Maia is a soulful trailblazer reigniting Kenya’s contemporary musical landscape. Her magnetic vocals, both in Swahili and English, are woven together over hypnotising polyrhythms with soul, funk and folk, creating a familiarity and warmth that transcends continents.
Daughter of Kenyan musical legend Sal Davis, Maia has earned herself a formidable reputation as one of Kenya’s most explosive live performers, gracing the stages of prominent festivals such as Africa Utopia (UK), HIFA (Zimbabwe), Kigali UP (Rwanda), Sauti za Busara (Zanzibar), Woodford Folk Festival, Perth International Arts Festival (Australia) and The Great Rift Valley Festival and Blankets & Wine (Kenya).
Her second studio project “Maia & The Big Sky” was released in November 2017, and is the culmination of a three-year journey exploring her coastal heritage as a part of the filmmaking process of her first feature-documentary, which is currently in production. The “Big Sky” project features some of Africa’s finest instrumentalists as well as an impressive list of international guests. The first single ‘Lola’, includes a stop-motion music video of paper-hearts, and the second video ‘Pawa’ (featuring Blinky Bill) features the two Kenyan artists take over the Nairobi airwaves with some media-mind-control.
Maia’s debut album Drift (Feb 2013) is a culmination of her travels, collaborations and experiences, all backed by an array of East Africa’s best musicians. Recorded entirely on vintage equipment in Nairobi garages and living rooms, as well as further studio sessions in Berlin, Maia’s songs sing of new political horizons for Kenya’s disempowered youth, of the plight of women and domestic violence across the world, as well as personal introspections of the solitude and isolation felt in not belonging to any single culture or community.
Her previous recordings include 2008’s self-titled EP featuring Oyster which appeared on Warner Poland’s Ladies’ Jazz Album Vol 6, and Uko Wapi which earned her two African Academy Awards for best soundtrack in Kenya’s ‘From a Whisper‘ and Uganda’s ‘Imani‘.