Wageningen students Maya Lievegoed and Hans Vermunt are lugging a suitcase full of instruments from one festival to the next. And doing well. They have only just started performing as Maya&Adrian but they are already fully booked.
This summer, the two International Development Studies students made the difficult decision to postpone their Master's for a year. Now they can concentrate fully on their music. Maya: ‘You have to work really hard to make it in the music world. If they ask you to do a gig in Leeuwarden on Tuesday, you can't say: I've got lectures on Tuesday, would Wednesday be OK?'
The decision to focus on her music was a question of now or never for Maya. ‘I was supposed to be going to Spain for a year for my degree but after visiting some music festivals I got a hankering - I enjoyed it so much! A while ago I did a year at a music academy but then it didn't feel right to be spending all my time on music. Now I was ready to dedicate myself entirely. I thought, if I ever want to do something with my music it will have to be now.'
She sent fellow student Hans an e-mail; she hardly knew him but did know that he was into music too (he wrote the winning protest song for the national student demo in The Hague, Ed.) and they hit it off immediately. They have been Maya&Adrian ever since. Maya: ‘We wanted a name we could associate with as all our songs are about us and our experiences.' Hans: 'But we though Maya&Hans wasn't such a good idea as we sing in English, so we chose the English version of my second name, Adriaan.'
Maya didn't rest for a moment, writing to as many festival organizers and café owners as possible asking for gigs. All that effort was rewarded: they had their first gig only two weeks after their decision to concentrate on the music. Since then the two have appeared at a number of festivals and events, from Broekrock in Deventer to the Magneet Festival in Amsterdam. Hans plays piano, guitar and a series of small instruments such as a melodica, a kazoo and a xylophone. Maya sings and plays guitar and piano. They don't really fit in any one genre. Maya: ‘Some songs are pop-like while others are more cabaret. We have some really jazzy numbers but Hans has also written a straight blues number.' The songs come about naturally. Hans: ‘I have to get a feeling of urgency and then the songs come of their own accord.' Maya: ‘If you have an idea for a tune you have to take action immediately, otherwise you're afraid you'll forget it.' Hans: ‘My telephone is full of whistle-alongs and song stuff.'
Their families and friends support their decision ‘200 percent'. Hans: ‘My parents thought it was a logical step. I was always talking about my music projects, never about my degree.' Maya: ‘I was expecting to have to explain my decision when I didn't go to Barcelona after all, but everyone was incredibly positive. They thought it was great that I'd had the guts to dedicate myself to my passion. That is so good to hear because after all it is quite nerve-racking.' Linda van der Nat
Maya&Adrian will be performing at 21.00 on Thursday 15 September at the Quiet is the new Loud event, in Wageningen public library.
Looking for a tour bus!
You can't keep borrowing Mum's car. So Maya&Adrian are looking for a van for their travels around the country. Got one on offer? Then send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. ‘And now we're on the subject, we're also looking for a practice room.'