Section 36 Music has another visitor! Maya Wagner is a talented singer, and I was so glad she wanted to visit with us and discuss her recent single, her goals, and more. I’m sure you’ll love everything she has to say.
So, let's see what happens when Maya Wagner visits Section 36!
I really enjoyed your recent single “Master Plan”. What can you tell me about it?
This song is interesting because I had originally created the track for a completely different song. I ended up not being thrilled with the way the song was going and topline completely new lyrics and melody over the original track, which then ended up changing a lot too. If you heard the demo of the first song, you would never know it led to “Master Plan.”
The song’s content itself was inspired by my first relationship. At fourteen years old I got involved with a girl much older than me who was into a much… different… scene than I should have been getting involved with. She ended up cheating on me with another boy my age after confessing her love for me only days earlier.
Five years later I looked back on that whole situation and thought, what if I had handled it differently. And so, I wrote a hypothetical revenge song called “Master Plan.”
You’re currently a student at Berklee College of Music. What’s the biggest thing that is doing for your career?
There are so many amazing aspects of attending Berklee, but the main one is definitely the networking. I have met so many amazing people here, including my current boyfriend and business partner. We are actually working on developing a music production and media promotions company called M+M Infinity and are working with some amazing artists already!
You had the opportunity to perform on Kennedy Center’s Millennium stage. What was that experience like?
Playing at The Kennedy Center is to date one of my most beautiful memories. I was there receiving The International Young Soloists Award, an award given to young musicians with disabilities. As someone who has dealt with Tourette Syndrome, ADD, anxiety, and depression throughout my life, I have always looked at music as a way to spread awareness about mental illness and disability and connect to those dealing with similar issues themselves. It was an amazing experience, and The First Lady actually attended the performance! I still feel honored to have been a part of such an amazing event and I continue to use that weekend as a springboard which helps remind me that music is more than just entertainment; it is a platform to speak out about issues that matter.
Who/what would you consider to be your biggest musical influences?
My biggest influence in terms of music is hands down Tracy Chapman. She was a queer black female songwriter who wrote about issues like racism, poverty, and domestic violence at a time when using music as a form of protest was not as prominent as it is today. She is and was a force to be reckoned with in the music industry and she inspires me every day.
As far as more “current” artists go, Taylor Swift has been the artist who has been with me through thick and thin. She has taught me that artists evolve and change, and that forcing yourself to be one thing is not necessary. She’s such a versatile musician and I really admire that.
I also just adore Julia Michaels and Halsey; they definitely get an honorable mention as my inspirations.
Other than COVID, what would you say is your biggest career challenge?
I am so absolutely blessed to have an amazing family who has supported me through my career as a musician. I can’t say that I am not extremely lucky, and I definitely can’t say I have had a difficult life.
However, one challenge I have has to work through, mostly during high school, has been mental illness. I struggled immensely with depression during high school and basically ended up leaving high school to begin taking college classes at a private university near my hometown in New Jersey. Doing that really helped me find myself, work through my difficulties, and eventually get accepted into my dream school!
What are your immediate career goals?
I want to be an artist. I want the world to hear my music and I want to connect with people. At the same time, I want to be a producer who helps other artists and musicians feel the way I feel when I put an amazing song out into the world. My goal is to keep doing what I am already doing! My hope is to do an east coast festival tour during summer 2021 if COVID has died down enough by then, and I am currently working on a debut album.
I definitely want to hear all that music!
As always, I want to thank Maya for visiting, and for sending along the pictures to accompany the interview.
I know you’ll all want to follow along with Maya to see what she's up to. The best way is to follow her online on Instagram and visit her website. They're great ways to make sure you don't miss a thing!
You can also visit her Section 36 Music page. There you'll find more links, pictures, and samples of her music. It's a great way to enjoy everything Maya has to offer all in one place.
Thanks again Maya, and good luck in reaching your goals!