Midlands Queer & Trans Artist Yay Maria Releases Debut Single

Jul 21, 2021

By Dom Gourlay


Derby based trans and queer musician Yay Maria (she/her) releases her debut single “Template” later this month. Also featuring Nottingham based artist Franx, “Template” is the latest release from the Year Of Glad collective, a young imprint and close knit family of creatives who worked with Yay Maria on the charity single “EndTimes” and a commemorative piece for Transgender Day Of Rememberance in 2020. Produced with label mate and Year Of Glad founder Tom John Hall, “Template” is the first single to be taken from Yay Maria’s forthcoming long player OYEZ, cited for release later this year.

In 2020, while the world was shaken by uncertainty, Maria embarked on crafting an album fixed on making powerful affirmations. Taking on the vital role of an empowered outsider, she has a profound gift for spreading joy, love, solidarity, and challenging society’s entrenched power dynamics in favour of the power of the loving community in which she thrives. Speaking about “Template”, Maria says:-

“I think it can sometimes feel like there is a ‘template’ in life (school, marriage, children etc) and for many that course of life is either unattainable and/or undesirable. So, it can feel kinda scary not fitting in with that pre-supposed model. However, there is also something wonderful and empowering about that too; particularly given that there are so many other queer folks out there who feel a similar way.”

Before embracing the Yay Maria moniker, Maria has forged a multi-disciplined path as a filmmaker where a confident visual identity accompanies her sonic works. While also being renowned in her niche for the hyper productivity of a true DIY ethic, Maria has performed at festivals such as Y Not and Indietracks, releasing four flawless records with Grawl!x through Reckless Yes records. Talking about OYEZ, Maria states:-

“The lyrics are kinda divided into three sections: childhood, adulthood and senescence. I almost wanted it to be like one of those adverts that goes through a person’s life in 30 seconds! Since last summer for obvious reasons, it’s hard not to feel there’s a lot of toxic rhetoric being spread about queer & transgender folks and that can make one feel like you don’t fit. So I just hope that the song & the album can reach as many folks as possible who feel a similar sense of being an outsider. & perhaps soon, we can all have a boogie together!”

Artwork is created by local artist and zine creator Heather Rudd, along with an accompanying music video created by the 10pm Club & Laura Mi, which you can watch below.

“Template” will be available to stream and download from Thursday 29th July. Proceeds from the single will be donated to the QTIBIPOC Therapy Fund, an initiative of the Radical Therapist Network, to create access for Queer & Trans People of Colour to safe theraputic spaces & services; outside of systemic oppression.

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