Interview || The One With Marcela Bovio from MaYaN

On the occasion of MaYaN's critically acclaimed third album, "Dhyana", being released on September 21, we had a quick chat with singer Marcela Bovio, where she detailed the new album, facing new vocal challenges and working with an orchesta.

© Stefan Heilemann

U: During the period between the release of “Antagonise” and “Dhyana”, MaYaN played a handful of shows and festivals, premiering (if I’m not mistaken) live two new tracks at Epica’s 1000th anniversary show, before releasing the first official single. How did fans seem to receive them?
Marcela Bovio: We’ve got a great response from the crowds! We were very happy about it. Even though the new album has a lot more symphonic elements, the music is still very complex and brutal; so it was nice to see that people liked the combination of styles. 

U: “Dhyana” is a form of meditation. Why did you choose this title and what does it mean to you?
M.B.: The main theme throughout the album is “the power of now”; meaning the ability of being present in the current moment, not let ourselves be bothered by thoughts of the past or expectations about the future. Being able to live in the now can help us be more compassionate and live fuller lives. On this album there’s tracks talking about reaching this point, and also tracks that talk about the obstacles that keep us from reaching this level of being in the present moment.

U: The band features an abundance of musicians. How is the writing and recording process like when there’s so many creative individuals involved?
M.B.: It’s been great to have so much input from everyone, I think, because it created a very diverse and rich palette of songs. Of course there’s always a challenge in making it sound as a whole and making decisions to steer the whole thing one direction or the other when needed. In that sense it was good to have Mark, Frank and Jack as the core writing team, to supervise the whole writing process.

U: What really stood out for me on this album, apart from the imposing effect of the orchestra, was how the female voices were at the forefront and both you and Laura seemed to step out of your comfort zone. You also recently received your Universal Voice Teacher certificate. Was it challenging to explore more new(?) territories in your singing style on stage and on the record?
M.B.: It’s been challenging but also very rewarding! I’m really proud and happy to be able to show a whole other side of my voice on this album. I’m a huge vocal nerd, and love to take on new challenges. If there’s something I can’t do then I will keep working on it until I’m able to 😊

© Stefan Heilemann
U: Actually, speaking of the orchestra, this is the first time you worked with one. How did you decide to go with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra?
M.B.: They were an easy choice because not only are they a fantastic orchestra, but they also have a lot of experience working on productions like this. They’ve recorded stuff for Star Wars, recorded with bands like Dimmu Borgir. They know what it takes to record alongside a metal recording, which his most definitely not a given!

U: The title track features you and Laura singing in your native tongues and then together in English. How did this come about? Can you explain the concept and idea behind the video for the song?
M.B.: This song is I think a sort of summary on the concept of the whole album: the struggle with our thoughts from the past and expectations from the future, and the moment when we are able to embrace living in the moment and how beautiful it can be. 
We thought it would be nice to mix in the languages in there and also show a little bit of our heritage. Also, each language has its own atmosphere and they add a different musicality to the song.

U: You have the tryout and release shows coming up, what should the fans expect? 
M.B.: We’re super excited of performing the new tracks live, so you can expect a lot of energy! We’re planning on performing the whole album in its entirety, plus a few MaYaN back catalogue favorites 😊

U: Final question: if you were a member of The Spice Girls, what would be your Spice name? 
M.B.: Hahaha! I think I would be Dramatic Spice, the one adding a dramatic vocal twist on every song, hehe.

MaYaN will be performing a tryout show on 21/9 in De Schakel, Reuver (NL) as well as release shows; on 22/9 in De Heiling, Utrecht (Dutch release show) and 23/9 in Le Cercle, Chapelle-Lez-Herlaimont (Belgian release show).

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