Photography by Kristian Arcos
Strong female artists abound in the City of Brotherly Love, but few have the bright vibe and connectivity of Maria Maslin. Maslin, the Philly-based pop powerhouse and Rock On Philly’s April Artist of the Month, has been gigging around the city and sharing her music with the local community for years, but she is now reaching the hearts and ears of listeners worldwide with her debut EP Just Me (available on iTunes, and on Spotify). The relatable lyrics and the infectious melodies of each track, coupled with Maslin’s honest vocals, make for a spring soundtrack that will carry you down the city streets and straight into the summer. Rock On Philly had the pleasure of chatting with Maslin about her sound, her new EP, and her view of the music scene as a Philadelphian.
ROP: Congratulations on being our Artist of the Month, and moreover, congratulations on the release of your new EP!
For readers who aren’t familiar with your sound, could you provide a quick introduction to yourself? What inspired you to start making music, and what continues to drive you to create?
Maria Maslin: It seems a little bit contradictory, but my music has an upbeat yet laid back pop vibe. I’ve always used writing to express my feelings. Then, when I was about nine or ten years-old, I put my words to music and it suddenly made so much sense to me that writing music was what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. I will never stop writing music. Through all of the crazy things that happen in life, music is my constant good thing. It is the one thing I can always turn to as an emotional release.
ROP: We love your acoustic vibe, your relatable lyrics, and your infectious melodic hooks. Who / what would you say are your musical influences?
MM: Thank you so much! I have many musical influences but a few key players who helped mold me as an artist are Christina Perri, Coldplay, and Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Their writing styles definitely influenced the way that I write my own music. The things that influence my writing are events in my life that strike me in a big way: changes, heartbreak, love, etc…
ROP: Just Me, your new EP, was recently released on March 30. How would you describe the process of creating and recording that EP? How does it feel now that you can finally share the music with your listeners?
MM: Yes! I’m super excited about the release of my first album. The whole process from writing to recording to designing the album art was so amazing. It was really great to see these skeleton ideas I had one year ago slowly grow into a full-fledged EP. It feels unreal that people can finally listen to the songs that I’ve spent so much time and love creating. When someone tells me that they can relate to my lyrics and the stories I tell through my music, it makes all the blood, sweat, and tears worth it. That’s my favorite part, the impact it has on my fans.
MM: I love to cover a song and sing it in my own way. For example, I recently covered “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber and that was a fun one to record. Sometimes, I even like to cover a song outside of my typical pop genre and give it that pop twist.
ROP: Philadelphia is known for its rich culture and soulful musical history. What impact does Philly have on your music, as a local musician?
MM: Being able to live so close to a city with a big music presence and history has been a great help to my career. Growing up, I attended not only a lot of big name concerts, but also a lot of local music coffee houses and open mic nights. I took notice of every performer, whether big or small, and learned something important from each and every one of them.
ROP: What is your favorite Philadelphia venue for performance? Have you performed at any non-traditional venues in the city?
MM: I loved performing at The Hard Rock Cafe in Philly. It has a great stage and audience set up; definitely a really fun venue. I also perform at bars and restaurants all the time, so I get a pretty well rounded view of the different music scenes.
ROP: Now that you’ve released Just Me and become Rock On Philly’s April Artist of the Month, what can we expect from you moving forward?
MM: I’m hoping to do a mini tour in the fall of 2016, so that dream is currently in the works. I am constantly writing new material, so always keep an eye out for some new music from me. All in all, I just hope that people give “Just Me” a listen and that they can connect with it in some way. Even if my music helps one person, my job is a successful one.
What is your favorite Maria Maslin song? Tell us in the comments below!