This Brooklyn singer/songwriter, activist and all around amazing woman Maya Azucena used to chant in her shows Maya Who? Mainly for audiences not sure how to pronounce her last name- also promoting her first release ‘Maya Who?!’ which came out in 2003. Since then she’s put out a hot mix CD called ‘Taste This’, her critically acclaimed ‘Junkyard Jewel‘, a hot maxi single release called “Make it Happen”, a bootleg of a culmination of songs called ‘What you don’t already have’ and fast forward to the present where Maya is busy putting the finishing touches on the much anticipated new effort ‘Cry Love’.
Maya’s journey has been a remarkable one and I’m thankful to have known her through most of it. We were first introduced at Joe’s Pub in 2004. I used to book the late night series and if Maya wasn’t on stage she was part of the enthusiastic audience at many of the shows and parties I promoted/booked.
Maya’s music is adored and appreciated around the world. She’s made many trips to Croatia. At least 22 by now and about to go again. She’s recorded with one of the biggest MC’s from there- Gibonni -and when he performs he usually flies her out incorporating her into the show. Definitely some royalty status in Croatia. She also just came back from Dublin recording with a well known singer/songwriter and she’ll be hitting Australia for a tour in October.
New Yorkers can be excited as she’ll be performing a very special 2 sets at Blue Note on Monday, May 24th 8PM and 10:30PM along with a special announcement to her fans. New Management: Blue Note Management.
“I’m very excited to expand my team by signing with the Blue Note Management company and be associated with their historic brand. We are optimistic about what we’ll do together as we plan for my new CD and other special projects.” In from Maya just off the phone with her. She also told me a bit about her co-founding a global platform for improving maternal health called MDGFive. We will be hearing a lot more about those initiatives. The Beta launch is June at a youth preconference in D.C.
If that’s not enough- Maya’s also been selected by The Network Journal(Black Professionals and Small Business Magazine) as one of their “Top 40 Under 40″ honorees for 2010! Winners of this prestigious award are chosen from nominations received by the 40 Under Forty Review Board. Maya’s been selected for her outstanding achievement, contribution, leadership and influence in the corporate, non-profit, public of entrepreneurial arenas, along with her service to the African-American community. The official Award banquet will be on June 17th at Times Square’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.
‘Cry Love’ will be out in early Spring 2011. There will also be a music video/single and live DVD release before year’s out! Congratulations Maya! We won’t have to say Maya Who? anymore!