Smooth Jazz Magazine’s Lexi Lewis had the opportunity to speak with Maysa on the Capital Jazz Super Cruise V to talk about her musical past, present and future.
SJM: You have been in the music business for 20 years now. Tell me about the evolution of your music from then to now.
Maysa: Wow, I think we’ll start in 1991. I was singing backgrounds for Stevie Wonder. And I auditioned over the phone to become the lead singer for a band called Incognito. And during that time I was just trying to find myself really and musically I really didn’t know where I was going. But joining Incognito really started bringing focus to what my sound was going to be. I knew I wanted to sing jazz and my biggest influences were Sarah Vaughn, Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle. And I think I tried to put them all in one person. Basically, being the lead singer of Incognito, the leader of the band (Bluey), encouraged me to scat and encouraged me to use different colors with my voice. But from then to now, it’s just a steady progression of growth from me period. I’ve gone through periods where my voice changed dramatically into a lower register; almost man sounding voice because of vocal damage. So when I listen to my records I can hear the transition of when I was with Incognito sounding like a really young 25 year old girl to really hearing the wear and tear on my voice throughout the years. We really tried to keep it together. I think me and my producers did a good job trying to mask some of that. Now it seems like on this last record I feel like I’ve returned, emotionally, to a more youthful sound and it kinda came through in the record.
Read the full interview at Smooth Jazz Magazine.