There's more than just rhythm and melody to Maya Azucena's music; there's also a message. The soulful artist uses her talent to create awareness and inspire others to change the world. Her latest philanthropic endeavor is the video, "Dance Revolution," produced by DJ Spinna and directed by Rae Maxwell. The track was just released last week to mark the one-month countdown to One Billion Rising, a Global Day of Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls on February 14th. This magnificent cause is one close to Maya's heart because she has personally experienced domestic violence.
Maya was born in Brooklyn and attended the famous Performing Arts High School where she studied singing. After graduation, she found work as a backup singer and even pursued acting. Maya began collaborating with a variety of performers from different genres, including Roberta Flack and Stephen Marley. The soul/pop/jazz artist has independently released several critically-acclaimed albums, including her 2003 debut, Maya Who?!, Junkyard Jewel and her latest offering, Cry Love. Maya's had her music featured on HBOâ��s The Wire, NBC's 30 Rock as well as in advertisements for Verizon Wireless and Ford. She also gained a reputation for advocacy by co-founding MDGFive.com, a site using art to raise awareness for better maternal health. In 2010, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hand-picked Maya to be the exclusive performer at the Every Woman Every Child event. She's toured around the world, bringing her music and message to Tanzania, Croatia, Sri Lanka and Honduras, just to name a few. Now Maya is intimately involved in the One Billion Rising campaign, the brainchild of The Vagina Monologues author and activist Eve Ensler. We love the fact that Maya not only makes fantastic music, but makes a real difference as well.
Watch Maya's video for "Dance Revolution" below and mark your calendar to rise up on February 14th before heading over to I AM THAT GIRL's YouTube channel. While you'��re there, don't forget to tune into our Music Mondays playlist, which is updated every week.
Image courtesy of Rae Maxwell