Celebrating Black Excellence: Maia Wallace.
Maia Wallace has come a long way since dressing up as a singer on careers day in second grade. Now she is a free agent musician crafting her own genre-bending music with her most recent release being her single Moon. Maia, an up-and-coming musician on the Vancouver scene creates her art while being the Black Student Union Co-President, a researcher for both AMS and the MOA, as well as a full-time student double majoring in Political Science and Sociology. To sum up, Maia is an individual with many dimensions who is not afraid to go after what she wants.
Maia, who grew up in Ghana, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Britain was exposed to a diversity of music genres as a child. She detailed listening to her Grandma’s MP3 player with Celine Dione, exploring her Mothers classic music collection, sharing her Dad’s love for Jazz music, and even Christian country music she listened to while growing up in the Christian Church. The expansive variety of music Maia listened to growing up contributed to her genre-bending expression today, where she takes pride in not fitting into the “genre boxes” musicians are often confined to.
When I asked Maia more about the process of her new song, Maia lit up. She explained that navigating her multitude of responsibilities as a student and researcher recently made her “crave making music like never before.” Maia, like many others, went through significant personal transformations throughout the year 2020, entering the third year with a new energy and essence. But these transformations required parting with old ways of being, showcasing what she described as a “cosmic shift of the self”.
Maia explained the cosmic nature of the song, stating that the initial sounds were inspired by hearing a spaceship taking off in a NASA documentary she had watched. She elaborated on the importance of incorporating space and elements such as the moon to express the profound relationship with “the self.” Maia shared that as a result of her personal growth in 2020 she felt “a universe apart” from her old self.
In the closing minutes of our interview, I asked Maia what advice she would give to those trying to follow their creative passions. She said, “don’t think just do.” Stating that overthinking in the form of comparing oneself to others is the bane of creativity. Maia cheerfully shared that when she realized that a lot of her biggest musical inspirations had gotten to where they are with trial and error she was able to set herself free from expectations of “perfection.” So if you are pondering something creative here’s your reminder to pursue other outlets of expression.
Check out Maia’s new single Moon on Itunes and Spotify!