MAITA is a Portland, Oregon-based songwriter who released her second full length album I Just Want To Be Wild For You through Kill Rock Stars in February 2022. Growing up in Oregon sharing time in her Japanese-speaking mother’s home and the English-speaking home of her father, MAITA learned firsthand multiple forms of self-expression and culture that perhaps enhances her own personal insight and layers of observation about the American society that many of us navigate. As a youth MAITA didn’t share her songwriting in private as a bit of a shy introvert but got her start performing live as a solo artist at open mics while attending college in Portland. MAITA subsequently developed the full band as a means of more fully realizing her creative songwriting vision and did some touring before connecting with the local creative community as an active participant. And as many musicians across decades have found out once you become a part of your creative community in a real way you find that often people will support what you do in an organic way and you find ways in which you can offer the same often leading to opportunities to expand your horizons creatively, personally and in terms of the reach of your art.
The debut full-length MAITA album Best Wishes released at the peak of quarantine in May of 2020 to great critical acclaim. But perhaps the band is undertaking its first wide national tour in support of the new record. I Just Want To Be Wild For You is an astute, sensitive and nuanced commentary on how we are bombarded by communication and information daily with demands on our time and attention. Through channels like social media there is an encouragement for “engagement,” a model utilized as a route and method of commerce, monetized by tech companies and presented as a form of marketing that takes advantage of a natural desire to participate in society. But it’s a surrogate for actual connection and subconsciously we feel that disconnect and the and methods supposedly designed for us to keep in touch and maintain the illusion of having a connection to strangers and celebrities, albeit fairly passively, end up creating a dynamic of disconnection that can result in massive confusion and uncertainty because those same systems can make our interactions and ourselves feel disposable. The impact of that state of things on our psychology, aspirations and relationships, interpersonal and societal, has clearly been significant. MAITA’s songs from I Just Want To Be Wild For You comment on this phenomenon in a way deeply personal and in the language of direct experience with entrancing melodies and delicate textures with rich emotional resonance. MAITA takes complex feelings and concepts and renders them relatable with a rare immediacy.
Maita performs at The Skylark Lounge’s Bobcat Club on Sunday, October 9, 2022 with Allison Lorenzen, doors 7 p.m.
Listen to our interview with Maria Maita-Keppeler aka MAITA on Bandcamp and find the project’s records at your local record store as well as at the Kill Rock Stars website and follow the group at the links below.