I like to keep track of what is happening with the indie music scene in all genres because I love to hear new music, and I love to hear the stories behind the people that are compelled to perform it. One artist that has fascinated me is a woman from Germany that is taking several indie music charts by storm by the name of Daniela Maida Mai. Maida is a police officer and paramedic that has just started writing songs, but she started playing guitar years ago to help her cope after a very tragic incident.
"As a police officer, I was directly involved in a school shooting that occurred on 26 April 2002 here in Erfurt. It was labeled The Erfurt Massacre by news media around the world. The gunman, a 19-year-old expelled student, shot and killed 16 people: 13 staff members, two students, and one police officer. This did something to my soul/spirit. It became locked deep inside, and I couldn't pull it back out. (PTSD) I bought a guitar, and I started playing which seemed to keep my mind still and kept the flashbacks from coming as often."
Maida eventually met another musician who told her that she looked and played like Melissa Etheridge. Since she was not aware of who that was, she felt compelled to learn more about her. It was love at first listen for Maida,and she even calls Etheridge her "daily therapist." She would play and sing her songs until her fingers were bloody, and she gives these songs credit for bringing her back into the light from the deep abyss in which she had sunk after the shootings. She began playing covers for people because she wanted to pay tribute to Melissa Etheridge. She took Etheridge's songs and put her own feelings into them and has wanted to help others with her performances.
Though Etheridge has the biggest piece of her heart, she is inspired by many other musicians such Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Keith Urban, Tina Turner, The Beatles,and there are many more. All of these influences helped morph a style which includes a blend of blues, pop, rock, and country; some classify her as Americana. She states that she loves performing live because it is very interactive. They dance, sing, and feel the music. These crowds adore her covers. Maida is also doing a fabulously well with up her two singles, and the charts are showing it.
Maida has two singles she has released, "You" and "Last Call". My favorite, "Last Call" has two meanings. She wrote it on vacation at the beach, and it reminds her of the moments she spent enjoying the splendors of life. She has fond memories of that beach town and practicing her songs in the elevator lobby before it was destroyed by Hurricane Michael which is one story the song tells. Another meaning relayed in "Last Call" is the feeling that you have being in the spotlight. A person can be the center of attention as a performer and be under tremendous stress; on the other hand, they are rewarded by the adoration of the audience. The stress turns into adrenaline. The fact that you can be helping people and not even know it is a huge motivator. When the heart pumping performance is finished, there is still a part of you that is all alone when you walk off the stage.
Maida is not planning on stopping with just two singles. She is planning a trip to Nashville in October to record more. She is finding writing in English challenging and needs support with this aspect of writing, but Maida, like so many, has been called into music and is not going to let any language barriers stop her from helping people and getting her music to the listeners.
"For me.... MUSIC IS LIFE!!"
Music saved Maida in the darkest hour of her life, and she feels it is her karmic duty to distribute her music to help others that may be in one of life's trenches like she was. Give Maida a listen. She is a woman with a lot of heart and deserves recognition for her contributions to music.