- Riley Smith
- Ria Mae classes up the joint with Classified
Singer-songwriter Ria Mae isn't used to being the centre of attention. But that will change, because with a recent award show win, spot on the silver screen in Rohan Fernando's debut feature-length Snow and new album in the works, there has never been a better time to be Ria Mae.
Her successful run started this past April at the ECMAs when she won Pop Recording of the Year for her 2011 debut Under Your Skin. She originally wasn't even planning on attending the award show because she didn't want her friends to pay the $20 entry fee to the gala. "A friend convinced me to go and I was wearing a hoodie. I just wasn't prepared at all," Mae says, laughing. "I figured I would get an ECMA at some point in my career, but I never thought it would be that soon."
With all the positive attention, Mae felt confident enough to begin working on her follow up to Skin, enlisting hip-hop heavyweight Classified to produce her first single since the win.
"I've been a huge fan of Classified for a long time. I remember being really young hanging out at the skatepark and he was passing out demos to people. I knew every word to all his songs," Mae says.
A big fan of hip-hop, listening to his production for acts like David Myles and Chad Hatcher made her see his strength as a producer outside of the urban realm.
"I was really impressed with his production and realized he wasn't just a great MC, he was a wicked producer," Mae says.
"He really understands radio and has a brilliant sense of what's going to be catchy."
Mae plans to work with Daniel Ledwell on another follow-up single before getting back to work on her sophomore record. And although all eyes are on her next move following the ECMA win, she isn't worried about her next album.
"I don't feel pressure," Mae says. "I'm just excited to see how much further I can push myself."
Ria Mae w/ Chris Velan, Saturday, June 30 at The Company House, 2202 Gottingen Street, $10/$12, 8:30pm