New York, NY May 9, 2007 – Critically acclaimed songbird and Purpose Records recording artist Maya Azucena is set to release her sophomore album “Junkyard Jewel” on Tuesday, May 15th. “Junkyard Jewel”, is already creating a huge buzz amongst industry insiders with the release of the title track “Junkyard Jewel” to radio. “The song is just infectious”, says the programmer at WHCR radio.
When singer/songwriter Maya Azucena released her solid, soulfully funky, debut CD, aptly titled Maya Who?!, it was meant to playfully address how many responded to hearing her exotic surname for the first time. However, after hearing her music or seeing her perform that question was quickly spun to echo those keenly wanting to know, who this strikingly talented new artist on the scene was. They were no doubt quick to discover what has been described as her passion, sass and been there authenticity and a voice that’s diva strong and compelling. “I sing what I mean and what I feel from the bottom of my heart,” says Maya with an undeniable tone of sincerity and it undoubtedly comes through in all she does as it has earned her streams of love, admiration, respect and opportunity. CDBaby.com, the well-regarded online music store where Maya’s internationally acclaimed and popular CD remains in the Urban/R&B Top Sellers list, was encouraged to say This soul/R&B/hip hop album is a fantastic launching point for a young woman with a bright and long career ahead of her.
“Junkyard Jewel is album that I can identify with for many reasons, says Maya, one of them being that it is my second-born and I was able to convey my experiences from the first album, traveling around the world and to where I am now”, expresses Maya. The album is fueled by the guitar work of Ver Halen and a solid band consisting of percussionist Ivan Katz, bassist Jason DiMatteo, violinist Tarrah Reynolds and cellist David Gotay. Maya’s expressive voice shines in the midtempo “Set You Free”, “Runaway Blues” and “Like No Other”. “Ballads such as “Wash Over” and the title cut “Junkyard Jewel,” put Maya’s soulful voice above the rest. Her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has been a fan favorite at shows and now, finally recorded, is notable, inspiring and hair-raising.
The attractive Brooklyn , NY native fueled by an obsession for crafting riveting tracks and stirring up faithful audiences with spirited live sets has since taken on “hardest-working” status. Not only has a burgeoning rÃ©sumÃ© of impressive accomplishments been the result, but also a resounding buzz often reserved for those touted as a star in the making. The range of those accomplishments is a reflection of the truly creative artist she is and the enormous ability she possesses proving the buzz is certainly warranted. AllHipHop.com recently named the one time aspiring actress “Best Alternative Artist of the Year, while Soultracks.com has touted her as a “Best Female Vocalist of the Year” nominee.
Maya Azucena has shared stages or been on bills with legendary artists, vets and newcomers from the worlds of R&B, Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz, Rock and more. Artists such as Roberta Flack, Bilal, Martin Luther, Jaguar Wright, Joss Stone, Leon Ware, Richard Bona, Lupe Fiasco, Big Daddy Kane, the Isley Brothers, Gladys Knight, Anthony Hamilton, Platinum Pied Pipers, and John Legend. In addition to crisscrossing the US with riveting performances she’s toured cities in Canada, Italy, England as well as Stockholm, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Croatia where Croatian superstar, Gibonni enlisted Maya’s vocal talents for a track on his latest CD named, “Andejo U Tebia” (”Angel In You”). As a result their collaboration garnered 2 Croatian Grammy awards and a stellar performance at the televised ceremony.
Maya is also featured on Grammy-winning producer/songwriter and son of the legendary Bob Marley, Stephen Marley’s track, “Let Her Dance”, from his latest Universal/Tuff Gong release Mind Control. Maya currently has the #3 spot on BILLBOARD’S Hot Dance chart with the single, â€œMake It Happenâ€ on Kult Records. And there is still a long list of collaborations with notable producers such as Devo Springsteen, Rich Medina, DJ Bob Sinclair and Jonathan Peters, among others. In addition to her voice grabbing your attention through national NAIR commercials in “The Less You Wear” campaign and others for Icy Hot, Macya’s INC, Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Longhorn Steakhouse, Maya is an activist in her own right. She has sung on Washington DC ‘s historic Mall at the Save Darfur rally against genocide in the Sudan , in solidarity with national activists and celebrities such as Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, and George Clooney.
All that Maya Azucena has done thus far is indeed impressive. Not merely by the amount of things there are, but because of the realization of something taking place that means far more to her. That something is growth. On the back cover of her debut CD she then wrote, “I am a work in progress.” This was both a refreshing and revealing statement. For one, she was being incredibly modest for even then she displayed great ability, poise and professionalism that immediately hoisted her among the premiere artists to watch on the soul scene. But is was also a declaration from the start that she is a sincere, creative artist first, driven by the desire to move an audience emotionally and physically “ challenging herself each time to explore ways to do it differently- do it better.
ARE YOU READY TO EXPLORE THE “JEWEL” THAT IS HIDDEN INSIDE?
* Song collaboration with Croatian Superstar, Gibonni, just won 2 Porin (Croatian Grammys), (April 23, 2007) in the category of Best Song Collaboration and Song of The Year for “Angel In You” (Andeo U Tebi).
* “Make It Happen” holds the #3 spot w/ a bullet on Billboard Hot Dance Chart.
* Maya Azucena’s cameo appearance on NBC’s comedy 30 Rock, featuring Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan and Special Guest LL Cool J. Maya’s indie music video, TOO MUCH, directed by Jason Fisher, was posted on a large flat screen TV in a scene that takes place backstage at the SOURCE Awards with the captions: BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR “ MAYA AZUCENA.
* Maya’s vocals were chosen for the recent JOHNSON & JOHNSON and NAIR National TV/Radio campaign (currently airing now).
* Song collaboration with Stephen Marley, “Let Her Dance”, is generating huge buzz at radio.
* Best Female Vocalist of the Year nominee “ Soul Tracks Readers Choice Awards
* Best Alternative Artist of the Year WINNER“ AllHipHop.com
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