Maïa Barouh (JPN)


A real punk shaman!

She sings using a special throat technique from a small island in the South of Japan, mixing it with modern and electric sounds, but the flute is her first instrument. She grew up on classical music and jazz, and transformed the way she played as she started making her own music improvising, singing with her flute and using it as percussion.

Because of her background, her childhood spent travelling and listening to live music from all around the world, her music takes us deep into Japan but resonates sometimes with singing from Gipsy, Middle Eastern or African musical traditions. but always transformed in MaÏa’ s sound with modernity.

The earthquake and the nuclear accident that hit Japan on March 11, 2011 marked a turning point in Maïa’s development as a musician. The man-made catastrophe and the destruction that followed pushed her to re-root herself deeply in the musical traditions of Japan, gathering the songs of fishermen, villagers and peasants in the region of Fukushima, and take them out to the wider world, in her own interpretation, as a testimony to the richness and the power of an area now reduced to rubble.

Maïa has already released several albums in Japan and performed with artists like Arto Lindsay, Cyro Baptista, Kip Hanrahan and Yasuaki Shimizu. But this latest project, produced  by the legendary Martin Meissonnier (who has worked with the likes of Fela Kuti, Robert Plant & Jimmy Page, Khaled and Manu Dibango) is something completely new.

The album ‘Kodama’ was released in 2015 in UK,France and Japan.After having lived in her two home countries, Japan and France, Maïa made the move to London in search of new adventures in a new city. Backed by powerful musicians and a free-flowing instinct that transcends national borders, Maïa offers an extraordinarily broad melodic landscape where melancholy and madness ride over percussive grooves, trance-like dance tunes and stripped-down a cappella singing.