Student spotlight: Edwina Maben
Maben’s striking journey through music.
Edwina Maben’s life seems to be encompassed by music. As a singer, songwriter, and musician, music for Maben has always played a significant role in her life since she was young. A current junior in the CU Denver Recording Arts program, Maben is also minoring in computer science, as well as interning with the Youth On Record Nonprofit Organization. Maben has been involved with the organization since 2018 but recently started interning, the nonprofit helps get kids back on track for graduation with music courses as well as offers other groups and opportunities that are very beneficial for many artists.
Maben’s journey through music is certainly striking. For Maben, songwriting has always been an important part of her life. Being a quieter child, songwriting really helped her in the expression of herself and became a very therapeutic experience, as she described, it was, “a way to express myself without needing to include too many people in it.” As Maben grew older and went through a variety of different life events, including a move across the country from Philadelphia to Denver when she was 15, she found herself turning more and more to her writing for relief. As Maben stated, “Songwriting would really give me the ability to pause, write out what I’m feeling, and then reflect on that.”
When Maben was in her senior year of high school, she wanted to do something in celebration of her songwriting since, in her terms, “[She] had grown up with it but never done anything with it.” This decision led her to enter into the Guitar Center’s Singer Songwriter 6 competition in 2017. Her initial goal was to make it into the top 100 viewed for the first round, out of over 9,000 entrees, which upon remembering she laughed about, “I texted and called I think everyone I’ve ever met in my life.” She then moved onto the next round, and to her surprise was selected as one of the top five by the producer RedOne who’s produced artists such as Lady Gaga. Plane tickets were then sent out for the chosen five to fly out to Los Angeles and perform at the Troubadour, “I feel like that in a way [this experience] started to build my own confidence and my own abilities too,’’ Maben reflected. “That was kind of the first moment I was like if I do focus on this I see success in it.”
Maben’s music is lyrically focused. “I like the ability to be able to really hone in and listen to the lyrics,” she elaborated. Her EP, Contagious, plays host to four songs, each a varying blend of soulful lyrics seamlessly paired with a harmonious selection of instruments, making for a perfect balance. Most of her songs feature more positive vibes because they have been so therapeutic. Maben detailed, “A lot of my favorite songs to write about are still the idea of moving on or the idea of growing from a situation.”
Another single of Maben’s, that was co-produced by an artist named LUURK, is her most recent release that came out in 2019 titled “Lilac Clouds.” The single is a fast-paced and more experimental track than those on the EP. The quick melody and boppy instrumentals lead the listener through the underlying story that although perhaps a little darker than other tracks, still retains that positivity of moving on.
Maben is optimistic for what her musical filled future holds for her. Maben is opening for LVDY at the Marquis Theatre on Jan. 4 and her music is available on most streaming platforms.