At 22 years old, artist, producer, and songwriter Maya Wagner is cutting through the noise with fearless musical expressions of her experiences as a queer woman and struggles with mental health.
When Maya Wagner stumbled across Tinashe’s home studio tour on YouTube in 2013, her life-long love of songwriting and vocal performance bloomed from a hobby into a career goal. At 12 years old, Maya invested her meager life savings into creating her own micro-studio in her Central New Jersey bedroom.
With the Ableton Live Intro license that came with her new AKAI MPK49, an AT-2035 condenser mic, a set of M-AUDIO, and a not-so-fancy LG laptop, Maya began teaching herself to produce. Apart from being active in her high school’s choir and theatre programs, Maya spent the majority of her free time locked away in her bedroom watching tutorial video after tutorial video and creating song after song.
During her sophomore year of high school, Maya’s choir director mentioned that Berklee College of Music might be a good school to look into. Maya fell in love with the college, and after attending Berklee’s Summer Songwriting Workshop in 2018, she had her sights set on attending.
Summer 2019 was a big Summer for Maya. She was awarded the Kennedy Center’s VSA International Soloists Award, an award presented annually to talented young musicians with disabilities. The award was presented by The First Lady of The United States and honored Maya’s courage as a performing artist who speaks openly about her experiences with Tourette Syndrome.
After performing at The Kennedy Center and receiving her award, Maya was off to perform at ArtsQuest’s Musikfest, where she and her all-female band played two back-to-back Friday sets in the heart of Bethlehem, PA.
Then, it was off to Berklee, where Maya began her formal music production studies. Apart from studying, Maya recorded and produced her debut single, “Sink In,” a song which speaking out about a negative experience she had with substances. Her music continued to gain support, especially on Spotify, and she released her debut EP, “Closeted,” a collection of songs about her romantic journey as a queer person.
During her time at Berklee, Maya began posting electronic performance videos and music production tutorials of her own. After being noticed on social media by start-up electronic instrument company Artiphon, Maya joined their team as a sound designer and synthesist while continuing her studies.
Maya also began producing for other artists. She produced MØNA’s 2022 EP “written in the stars” along with Emily Horton’s EP “when it gets dizzy.” She also directed and edited a few music videos during her time at Berklee.
Maya is a three-time awardee of Berklee’s Songs for Social Change Award in recognition of her writing about mental illness and LGBTQ experiences.
Maya graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2022 with a degree in Electronic Production and Design at 22 years old and is currently working as an artist, producer, and sound designer.