“Calabasas is a monster but they say it somehow signals the future of American cities,” says performer and producer Maria Minerva about the secluded and affluent suburb of Southern California, famous for its celebrities. “It’s very close to nature, but the nature and the mountains almost act like a line of defence against people that they don’t want to come there.” Speaking to editor Steph Kretowicz for AQNB’s latest Artist Statement podcast, the usually Los Angeles-based Estonian artist talks from her temporary base in New Jersey about how her approach to life and music has changed since moving to the United States in 2012.
Maria released her fifth solo album Soft Power after an extended, six year hiatus, somewhat anticlimactically while America was (and is) still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. Out in September via Not Not Fun sister label 100% Silk, the album is the first to be co-produced (with Adam Gunther) and her most high fidelity, danceable and energetic release to date. Maria made a name for herself in the early 2010s for her self-conscious bedroom productions of nu disco and lo-fi pop before landing in Los Angeles and detouring into a career in environmental advocacy. This comeback was stalled by coronavirus.
‘Wilderness Years’ is the latest in our Artist Statement podcast series, with past episodes, featuring Colin Self, Lawrence Lek, Lucrecia Dalt, Jonnine Standish and more. The full episode is accessible to our subscribers right now on Patreon. Sign up now: www.patreon.com/aqnb.**