Singer-songwriter and performer Maya Waked draws from the past, embraces the present, and hints at the future.

Amidst the architectural marvels and bustling streets of Dubai, a city known for its dynamic cultural ethos, Maya Waked emerges as an intriguing musical voice.

Through the skyscrapers and the cosmopolitan chatter, there lies a reverberation that Maya expertly captures, blending the lilting rhythms of Oriental tradition with the improvisational spirit of Jazz.

Envision a softly lit corner in one of Dubai's eclectic venues. As the hush of anticipation builds, Maya's voice unfurls, crafting narratives that seem to traverse time. Her live performances are a confluence of the contemporary and the timeless, reimagining Lebanese classics for a generation that bridges the global and the local.

From the vibrant landscapes of Lebanon to the eclectic urban sprawl of Dubai, Maya's journey is one of passion and constant evolution. Her early years at the National Conservatory of Beirut and subsequent tutelage across Canada and Europe have fashioned her into an artist who can stand tall on international stages. It's no wonder that her debut show, "Allo Beirut" in Montreal, was not just a performance, but a declaration of her arrival.

Yet, beyond the technical prowess and the stage charisma, it's Maya's narrative craft that sets her apart. Her songs, sung with the warmth of the Lebanese dialect, are more than melodies—they're stories, imbued with the depth of shared human experiences.

In the vibrant tapestry that is Dubai, where traditional harmonies intertwine with modern beats, Maya finds her canvas. Recognizing the city's unique diversity, she doesn't just perform for the audience, but collaboratively with them, creating performances that feel distinctly Dubai-an.

Her recent endeavors showcase her unmatched versatility. Two singles, a live performance in 2023, and an intriguing exploration of Russian folk sounds, reshaped with her distinctive Lebanese lyrical touch, show Maya as an artist unafraid to redefine boundaries. It's not just about the melody but the fresh context she provides, intertwining diverse instruments and cultures in a harmonious dance.

Her recent rendition of "Min Zaman," borrowing its tune from the timeless "Those Were the Days, My Friend," is a testament to her ability to breathe new life into classics. With her unique lyrical touch, it speaks of nostalgia, evoking memories of simpler times and cherished moments. Its premiere in Dubai wasn't just a song being performed; it was a memory being relived. Such was its resonance that its digital release was inevitable, with a YouTube live performance on the horizon.

Maya's explorations often dip into the rich well of past melodies, but it's her insightful lyrics that truly define her artistry. She possesses the rare ability to touch upon universal themes, making old tunes feel both comforting and new.

The vibrant musical milieu of Dubai and Lebanon is a constantly evolving spectrum. Yet, in this ever-changing soundscape, there's a yearning for the familiar—a melody, a tone, or a rhythm that harks back to another era. Maya taps into this sentiment, reimagining classics with fresh interpretations, making them resonate with new generations.

With whispers in the musical corridors suggesting her foray into new genres, Maya's journey promises to be an ever-evolving saga. For those who find solace in music that speaks to the soul, Maya Waked's symphony is one that promises both resonance and revolution. Stay tuned, the crescendo is yet to come.

HOMEGROWN is musivv’s segment dedicated to featuring UAE-based artists. Features under this segment are eligible for a nomination under this category in the Musivv Awards’ annual recognition.

September 19, 2023

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