Maya Wagner – “Closeted” – Single Review
If you have yourself a copy of the very first Maya Wagner EP…I’d hang onto that in a place somewhere special…you might just have a rarity to be remembered one day. I’m not talking about her upcoming debut EP called Closeted coming out on June 25th this year, no – though I’m sure that’ll be a quality EP too based on what I’ve heard in this here title-track/lead-single of hers – I’m talking about the one she refers to in an old blog posting from back in July of 2019…that record…you diehard fans all know it’s out there, somewhere. But so much has changed between then and now though – wouldn’t you say Maya?
For instance…at that same time, she was just “currently getting ready to go off to college at Berklee College of Music in Boston” – and now, only two years later, we’re all gonna be essentially scrambling to get one of the seats on her bandwagon before she takes off like a rocket. I mean…trust me…if you’re just hearing the name Maya Wagner for the first time like I am, we’re already late to the party – she was declared the winner of The Kennedy Center’s VSA International Young Sololist Award in 2019, she’s played festivals & shows of all kinds now, recorded collaborations & more – and she’s still technically getting warmed up! Where Wagner could go with her future…the potential is virtually limitless y’all.
So don’t think of this so much as a rebranding, so much as it’s a re-launch of her professional career as a musician with a lifelong career ahead of her and an extremely bright future to come. According to her bio online & whatnot – she’s twenty years old – and words cannot express just how much possibility lies in Maya’s future…no joke folks, she’s spectacularly rare. This girl from Jersey can sing, she can play, she writes like a fearless warrior & veteran of the scene already…and mark my words, she’s gonna go the distance. “Closeted” is an award-worthy tune when it comes right down to it…and if she sounds this good from the get-go…trust me when I say, she’s only gonna get better & better as the years go by and time & experience continue to work their magic in tandem with her dedication & desire to do this music thang. Because skills she’s got, yes – undeniably – but it’s truly her passion & interest that are going to push her right over the top and make Maya Wagner the household name she deserves to be. There’s a genuine leader brewing in this sensational new artist…you can see that radiating through her spirit from her posts online every bit as much as you can hear it through her music if you’re really paying attention.
It’s not just the fact that she proudly identifies with the LGBTQ community – it’s 100% about how she expresses it with such remarkable confidence, surgical precision, and genuine heart. “Closeted” is one of those songs that SO MANY people out there are going to identify with & relate to – they’re going to hear this single, and they’re going to be blown away at the level of humble honesty & directness of this song and how it addresses so many important thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are far too often forced to be swept right under the rug, rather than celebrated as they should be. “Closeted” is a tale of young love kept secret & never fully realized…it’s every bit as heartbreaking as it is catchy & radiantly sweet at the same time. “She kept me in the closet for so long…I was in love – I even wrote a sad song…and now she’s gone” – that’s the first line you’ll hear in the hook of her chorus and she’s nailed every part of it. Through the edge you’ll find in the intensity of her emotional vocals…you know what you’re hearing isn’t fictional – this is based on real-life experience – and if it IS fictional, give her a second award, because we believe every word she sings. I’m betting on reality for sure – what you’ll hear in “Closeted” transcends great songwriting…this is personal…this is real for Maya, and as a result, it’s just as real to us as listeners. If you’re on the inside of the LGBTQ community, there’s a chance you’ll not only hear a song like “Closeted” and feel like you can relate to Wagner’s every word – but just as much of a chance that many of you will hear a song like this when you truly need to hear it the most. Those pivotal points along the way where you’re wondering about which direction to take, and whether or not to go for it…whether it’s even okay to think the thoughts you’re thinking, let alone act on them – Maya’s got a song that’ll comfort so many listeners in all the right ways by proving that she’s been there. Sure she’s singing her song – but at the very same time, she’s singing on behalf of so many, you feel me? And if you’re on the outside of the LGBTQ community, whether you’re an ally or otherwise, you’ll discover an artist with a genuine gift for lyricism and an insightful song that’s bound to give you plenty of insight into what growing up and finding your way in life & love is like in a world where that ain’t so easy to do. Most straight people out there would have no concept of how extraordinarily tough things can be – I’d never even begin to claim I have any real idea myself, but I certainly empathize in every way – listening to Maya sing about how she’s finding love, and truly it seems like love is finding her in return as well on “Closeted” too – but before it even has a chance to blossom, it has to be hidden away from parental figures and the world at-large…it’s devastating really. I don’t know what kind of planet you all want to live on, but the one I’m continually fighting for is the one that lets love rule this world as freely as it should, in all forms. Everyone should have every right to love who they wanna love and be loved in return…and if it was all that simple, what a beautiful world this would be I tell ya. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, still to this day…in so many places throughout this planet of ours, that we supposedly share, we’re still having a debate about all this somehow – like for real, wtf? Waiting for this place to evolve sometimes can be maddening…and again, I can only imagine what it would be like to be in Maya’s shoes & face the obstacles she’s had to overcome, simply in the pursuit of finding love, or even just becoming comfortable with herself along the way through life in a world that’s not nearly as accepting as it should be, still. What I loved about “Closeted,” perhaps beyond all things, was how open, honest, and incredibly real this experience was to listen to…it’s the fact that Maya sings this so boldly, so professionally, and so confidently that you know she IS comfortable in her skin and proud of who she is – and so she should be! Once you reach that point, you realize that you’re able to help others get there as well…and to me, that’s just as much of what “Closeted” is about as the subject matter itself; this is a song intended to reach people out there and let them know they’re not alone in how they feel, or what they experience. With her hooks on-point at all times and her melody as well – “Closeted” provides authentic substance with meaningful words and brilliantly accurate lyrical imagery…and I feel like there are a whole lot of people out there that are going to truly appreciate a song like this on several levels – and yep, you can consider me one of’em. Maya’s a star, that’s just the facts – but she’s also a leader – it’s through her own genuine connection to music that she’s found a way to express herself in the most pure & true form possible, and through what she does, she’s going to help a lot of people in the process.
Plus…like…I mean…she’s got this extremely rad Lily Allen thing goin’ on with the vibrantly colorful sound & soulful Pop bounce in this single “Closeted,” and that’s really damn exciting to me. All green lights ahead for Maya Wagner as far as my ears are concerned – and yours too, I’d be willing to bet. She’s a fantastic songwriter, an excellent singer, clearly a great human being, and an important new artist on the scene with material that should have no problem at all finding her way to the top of your playlists.
Find out more about Maya Wagner at her official homepage at: https://www.mayawagnermusic.com
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