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  • Smooth Jazz Network

Maysa: Behind the Beats

Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Maysa.

Maysa is shaking up the charts with her smooth new single “I Don’t Mind”. We caught up with the prolific singer for this week’s BEATS.

Maysa, congratulations on the new single. We’re loving it here and it is such a perfect fit for ‘smooth jazz’. Tell us about the inspiration behind “I Don’t Mind”.

I Don’t Mind came to life when I decided to take a listen to a music track that my music director, Damon Bennett had given to me almost 5 years ago.

One day on a break from the American Incognito tour, Bluey volunteered to produce my vocals for a Frank McComb penned house track and he was in Europe at the time, so Bluey came to the rescue. The morning of the session, I asked Bluey if I sent him a song could he write to it, and I sent him Damon’s song and the magic happened!!

I sang a few melodic ideas to Bluey and they fit into his blueprint and I Don’t Mind came to life!

It’s a lovely story of finally finding the love you’ve been waiting for with someone who may be a bit unconventional.. not someone the world may think would be suited for you.

I love this song soooo much! I wish we had filmed the recording of it.. We knew it was special.

I get the feeling that your art is incredibly personal to you. Tell us about your song writing process.

My songwriting process varies. I could be driving, reading a book, at the gym, and a sound or a feeling can come over me and I get inspired. A lot of my music has been about my experiences with love and the world.

I hear a melody first most of the time but in a few instances a word can trigger a whole song. It’s really all a spiritual journey.

You have been a popular singer in the smooth jazz world for many years now. Some of us may have been introduced to you through your work with Incognito. Tell us about that time in your career.

Well starting off singing background for Stevie Wonder on the Jungle Fever Soundtrack, I was living in California, happened to be recommended for jazz demos for a producer named Steve Harvey from Scotland..who after a few months of working together put my name on a list to be auditioned by Bluey for Incognito. After a brief musical discussion over the phone, I was hired the next morning and moved to England within 2 weeks time.

There I met Bluey and Richard Bull and we went straight to the studio where I heard the amazing music that was going to change my life. Working with incognito the last 32 years has been nothing but magical. Bluey has blessed me with seeing the world several times over.

Our most well known hit song, Deep Waters (in addition to more than 15 albums as a featured lead vocalist), has given me a whole career. I am very grateful for it all.

And you have had some amazing collaborations with some superstar artists over the years. Can you share some highlights?

Singing with Will Downing, Phil Perry, Frank McComb, Jonathan Butler, Jocelyn Brown, Nick Colionne, Stokley, Dwele, Chris Walker ,Tony Momrelle, Navasha Daya (Fertile Ground), Phil Jackson, Chris Ballin, Mark Anthony ,Bluey, Noel Gourdin, and Ledisi, have all been highlights of my career.. I love duets and these amazing artists have blessed me.

You have received several awards for your performances. A Soul Train Music award and Grammy Nominations as well… How has it felt to have your work and art recognized?

It seemed to take a very long time...LOL.. But it’s been an amazing feeling. .. And the Soul Tracks Readers’ Choice Awards I’ve received are very special as well.. I’m truly grateful for them all.

In 2018, you founded your record label Blue Velvet Soul Records. How has this new venture impacted your career?

I believe becoming a label owner has positively impacted my career..

The singles I’ve released have kept me on the charts and relevant in the industry ..

Tell us about Kitchen Karaoke Sundays.

I start a kitchen karaoke in 2016 when I was trying to introduce my new website on Facebook and my friend Walter Beasley inspired me to do my first Facebook Live.

I reluctantly did and while I was love I decided that I would sing a few songs to whoever was watching.. After 7 years we are still here, and gained a great influx of Karaoke Family during the pandemic.. I love singing to people to help them get ready for their work week or to unwind from a hectic week.. It gives me great joy to make people happy with my music.

#MKKS is a family and it’s a lot of fun.

Any words of advice for up-and-coming singers out there?

  1. Develop and invest in who you are as an individual and how you want to present yourself/ your brand to the world.

  2. Be professional

  3. Surround yourself with positive, like minded people.

  4. Hire a great attorney and book keeper..

  5. Never give up.

Make the choice to be happy no matter what.

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Carol Howard
Carol Howard
Oct 29, 2023

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