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No to uni. Yes to career in music

After her Erasmus stay in Copenhagen, Maya takes a year off. No more studying for her. She wants to sing, play, write,...and even do yoga: Because it keeps her feet on the ground, she says

Despite a rush of popularity that has almost made her and her duet partner Adrian celebrities overnight, the University Post somehow managed to squeeze in an interview.

A former exchange student at the University of Copenhagen, Maya Lievegoed is one half of a duo that is becoming increasingly popular in Holland, on the verge of going viral through the medium of YouTube.

She is officially finishing her bachelor’s degree in International Development in the Netherlands. But after this she plans to spend at least one year playing and singing in the Maya&Adrian duo before continuing at the university. We caught up with her during a study break on a September afternoon.

How did the Maya&Adrian project start?
»Adrian and me were course mates, so we met at the university. We didn’t speak a lot until one day we ended up playing together, and from the very first moment we felt that it was working, and that the vibrations were good. We also found out that we both had decided to take a year off after graduation. So we met at the right moment!«

Watch the home version of ‘Lose control’ by Maya&Adrian

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Next year: music and freedom

So why had you decided to take a year off?
»Until a few months ago, my plan was to go to Barcelona for a Master and then to Berkeley. But I broke up with my boyfriend, so my projects changed and I decided to give music a chance. I have played and written songs since I was a child, and I think this moment is perfect to work on music: I have a lot of freedom, and not so many responsibilities yet.«

Who writes the lyrics?
»Up to now most of the songs we sing have been written by me, but Adrian also wrote some very nice ones and we have already performed his songs as well.«

Where do you find inspiration?
»I think our main source of inspiration is life, especially when things don’t go quite right and you get stuck in the mind or in the heart. When I have problems I need to write, also to relativize what has happened. My songs are like a diary of my emotions, even if sometimes it is difficult to make songs out of emotions. One thing I noticed is that after you have sung a song, you can laugh at it, and the bad situation that inspired it… This helps me a lot!«

Watch the video of “The beauty of life”.
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From Lykke Li to B.B. King

Do you and Adrian play all the instruments we hear in the songs?
»We play both the big things, such as the piano and the guitar, and the small things such as the melodica and the xylophone. Sometimes there is also a friend of ours who plays the cello, or another one who plays the trumpet. It would be great if we could continue to be an open band and stay as dynamic as life itself.«

What artists inspire you?
»I like the Nordic singer-songwriters, such as Lykke Li and Emiliana Torrini. But also B.B. King, Richard Bona and others…«

You have played at many festivals in the Netherlands. What is your dream location?
»The most important thing for us is to play in an intimate location, because we like to interact with our audience. In our concerts we don’t do any special act, but try instead to get into contact with the people listening and to build a nice experience together. This would be more difficult in a big concert hall, but maybe in the future it will happen, we’ll see.«

Here you can watch to a recent performance by Maya&Adrian:

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Music to sing aloud

What are you working on at the moment?
»We have been asked to compose some song for Fabulæ, a short movie made by an artist here in Wageningen. This is a great challenge for us because, unlike what we usually do, we will have to channel our inspiration.«

One of the recurrent themes in your songs is yoga. Do you like it?
»Yes! I try to do yoga every day. It helps to have a healthy lifestyle, and this is easy to lose when you perform late at night. Moreover, I like yoga because it helps me meditate, and keep my feet on the ground.«

When do you suggest listening to your songs?
»I think the best thing is to listen to them when you can sing along with them aloud. Besides that, I think they are good for any moment, also when you feel down: One of the messages we want to give is, to have hope, and to take it easy!«

Say goodbye to Maya&Adrian watching their most clicked video:

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Check out the Maya&Adrian upcoming concerts here.

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