SM_JGNP-Spin-STUBBS-03-18-16-Kirby-3621

Rising Singer/Songwriter Kirby Maurier Talks GRAMMY Amplifier and Her New Love of the Beatles

Photo credit: Erik Voake

When the Recording Academy and Hyundai launched the 2016 edition of the GRAMMY Amplifier program, they had one goal: Giving independent artists a louder voice. This year’s edition saw thousands of submissions carved down to 25 then 10 finalists, with curators Big Sean, Sam Hunt, and Lzzy Hale selecting the final three deserving winners. Kirby Maurier, an Arkansas-born and Miami-bred MC and vocalist, nabbed one of the coveted spots in this year’s winner’s circle. Here’s her story.

There are two types of musicians in the world: some try to catch the wave while it’s happening, grafting their personal style onto the dominant sound of their era and doing their best to stand out from a crowded lineup. Others just have the wave crash around them, making music they love without giving much thought to where they fit in the musical tide. Kirby Maurier is firmly in the second camp. The young artist fits somewhere along a long continuum stretching from pop divas like her idol Mariah Carey, R&B mavens like Tinashe, and MCs like Azealia Banks and Dej Loaf. But Maurier’s tastes and influences bend past that arc of pop and hip-hop. In fact, she told VIBE that she’s been finding inspiration in a new source lately: the Beatles. “I heard a couple of songs — ‘Yesterday’ and all that stuff — but I didn’t get what the big deal was. But when I went to the Love show in Las Vegas and it put visuals to the songs I was sold. I downloaded all of it.”

If it isn’t obvious by now, Maurier isn’t satisfied sitting in one place in the music scene. “I’m not trying to fit in, my music is whatever comes out of me at the time,” she told VIBE. Her 2015 album, Doing the Most, put her heterodoxy on display with flashes of soul, R&B, trap, and good old fashioned pop hooks providing the bedrock for an uncommonly tight independent release. That independent spirit won her a coveted spot in the GRAMMY Amplifier program where she’s earned live performance opportunities, including an intimate songwriters show in San Francisco and high-profile industry showcase in Los Angeles. After that? “I’d love to say ‘Oh, I sold out Madison Square Garden’ one day.” If her dedication is any indication, she may be well on her way.

Photo credit: Erik Voake

From the Web

More on Vibe

You’re Invited: VIBE VSessions in Los Angeles with Casey Veggies, Kodie Shane, and Buddy

Calling all Los Angeles teens! We are gearing up for our third and final VIBE VSessions — a FREE live concert series in partnership with Fresh Empire, a lifestyle brand dedicated to encouraging youth to reach their goals tobacco-free. The show is open to music lovers ages 13 to 19 and will host some of the most exciting up-and-coming names in hip-hop.

The VIBE VSessions event will feature full sets by LA's own Casey Veggies, Lil Yachty-endorsed Atlanta prodigy Kodie Shane, and rising star Buddy. Host DJ Hed will kick off the night. Attendees at the show will have the chance to take part in on-site giveaways, artist meet-and-greets, and more.

Join us on Saturday, May 13th from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at Hyde on Sunset Boulevard.

Mandatory RSVP at Vibevsessions.eventbrite.com for tickets. Please note entrance is based on capacity so get there early!

Continue Reading
Paul R. Giunta

Metro Boomin Rocks Fresh Empire and VIBE's VSessions Feat. YG, Speakerfoxxx, and DJ Jelly

VIBE VSessions descended to Atlanta for a highly-anticipated night of high-powered DJ sets. In an effort to promote a tobacco-free lifestyle, teens ranging from ages 13-19 filled the dance floor at The Loft's Center Stage, a premiere concert venue located in the heart of midtown. V-103's Big Tigger served as the host setting the tone for the Fresh Empire “lituation.”

While attendees laced up with free swag and photos ops, the show kicked off with Southern Style DJ's own DJ Jelly spinning a 45-minute selection of old and new school hip-hop bangers, ranging from legendary rap collective the Dungeon Family down to trap superstar Young Thug. The energy in the room was pure pandemonium leading to the flawless introduction of Speakerfoxxx, better known as “The Queen of ATL.”

“There is no better place than performing at home,” she said while jumping into her set playing an eclectic mix of hip-hop infused electronic records. The Atlanta native made sure concert-goers enjoyed every minute of their escape from the parentals. Whether she was playing the latest from Gucci Mane, Lil Uzi or 2 Chainz, the crowd just couldn’t stop dabbing to the beats.

Speakerfoxxx kept the momentum going for one hour before her close friend and headliner Metro Boomin hit the stage to wrap up the evening. His cult following began shouting, “If Young Metro don’t trust you,” and from that point, the vibe in the crowd skyrocketed to 100 - real quick. It was only right that he began his set with songs from close comrades Future and Drake like “Where Ya A** Was At,” “Jersey,” and the ultimate ATL anthem “Bad and Bougie” by Migos.

Popular YouTube dancers Meechie and Toosi came and kicked it along with upcoming rapper Sahbaii who performed “Pull Up Wit Ah Stick," the latest hit single Metro is co-signing as next to top the charts. West Coast rapper YG also popped up and rapped a few bars from "Who Do You Love" on his studio album, My Krazy Life and more.

Before the show ended three lucky teens got the chance to win a meet-and-greet with Metro himself. The Atlanta edition of VIBE's VSessions was certainly one for the books and the perfect interlude before the Falcons played in the NFL championship on Super Bowl Sunday.

Fresh Empire's national campaign promotes tobacco-free living while educating youth about the health risks with smoking cigarettes. According to the CDC, each day in the United States, more than 3,200 youth aged 18 years or younger smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily cigarette smokers. Additionally, if smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness.

Continue Reading

You’re Invited: VIBE VSessions, Atlanta

Calling all ATL teens!  — We are gearing up for our second VIBE VSessions – a FREE live concert series – in partnership with Fresh Empire, a lifestyle brand dedicated to encouraging the youth to reach their goals tobacco free. The four-show series will be open to music lovers ages 13 -19 and feature some of the biggest artists in hip-hop.

The VIBE VSessions show, hosted by Big Tigger, will feature V103's DJ Jelly, Atlanta's own, Speakerfoxxx, and headliner Metro Boomin,. At the show, attendees will have the chance to take part in on-site giveaways, artist meet-and-greets and more.

Join us on Friday, February 3rd at 7pm at The Loft. Mandatory RSVP at Vibevsessions.eventbrite.com. Please note entrance is based on capacity so get there early!

Additional VIBE VSessions showcases are planned in Los Angeles and Chicago throughout 2017. Stay tuned for artists and dates to be announced.

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories