Last week, Ally went to see a performance by the up-and-coming musician and singer-songwriter Maya Kally. Having not long released her latest single ‘We’re Waiting’, the jazz fusion artist describes her music as ‘‘an eccentric flow of conscious writing; the merging minds of Fiona Apple and The Beatles".
Maya Kally was born in North London and graduated from Leeds College of Music at the back end of 2018. Discussing her inspirations, Maya claims she takes stimulus from living in cities and finding serenity in fast-paced environments. Often writing about past experiences and human development, Maya confesses that she always stops to analyse her surroundings.
Maya’s appreciation of surroundings seems fitting as the gig took place in an iconic venue.
Situated near the banks of the Thames at Putney Bridge, The Half Moon has been entertaining crowds with legendary performers since the 1960s The Half Moon has showcased legendary names such as The Rolling Stones, The Who and U2. On top of this, Kate Bush made her debut public performance here, and Elvis Costello even held a residency here.
Upon entering the performance room, the mood is immediately deviated by the audience’s immersion within the intricate low-lit space. The room is intimate and quaint, but this mood is amusingly interspersed by the bar staff discarding glass out back, or the performers occasionally distracted by audience members sneaking in and out of a pesky creaky door.
Maya walked onto the stage with her bassist Nicola Traversa, not saying a word to the audience before she stridently began her set with an interchanging drum groove on her djembe. The opening song set the scene for the remainder of the performance. As Maya opened her mouth, she let unleashed her deep recognisable singing style, paired with lyrics that trace political and racial themes.
Following the pair’s opening song, which was dominated by alternating complex rhythmic patterns, Maya reached out to the audience in her bubbly and light-hearted manner. This is an aspect which is so compelling about Maya’s performances, they are guided by her confident mannerisms matched with a huge beaming smile across her face. There is no doubt that she is an entertainer and loves every minute of it. This energy and enthusiasm for her craft could help explain the singer’s synergy with the impressive bass playing by Nicola, who was only playing with her publicly for the second time– you certainly wouldn’t have noticed!
Maya’s performance showed great depth throughout. The multi-instrumentalist singer flipped between slower ballads and groovier soul-filled numbers. What was also impressive was the way she harnessed the full potential of her voice. Although many of her songs utilise her deep tones, she also sang eloquently within the higher registers, demonstrating great maturity and comfort in her vocal abilities. Another highlight of the gig was her scat singing within the penultimate song, once more revealing a great understanding of her abilities.
The Half Moon in Putney has seen many artists perform on its prolific stage, often at the start of their careers. It is worth keeping an eye and ear on Maya Kally’s budding career, as she could be soon be added to those famous names.
Maya will be performing at The Old Queens Head (London) on the 22nd of August, and then Belgrave Music Hall (Leeds) on the 20th of October.
Keep an eye out for our interview with Maya, which will be posted shortly.
You can follow Maya here: https://www.facebook.com/mayakallymusic/