- ALEXA CUDE
Maura Whitman is only a teenager and is already more together than you'll ever be. The Halifax singer—who describes her style as a pop-/R&B fusion ("I really love Alicia Keys, I think she's super cool—mostly because I play the piano and she influenced me in that sense, and I really love Demi Lovato and her R&B flair")—has been a Serious Musician since age 12.
She hangs out with other local names-to-know, like Port Cities' Breagh MacKinnon and country up-and-comer Makayla Lynn, and is fresh off a trip to the Gordie Sampson's Songcamp—where, as one of its youngest-ever attendees, she crafted dozens of new songs.
"The key for me is that music is my thing I do outside of school and it keeps me balanced. It's almost like my form of therapy," she says. "I have a little music room in my house and I go down there and play on the keyboard, play with the guitars and that's just my time for myself after a stressful day at school."
Though entering the industry at a young age has its challenges, her refusal to be defined by others has left the singer with lots of material to work with: "'Spread Your Wings' is one of the first ones I ever wrote [in 2015]. It feels so long ago now. It was just about finding my way and embracing change and getting older and not being afraid to follow your dreams, and I think that's always a good message," she says. "'Survivors' is one I wrote when I was doubted by a lot of people for what I was doing and I was trying to prove myself."
These days, Whitman's getting ready to take her Songcamp pieces live. "We're arranging with my producer and a few other musicians to take my live show to the next level so I can debut this more mature side of me, which I'm excited for. I love 'Spread Your Wings' but I'm ready to move on with the new stuff. I'm ready to show the next level of the stuff I've been doing. It's very different but still genuine to who I want to be as an artist.
"The stuff I've been writing now, I'm definitely starting to see a change: I've been writing more love stuff because I'm 17 now so I've kinda gone through a few things with that type of stuff," she says with a self-conscious laugh. "With the new stuff I've been writing, there's a huge step in maturity for sure, which always happens when you grow up with music—and that's kinda cool, to see myself change through my music." —MM