Photo Credit: Darren Cementina
"Nashville" is such a beautiful song, congratulations on its release! Can you talk about the story behind it?
Maria: Thank you so much! My sister told me last year that in 2023 she was going to officially be moving out of NYC to Nashville, and before I wrote the song she had just gotten engaged. She was my first roommate when I moved here back in 2016, we spent a total of 6 years here together, and so it was hard for me to accept that she was moving and we wouldn't be physically close to each other anymore. I picked up my guitar in November when I was processing that she would be leaving in a couple of months, and I began writing Nashville and reminiscing on our time together. Writing Nashville was closure for me that my sister is leaving. Saying goodbye to someone is really hard and that was kind of my process while writing this song.
The lyrics to this song are so honest, it feels like a peek into a diary. How do you approach your songwriting process to get such a raw final product?
Maria: I try to just approach it like I'm talking to the person the song is about, i try to have personal details and make it very specific because the situations I'm writing about are very specific and personal.
What is the best piece of songwriting advice you've ever been given?
Maria: Just write! You're gonna write a lot of bad songs before you write good ones, and your songs will continue to get better as you are constantly growing.
And don't get caught up comparing your song to someone else's. Music and lyrics are personal to the artist and that is what makes songs special.
You are playing a show at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City on April 7, the same day this song (and this interview!) are released! What are you most excited about for that show?
Maria: Yes, my first time playing there I'm so excited! This is also how I wanted to spend my 27th Birthday this year. I have a really great band playing with me, and I'll be playing 3 unreleased songs I haven't done at a show yet and I can't wait for that first experience of playing those songs live.
Photo Credit: Darren Cementina
What messages do you want listeners to take away from your music?
Maria: It's okay to be vulnerable and I hope my songs can be a safe space for you in whatever it is that you are going through.
What is something about being a songwriter or the songwriting process that people don't usually ask about but you would like people to know?
Maria: Well I often get asked a lot how much money I make being a singer/songwriter and I usually just laugh and say, "I don't". Hopefully at some point I'll get there. But just know not everyone who is a singer/songwriter is lucky enough to get to do this for a living. But I don't create and share my music for funds. I do it because I love songwriting, and it's nice to get to share parts of myself with listeners. The reward in itself is hearing how people are touched by my lyrics or hearing that a song I wrote really helped them.
Interviewed By Tessa Brainard
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