A few taps on a cold buzzer, a discreet postcard leading the way, and we were soon tiptoeing upstairs to the sound of murmuring voices and soft ripples from the piano. Then, centered in the warm, church-like architecture of Platinum Sound Studios, Maya Azucena stood at the mic and took a breath.
Her voice opened up like a burst of light as she started to sing the show-stopping “Unleash Me,” a new single from her unreleased album of the same name. Leaving the small circle of early guests to stop and stare in awe, she powered through impossible builds with elegant strength; a different kind of beautiful entirely. Suddenly, the mic test served its purpose and the surrounding speakers kicked in full force, enhancing her biggest impact. The wild applause surprised her as she rejoined us from a place of deep focus. “Sound check… balance good, everybody?” she laughed shyly.
The cozy listening party kicked off with wine and sandwiches, and Maya and her producer, Sonix the Mad Scientist, treated us to Unleash Me’s first spin. Staying true to her Brooklyn roots, the very first track opened with an awesome build of urban noise, which included a jump-rope-ready chant of “Heyyy, good lookin’! I know you got a beat from Brooklyn!” From there on out, her rich vocals took shape over polished new jams – and even a cool cover of Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris.” Maya glowed as she glided around the studio greeting her guests, who soaked up each song with huge smiles.
With vocals as deep and earthy as the grooves of a record, she sent us home with an empowering live performance as Sonix accompanied on grand piano. “It just represents the bigness that I feel when I write songs,” Maya said of her new album. “It’s like I’m fighting for something, and each song represents that energy. Every song is an anthem.” The first anthem from Unleash Me is set to release on March 15th, and we can’t wait to see where her fight takes her next.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley