We had the good fortune of connecting with Meaghan Maples and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meaghan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
As a kid growing up in the nineties, the conventional path was spelled out; finish high school with flying colors, go to university, get a great job, meet a great guy, have some kids, keep your credit better than terrible… maybe toss in the quintessential soul search abroad during the quarter-life crisis portion. Any path outside of those very practical life choices felt like a risk to me. The course of a woman’s life can be easily guided by society and family and cultural influences, and those paths are beautiful and organic for some, and for others of us, there’s a tether to stray from the implied norm and carve an alternative adventure. I’m 35 years old and have learned a lot by just being a woman of color in a challenging and oversaturated industry. Taking over a decade to get my degree, choosing not to settle down right away, growing to love my curvy body, and working hard to live whole and well and full of joy… to be honest, those things feel like home to me, but their very nature could be seen as a cultural rebellion. When I chose to make music my life path, I knew there would be plenty of hurdles and that I may never feel all the way ready, but waking up every morning knowing my time will be filled doing what I love most, make all the risk, and rejection, and seasons of restlessness or financial struggle totally worth it. I’ve grown from every risk taken and if given the opportunity to do it all again, I would in a heartbeat.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been singing for over twenty years. I started out singing in church and classical choirs and eventually grew in my practice of songwriting and live performance. I have a fun, vibrant pop vintage-soul project called Mama Haze. I also have some stripped back raw, live recordings of music under my name Meaghan Maples. I believe what sets me apart creatively is the sense of home and family I create in all of my workspaces. Whether it be a show, a rehearsal, or a collaboration, I want everyone who I connect with to feel seen and known. I want every person that watches and listens to feel not just entertained, but connected to the music in some way. I also happen to be the silliest lady so there’s always an element of joy and amusement present throughout a show. I come alive during performances and want to put on a fantastic event, but I never want anyone to feel like they’re completely on the outside. I was a nanny for 15 years and have worked as a barista, elderly caregiver, production assistant, social worker, and artist mentor. All while steadily writing and performing and growing my network of collaborators and business contacts to make music my main thing. I’ve held a job since I was 15 years old. My parents instilled in me a hard work ethic, and more importantly than just showing up, I learned that consistency and excellence in any job big or small is what sets someone apart. I was never too diva to scrub a toilet or change a diaper or pick up an extra shift. I treated everything the way I treated music. The same went for relationsnips… I did my best to treat my friend, fellow musicians, and family members with the same reverence and value as I would a boss or networking connect. Sucess and money will come and go, but your relationships will always have an immeasurable impact on your life and a remarkable impact on everything you do. I want the world to know that I consider it a great privilege to make beautiful things for a living, and that I love knowing I can build a life on the support of their open hearts and listening ears. From what I’ve learned over the years, the life of an artist is just the life of a human on colorful display. I think some of the greatest and most remarkable exhibits of creativity through music and visuals are ones that have the power to put you back in touch with a story, experience or sensation from your own life. I will spend my lifetime doing my best to share my imagination and my heart through songs and experiences.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shoutout Krysta Masciale. She’s become a close friend and fierce ally, but we started out much differently. I was a caregiver for her children from their newborn to toddler phases, and at that point in our lives she was a badass new mom running her own branding strategy firm and I was an LA newbie juggling 3 jobs to get by and get my career off the ground. She was a source of encouragement, support, honesty, and motivation during my season with her family in their home. Leaving them to move into music full time was equally celebratory and painful. Over the years we’ve continued to nurture our friendship and support one another throughout career leaps, setbacks, global disaster, the current civil rights movement, and much more. Our connection is an example of how powerful female support, love, and allyship are. When pettiness, competition, and defenses are down, these ties can be powerful and they supersede socio-economic, professional, and racial lines. Krysta and her husband are creating platforms for incredible, necessary, justice centric conversations right now, and I highly recommend anyone reading this go check her out. @krystamasciale @rebrandingamerica