We recently had the opportunity to sit down with the notorious “musical prophet” Kung-Fu Jesus.
Mary Ann Caneba is based in the town of Keweenaw, in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, USA, but her groundbreaking and alluring work has gained a remarkable interest across the globe. This artist will almost certainly continue her rise with the recent release of her groundbreaking new album “Maybe Tomorrow”.
We were so impressed by the creativity and thoughtfulness showcased within her newest album, that we just had to learn more about this incredible artist. Mary was kind enough to take the time to answer some of our questions.
I love how you manage to render your tracks so personal and immersive. Does the melody come first, or do you focus on the beat the most?
Mary: The song idea and rough lyrics usually come first since I aim to deliver a message with every song. Then the melody is developed hand in hand with revisions on the lyrics until they are tightly woven. The beats also become obvious and inevitable during this time, as a result of the phrasing and syllabication of the lyrics. Since most of my songs are of the multi-genre, easy listening variety, achieving a particular beat is not a main objective at the start of my songwriting process.
Do you perform live? If so, do you feel more comfortable on a stage or within the walls of the recording studio?
Mary: If the opportunity presents itself soon enough, I might muster the courage to perform live, if only to get my music out to an audience. I released my debut album in 2016, so I am relatively new and a complete unknown to the industry. I feel more comfortable and content performing in a recording studio for now.
If you could only pick one song to make a “first impression” on a new listener, which song would you pick and why?
My songs reflect the gleanings of one aged 50-plus, in an effort to stay relevant with current times and to augment the nostalgic music of one’s younger days. Not knowing anything else about the new listener and what will move him/her and considering that my songs are of varying themes, it’s difficult to pick just one song. I have other favorites in my first album as well. But from my second album I’ll have to pick two. First, the song, Maybe Tomorrow, because it is an inspiring song about something we all have experienced or might experience sometime in our life – illness and despair. Second, the song, I Now Kiss the Day, Goodnight, because it is a feel-good preparation for sleep which is something we all desire. The song is a unique contemporary lullaby celebrating the day just about to be over, the night now here, and the next day to come. It lends nicely to end celebrations and events, and to sign-offs of mass media broadcasts. Furthermore, these songs are relatively shorter than most of my songs (only 4-5 min long), and well arranged in my opinion. Lastly, since I have a deep personal connection to them, I can likely render them justice even in a live performance, in case I am fortunate to be given that chance soon enough.
What does it take to be “innovative” in music?
To a singer/songwriter, being “innovative” is being able to write, arrange, and render one’s own songs. Being innovative is being able to tread uncharted waters in order to create, fill, and promote one’s own unique niche even in a field so crowded, such that getting heard becomes a possibility and not an exception. Speaking only from my viewpoint as an unknown inexperienced artist, I would say that it would take some basic know-how, a creative inclination, and a determination with the hide of an elephant to create, to fill, and to promote that niche. Innovation is embodied in the originality of the music, in the subject matter of the lyrics, in the robustness of the arrangements, and in the unorthodox approaches in promoting the product. Inventiveness is a driving force in me from how I try to find solutions despite meager means in many aspects of my life including music. I know some basic music theory and I have had engineering and business exposure. Not affording the luxury of a band of real instrumentalists to render my arrangements, I use virtual instruments, a technological innovation open to anyone. Even though they could not replicate the camaraderie of a real band, I am content just being able to concentrate on creating music that is limited only by my imagination, the depth of the voices calling out from my heart, and the strength of my lungs through my vocal chords. The result, being able to create a completed original product to fill my niche, is now within my means.
Any upcoming release or tour your way?
Mary: My goal is to release one album or several singles at least every year while I still can. Most likely my 3rd album or several singles will come out sometime in Spring or early Summer 2018.
There are no tours coming my way and I have already accepted that fate. In fact I have devoted a whole page (Virtual Tour) about this predicament in my website. Being able to send my message through musical recordings to others willing to listen is blessing enough.
Anywhere online where curious fans can listen to your music and find out more about you?
Mary: One can read my artist bio, my virtual tour page, and view 90-second nature video clips of each song at my newly created free wix website:
Please give it a visit and if you like the music, kindly help me spread the word.
Mary Caneba is an artist that you simply CAN’T IGNORE!
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