Maia Von LekowSolo Artist
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Maia brings a dynamic new color to Kenya’s contemporary musical landscape. Born and raised in Nairobi to a German/Italian mother and Kenyan father, Maia’s unique heritage is combined into a fresh sound weaving jazz, funk, folk & blues all sprinkled with swahili spice.
A traveller at heart, Maia has lived and performed in Berlin, Melbourne & Dublin. Since returning to Kenya in 2007, Maia has established her current live act, a high-energy 5piece band that has been making waves throughout East Africa, gracing the stages of prominent festivals across Africa such as HIFA (Zimbabwe), Kigali UP (Rwanda), Sauti za Busara (Zanzibar), The Great Rift Valley Festival and Blankets & Wine (Kenya). Maia’s intimate acoustic performances, as a trio, have also garnered enthusiastic responses from audiences all over the world.
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.
She has worked on several projects as music coordinator, performer, and humanitarian with UNHCR and is currently directing her first documentary titled ‘Woman of the Wind’ about a female freedom fighter’s struggle portrayed through dance and music.
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.
Maia co-directed and co-produced her first music video ‘Jellyfish’ at the end of 2013, which takes you on a journey from the bustle of Nairobi to the ocean floor of the Kenyan coast.
Currently Maia is working on new works and collaborations due for release early 2015.
“Maia fuses her musical influences like a lounge chameleon” – The Guardian, UK
“The songbird who causes ripples whenever she performs” – The Standard, Kenya
“Her tunes bring a new sense of ‘chill’ to the African music scene” – OkayafricaRead more Read less