dick (drums), John Estes (bass) as well as
The Birds Of Chicago on supporting vocals and Dawson on guitars, Maya dove right into five
days of intense recording and 'Can You See Me?' is the result. With only one vocal retake in the
whole session, the group recorded live off the floor.
In Maya's words, 'Can You See Me?' became a tribute to human cooperation and the merging of
artistic visions with all the contributions from the musicians coming together. But, as good as
the music supporting Maya is, her voice and songs are always the central focus. Melodically
challenging, lyrically compelling and beautifully phrased, Maya's songs reflect on experiences
with an insight one would usually expect from a much more seasoned performer.
"All of the
songs are relevant to my own life. The title track, 'Can You See Me?' is about choosing to
remove the masks we wear to reveal our true selves. Sometimes we feel the need to hide
ourselves, so this song is about not being afraid to be who we truly are. 'New For Me' is about
my first love and trying to figure out my emotions. Having never been in love before, it was
hard to know how and what I 'should' feel. 'Moon Girl' is about a friend of mine who is lost and
making bad choices about how to cope with her life. All of the songs on the album are real to
me and explore things I've been going through in the past year."
With its combination of exhilarating performances, sophisticated arrangements and powerhouse
vocals, 'Can You See Me?' is a dynamic and important album from an impressive artist. Listen
carefully as Maya Rae sings these twelve songs that beautifully articulate a young woman's
place in an emerging world.
It deserves to be heard.
Maya Rae is also available as part of the duo Just Cuz
Featured on Can You See Me? with Maya are:
Steve Dawson - Producer, acoustic and electric guitars, 12-string, pedal steel, vocals
Kai Welch - Organ, keyboard, Ukulele, Wurlitzer, vocals
Jamie Dick - Drums, percussion
Jon Estes - Bass, Cello
Sam Howard - Bass, Vocals
Allison Russell - Vocals
JT Nero - Vocals
Kristin Weber - Violin
Larissa Maestro - Cello
Charlie MCCoy - Vibes
Sheldon Zaharko - Engineering
Gabriel Evan - Co-Writer
Maya Rae’s music is available for
licensing for Film, TV, Commercials, etc!
Check out our full Jeff Turner Film
Music Licensing/Sync roster here
Jazz, Pop, Soul, R&B
Sounds Like: Norah Jones
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