On Sunday, July 25th, 2021, the singular indie pop singer maye kicked off the Stella Artois x Sofar Sounds’s Solstice in the City in Los Angeles, California. Solstice in the City is a three-city concert series in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York designed to celebrate the return of live music and the iconic Solstice Lager.
“We’re so excited to kick off summer with these Solstice in the City live concerts,” says Matt McDonagh, VP Global Commercial Partnerships at Sofar Sounds. “Thanks to the support of Stella Artois, we’re delighted to showcase maye and Elena Rose, reopen Sofar Sounds’ experiences in cities like Miami for the first time since the pandemic, and host some of our largest outdoor gatherings in New York and Los Angeles this year.”
At the kickoff concert, maye performed her set in an intimate whimsical outdoor setting nestled in the Hollywood Hills. Guests were able to safely socially distance while lounging on picnic blankets in the warm sun, sipping on none other than the light-bodied, refreshingly crisp Solstice Lager.
The Venezuelan-American singer was beyond thrilled to finally be able to safely perform live again for the first time in over a year. In the afterglow of her first live show of 2021, maye talked music, mental heath, and the future.
The Knockturnal: How does it feel to be back playing shows in-person for your fans with Sofar Sounds and Stella Solstice?
maye: I feel so happy to be back playing shows in-person for my fans at the Sofar Sounds & Stella Solstice event, because I finally feel like I can have a real connection with a live audience. I think it’s gonna be a beautiful exchange between the audience and my musicians and myself, and I’m thrilled because I’ve been waiting for this moment or about a year and a half, so I’m really excited to be here.
The Knockturnal: How does your Venezuela-American heritage impact the creation of your music?
maye: The way that my Venezuelan American heritage impacts my music is that a lot of my favorite artists and songwriters I look up to are from Venezuela. Folk songwriters like Simón Díaz — I love to study the way he writes his lyrics and his melodies. And I like to think he’s a sort of bar that I’m trying to meet with my songs, in my own way of course, but influenced by him and his music.
The Knockturnal: Was the melding of languages something that always inspired your songwriting?
maye: The melding of languages wasn’t necessarily something that always inspired my songwriting. I used to write songs fully in Spanish and fully in English and it was a hard concept for me to grasp to do both languages in one song. But as time passed, and I’d hear different artists like Cuco and Bad Bunny, or even Kali Uchis, they would sing in both languages in one song, and I started to write with that kind of challenge. Because it is the way that I think either way, I think in both languages, so melding both languages I guess now makes sense because I’ve always done it just in speech.
The Knockturnal: What inspired you to create bilingual indie-pop?
maye: I was never really inspired to just target that. I think my music was labeled that after the fact. I like to think that I just make music just to vent what I’m going through and what I’m dealing with in my life, and it just happened to be categorized as “bilingual indie pop.” But yeah, I just like to express myself the way I am, and I am a bilingual person, and my influences I guess are sort of indie and are also sort of pop, so I think it’s just a consequence of who I am and the kind of music that I do. And the industry and DSPs and everything decided to categorize me as that. But it wasn’t like I woke up and was like, “I’m gonna do bilingual indie pop;” it was just a consequence of who I am as a person.
The Knockturnal: What do you hope people take away from your music?
maye: I hope that what people take away from my music is just lightness, and you know, good vibes. Because, I like to listen to music that makes me feel good, and I can only hope that the music I make makes people feel just good and relaxed and stress-free.
The Knockturnal: How do you protect your emotional and mental health as a performer and a public figure?
maye: The way I protect my emotional and mental health as a performer and public figure is actually something that I’m still learning to do now. I do like to limit my social media intake to draw a certain boundary, and make sure that what I’m posting is mostly just announcements for shows or whenever a single’s coming out. And I do like to do my little passionate — I guess what you would call dumps, that showcase a little more of my personality and my humor. But the way I take care of my mental health and my emotional health is I like to draw some boundaries when it comes to social media, and also I like to meditate and do yoga, and I like to just stay centered at peace with myself and with my thoughts.
The Knockturnal: Can you share a little about what is next for you? (Music, career, and/or personal.)
maye: Yes! What I am about to embark on or what’s next for me is I am wrapping an official body of work which I am calling an album. And it’s going to include most of the songs that are out already, except for the “La Canción” cover. I’m going to have about 5 to 6 new tunes when the album drops that nobody’s ever heard before, and I’m going on tour with Omar Apollo this fall. I have a couple festivals lined up — one in Chicago called Ruido Fest, and one called III Points here in my hometown in Miami which I’m very excited about.
And I hope to take a vacation this year at some point, at the end of the year or something, because we’ve all been working really hard and I do want to have a little bit of fun times. Even though all of this is fun in general, but just a little bit of a mental vacation and clocking out of music I think would be good for my mental health. And that’s what you can expect from me.
Thank you so much to Sofar Sounds and to Stella Artois Solstice Lager for having me, and I’m so excited and thrilled to finally play my first live show after so long. So, thank you guys so much for the opportunity.
And this extraordinary experience has only just begun. Each outdoor Solstice in the City concert will feature a headliner with support from independent local artists from the Sofar Sounds community.
— Indie pop singer maye (“Tú,” “My Love”) led the kickoff concert in LA on July 25.
— Evan Giia, a Brooklyn-based musician and vocalist will carry on in New York on August 14.
— Venezuelan singer/songwriter Elena Rose (Rauw Alejandro’s “Tattoo – Remix,” Selena Gomez’s “Baila Conmigo”) will close out the series in Miami on August 21.
Each tour stop will take place at an iconic outdoor venue to pair sunshine-ready music with the refreshing ingredients of Solstice Lager, which will be complimentary to all attendees. Tickets to attend each show are free and available only to 21+ attendees via raffle. For entry to win tickets (2 per winner) and more details on each show, visit https://www.sofarsounds.com/v/solsticeinthecity. Content from the series, produced by award-winning creative agency CTRL5 and directed by Owen Brown, will debut on Sofar Sounds’ YouTube channel following each performance.