I'm a Singer Songwriter from Manila, Philippines.
In August 2019, I completed the 100 days 100 songs challenge and I shared my journey in Youtube.
Some of you may know me back in 2004-2009 when I was doing music full time. In New York, Toronto, London. Last year, I reignited my creative spark through the challenge and I just kept writing songs and mixing and sharing. This is me living the dream.
Mau Zed or Maui Zafra is a Filipina Singer Songwriter currently based in Manila. She was formerly based in Toronto and New York having carved her niche in the Indie music scene.
Formerly known as the "Folk Rock singer" from Queens, New York, Maui has matured as an artist over the 14 years of being in and out of music scene and she never stopped writing songs even while she is juggling her music with corporate career.
As a songwriter, she writes with veracity, her lyrics are real and her songs reveal her as being fragile yet headstrong in life. "Eversince I started writing, I was compelled to share my struggles, my qualms, my questions and revelations about the world, the familiar and the unfamiliar through my songs... And my songs reveal my strife for change."
Heavily influenced by 80s and 90s Rock, she looks up to Suzanne Vega, Natalie Merchant, Sting & The Police, Tracy Chapman, Cynthia Alexander, the Cranberries, Pearl Jam, Nirvana. "I look up to artists who get out of the box. Who revolutionize music as being true to poetry and expression. Life and meaning. Heart and soul rolled into one great art."(Maui, August 2005)
Born and raised in the Philippines, Maui started out performing with her acoustic and rock bands Otravez & Paradigm during her college years. She earned a Bachelors degree in Technical Theatre. In January 2004, a fresh graduate with a blossoming performing career, Maui took the big leap that most artists would not dare: to take the chance at establishing a career in the international arena. She flew to London, UK, there she formed her own session band N16, a British group of Hard Rock-ers and was set to perform in regular gigs at the Canal Cafe while auditioning in singer-songwriter contests uptown. Maui moved to New York in the same year and decided to fulfill a career as a solo acoustic independent artist. "I lived like a struggling artist. A musician by trade. I experienced the downside of dreaming big... at least 3 months until I find a job. And I did find a job after a month. A job I never thought I'd have but always dreamt of having: "Solo acoustic performer on regular Saturday gig." (Maui, August 2004)
Equipped with her guitar, her passion and persistence, Maui pursued the Indie scene and performed alongside NY songwriters partaking in singer-songwriter sessions in Manhattan. She got her biggest break: winning a spot at the legendary CBGBs, embracing the proverbial 15-minutes-of-fame, where she showcased her own stuff. "My own stuff is rock at its most angst-ridden but positive-vibe-driven. My lyrics are reflections of who I am as a person and I chose to free myself and my creativity in rock because of its edge and purity of emotions built up on big melodies and guitar riffs. I consider myself a raw artist eager for more experience and just become comfortable on stage as I possibly could." (Maui, March 2005)
Mau made a name for herself in the Filipino-American music scene as well, opening the act for Parokya ni Edgar at their concerts in the Avalon and the Perlas ng Silangan bistro. "The feedback I got was absolutely amazing. I'm grateful to be performing with the Parokya boys... Doing this kind of show was the affirmation I've been looking for and now there's no doubt I want to do this again. and again. and again." (Maui, December 2004) She opened for them again in their back to back concert with the Aegis at the John Bassett Theatre in Toronto.
2004-2009: I was a member of the NY Songwriters Circle and performed in songwriter sessions in New York. The most memorable of these sessions is my first performance at the CBGB's Downstairs Lounge, famous for being the Home of Underground Rock. She I have also graced other songwriter showcases such as the weekly Shepard's showcase at Dillon's in Manhattan. In Toronto, I performed in open jams at Free Times, Smiling Buddha's Buddha Plays and Renaissance Cafe's Coffeehouse Cabaret. I opened for Parokya ni Edgar, Filipino band, in their NY-Toronto concert tour. Now, since I got back in Manila, I performed in Cynthia Alexander's Conspiracy Bar and Naked Turtle Bar for Comedy Mayhem Productions.
Cranberries, Tracy Chapman, Paula Cole, Alanis, Sting, Nirvana, Pearl Jam
Acoustic/Electric guitar, Focusrite scarlett 2i2
I'm just an ordinary girl who never settles for anything less than extraordinary.