Preview: Maya Jupiter Record Release Show 10/6/11

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 2, 2011 10:19am | Post a Comment

Maya Jupiter is a classic example of the international influence of Hip-Hop. She was born in La Paz, Mexico to a Mexican father and a Turkish mother. Her family moved to Australia where she lived until a few years ago. Her first release in 2003 received much critical praise that lead to steady career both as a rapper and a radio host for the better part of ten years. Wanting to explore her Mexican roots, Maya moved to Los Angeles where she started to collaborate with L.A.’s Chicano/Latino community. Her new self-titled album is a result of those collaborations. It is a mixture of Soul, Dancehall and Son Jarocho, which she calls, “World Hip-Hop” Maya Jupiter will be performing on October 6th at the Little Temple in Los Angeles with an all-star band that includes Aloe Blacc, Martha Gonzalez and Quetzal Flores of the band Quetzal, and many other great L.A. based musicians. I caught up with Maya to discuss her new album, her upcoming show and about life in Los Angeles.

Your new album takes a different route than your previous releases. What was behind that?

I wanted to push myself vocally and artistically and I wanted to make an album that reflected all the music styles that I enjoy, not just Hip-Hop. My brother-in-law, Victor Valdes, is a harpist from Xalapa, Vera Cruz and introduced me to the world of Son Jarocho ten years ago. I knew it was a style I wanted to incorporate as well as Soul and Dancehall. All of these genres come from the community and have a history of being socially conscious.
There are many Afro-Caribbean influences in your album such as Son Jarocho, Dancehall Reggae and Cuban Son. What was the process of writing like?

We had some jam sessions with Aloe Blacc as well as Quincy McCrary (keyboard player for Mayer Hawthorne) Juan Perez (bass player for Son De Madera)
Quetzal Flores made songs out of the jams. The music came from the heart and is a reflection of everybody involved.
You left behind what seemed to be a promising career in both music and radio in Australia. At one point you were a host of a Hip-Hop show on Australia’s Triple J Radio network. What was behind that move? What do your fans in Australia think of the new album?

I needed a new challenge and felt I wasn't growing as an artist in Sydney. I also wanted to be around the Mexican community; I felt it was something I missed out on growing up in Sydney. Even though we are very multi-cultural, I couldn't speak my musical language with many people there. I feel that I'm much better understood in LA, in terms of music. I'm not sure what people think in Australia but they are very open-minded people so I'm sure they'll give the album a listen!
You recently posted on Facebook that you were “so excited to perform this album the way it's supposed to be performed. That's you threw away the CD in favor of real humans. Will you try to keep a band together for future performances?

I would love to always play with this current band. They are truly all-stars.  Making live music is so much more rewarding, you can't deny the energy on stage.

You’ve toured the better part of two years with Aloe Blacc, both as an opening act and as part of his group. Now that you have seen more of America than most Americans have, what do you think of it?

I think the United States is a beautiful big country, full of opportunity. There are many people who really care about the world and their fellow human beings. I think there's a great movement happening across the world right now, an awakening of sorts where people are coming together for a better quality of life. 

Now that you have lived in Los Angles for a couple of years, what do you think about it? What do you love about it and what would you change?

I love L.A. I'm lucky that I am a part of a loving community of conscience thinkers. I love that it is a crossroads to the world. All kinds of people come through LA, you never know who you can meet or what can happen. It is very exciting in that way. It is also cheap living; rent and food prices are much lower.

I would improve the public transportation system; it is a joke right now. People should be able to walk and ride their bikes safely. There should be more parks and spaces for people to gather. When you travel around the world you realize how LA lacks public spaces. The health care system is ridiculous and the public school system worries me. Those are things I think about if I were to move here permanently.

You can buy Maya Jupiter's S/T release at the Amoeba Hollywood store (in the Hip-Hop section) or via mail order
Maya Jupiter Will be performing on Thursday, October 6th
at Little Temple
4519 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90029-1906
(323) 660-4540

Nu-Thursdays presents
Maya Jupiter Album Release Party
Thursday October 6, 2011 Live Performance by
MAYA JUPITER w/ special guests Quetzal Flores, Martha Gonzalez, and Aloe Blacc, Marisa Ronstadt & The Know-It-Alls
DJ Destroyer & Ethos 21+ 9pm-2am $10 cover

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World Music (146), Maya Jupiter (1), Hip-hop (217)