MAYA WAGNER - BIO
Maya Wagner is an 19-year-old singer/songwriter and producer who was born and raised in Central New Jersey. Maya has been writing her own songs as long as she can remember, but truly realized that it was her passion when she reached high school and discovered her passion for audio production. During her freshman year of high school, Maya invested her life savings into recording equipment and DAW Software, creating a recording studio in her bedroom. Throughout her high school career, Maya spent hours in her room writing, recording, and mixing her original songs.
During her Junior year, Maya visited Berklee College of Music and fell in love. She applied in September, auditioned in December, and found out ten days after her audition that she had been accepted!
Maya's acceptance inspired her to release some of her music, and on January 11th, 2019, her 18th birthday, she released her first EP, Nostalgia. This collection of 4 songs was a brand-new take on what you currently know as a “contemporary singer-songwriter” ballad. Nostalgia featured edgy but vulnerable lyrics with subtle electronic production.
As Maya continued to grow as an artist, she found herself writing more fearlessly. On August 11th, 2019, she released her second EP, strong&independent, a collection of 5 songs which felt more upbeat and playful than her previous release, while still maintaining sophistication. The collection features much more fearless references to Maya's struggles with sexuality and mental illness.
Maya's music is unique. However, it also features themes which are relatable and universal. Not only does she seek to destigmatize mental illness, but she also looks to contradict the idea that queer musicians must to hide their sexuality in order to succeed.
In July of 2019, Maya was selected as a recipient of Kennedy Center's International Young Soloist Award. She performed on Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage alongside four other young musicians who "demonstrate exceptional artistry and defy the presumption that having a disability means you cannot excel (Betty Siegel, Director of VSA at the Kennedy Center)." With a diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, Maya was thrilled to represent musicians with all types of disabilities, and to contribute to the advancement of the conversation about disabilities and those who overcome them.
In August of 2019, Maya played her first festival show at her favorite childhood music festival, MusikFest. Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, ArtsQuest's Musikfest is the nation's largest free music festival. Maya was thrilled to have played two sets this year, one at LyricPlatz, and one on the Main Street Stage.
During her first semester at Berklee, Maya collaborated with talented producer Hilloc, creating her first single, Sink In, a song which rejects the idea that drugs and alcohol are positive coping skills. She explores a negative experience with drugs and shares how mental illness and substances often don't mix well. The song is empowering yet haunting and professionally produced. Maya has since released two more singles: "Skeletons In My Closet," a sublime tune about being ashamed of one's past, and "Master Plan," a playful gay revenge song.
In early August 2020, Maya was a featured artist on the LGBTQ Music Chart website, reaching 5th highest trending coverage post that week.
Maya is currently in her second semester at Berklee College of Music and cannot wait to continue to grow as an artist, songwriter, and producer.