Story and Photos by Mikayla Hart | Contributing Writer
Singer-songwriter and Middle Tennessee State University student, Maya Nicole performed at the Keathley University Center Theater this week for the Spare-hosted event, “Wednesday Night Live.”
With her clean melodies, rich tone, and old soul, Maya took the crowd on a journey through her seven-song set.
Maya writes and sings about themes of nature appreciation, which was noticeable right off the bat, as she began the show with an unreleased track titled “Skyline Drive.” The song references Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, her favorite place to visit and be surrounded by nature.
In addition to a few others, she sang some of her most-streamed songs including “Mountain’s Plea,” which is on her self-titled EP, “Maya Nicole” and “And She’s Gone.”
Maya is a freshman at MTSU studying songwriting. Her passion for music was born after being introduced to The Beatles at the age of seven. Listening to The Beatles, she learned how to harmonize and play guitar.
Pulling inspiration from artists such as Paul Simon, Tyler Childers, Joni Mitchell, John Denver and Bob Dylan, Maya strives to be open-minded in her style and artistry. She shared her admiration for Paul Simon’s openness to different genres and collaborations with other artists.
“I want to collaborate with people across genres… I like to try new things. I’m open to any genre,” Maya said.
With roots in Kentucky and Maryland, she writes and sings about themes of appreciation for her roots and pays homage to where she’s from.
Maya closed her set with a sentimental note in “Black-Eyed Susan,” a song that pays homage to Maryland, her home state. In it, are themes of nostalgia and reminiscing on the natural beauty of her origins. The title of the track references Maryland’s state flower.
Movie soundtracks like those of “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” have also had a major influence on Maya’s sound.
“Definitely the Kentucky part of my roots and all these cool movie soundtracks influenced my style,” Maya said.
She is also studying audio production and is still deciding which primary path she wants to take in the industry. She is interested in co-writing, publishing, and production.
“I’m interested in exploring all aspects of the music industry, but definitely still want to write,” she said.
Her music is available to listen to on all streaming platforms under the name Maya Nicole. Follow her on Instagram.
To contact Lifestyles Editor Ethan Pickering, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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