ARTIST NAME | Maia Von Lekow
Photography by © metta metta ART
Art&Beer Festival, Ngong Racecource
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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 6-piece 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, both solo and 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.
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.”