“Maia has a quiet fire inside of her, the voice of an angel and the soul of a poet,” wrote one fan after watching Pillot perform.
Maia Pillot received her first guitar when she was four years old and has been writing songs ever since. But even as an infant, Maia understood the transformative effect music can have on the soul. As a fussy baby, she’d cry almost every evening at seven like clockwork. Her parents tried every method in their parenting books to get her to stop. Nothing worked, until they happened to put on the Paul Simon song “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes.” Once the first few notes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s chorus came through the speakers, Maia instantly stopped wailing. This song became her nightly lullaby.
She credits songwriting as being the constant that’s gotten her through both the good times and the bad. Whether it’s debating taking a terrifying leap into the unknown, grappling with the pain of a heart-wrenching breakup, or celebrating the fullness of a loved one’s life after their passing, for Pillot, writing songs is a cathartic way to process life’s passages. Her motivation for sharing her music is to connect with others going through similar experiences and help them feel like they’re not alone.
Her first single, “Gentle Heart,” which is now out, has a captivating opening guitar riff that paves the way for Maia's angelic voice to take over. The lyrics speak to how we're all gentle hearted and can easily fall apart at any time. It is directed at a partner, begging for another chance at making right past wrongs.
Maia is from Greenwich Village, NYC. She began her music career in her early twenties when she formed a five-person folk-rock band, Maia & The Pilots. Together, they performed in venues like Rockwood Music Hall, where many new hit indie bands play, and the Bitter End, where Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Bob Dylan all got their start. Six years ago, Pillot visited Portland, Oregon and felt it calling her name. She was drawn to its natural beauty, its small(er) city vibe, its queer community, and its indie music scene. Since moving there, Maia has honed her unique indie-pop sound that’s a cross between Sylvan Esso and Feist. She has put her heart and soul into more upcoming singles and is excited to be sharing them soon.