Spotlight on: Maybe April

In Undiscovered Music's Spotlight series, we pick upcoming acoustic musicians to feature. You'll learn their backstories, how they got started, what moves them forward, and you'll hear about some neat experiences they've had along the way.

This time, UMN's Stephen Dornfeld sits down with Maybe April.

Become a fan!
Become a fan of Maybe April and receive a free download of their track You Were My Young! As a fan, you will get notified when they play locally and will be helping to support their career.

Maybe April is an acoustic Country Americana trio fronted by three ladies: Katy, Kristen, and Alaina. Their tight-knit harmonies and instrumental accompaniment perfectly complement their heartfelt songwriting.

We enjoyed chatting with them briefly as they were en route to a show in Alabama.

UMN: First of all, thank you ladies for taking some time out to chat with us. Could you give us a little background on how you all started playing and singing?

Katy: I started doing dance and musical theatre when I was young, like in elementary school, and I just loved performing. Around eighth grade, I was inspired to try to write songs, and they weren't good. [laughs] Then when I was in high school, I started going back and forth to Nashville to co-write with other people, play shows, meet people and network... things like that.

Alaina: I also did musical theatre and that kind of stuff growing up. My whole family is actually musicians. My parents were in a band before I was born, my two brothers were in a band when we were younger, and my younger brother is a hip-hop dancer. My whole family is pretty musical, so you know, I kind of had no choice. [laughs] I was singing and playing as long as I can remember and picked up instruments along the way. I started traveling to Nashville when I was about fourteen, once or twice a summer.

Kristen: I started playing guitar when I was ten, and I was just a guitarist until I went to Grammy Camp in high school. That's when I started singing and songwriting for the first time. When I was just a guitar player I played a lot of metal. I liked to cover Iron Maiden songs, and now it's so crazy to be in a country music trio... so 180, I love it. When I met the girls I said, "Oh my God, I need to move to Nashville with them!"

UMN: Awesome! Could you share your experience about the day you all met?

Alaina: In 2012 we all went to the Grammy Camp in Nashville. It was the first one they'd ever done. We went there and met each other for the first time, all from different places, but we were kind of thrown together, almost accidentally. We were supposed to come up with a song at the end and no one wanted to do a project with us. We were the last ones left and our instructor suggested that we form a trio just for the week, and we did. And here we are, six years later!

There were a lot of different tracts but we met the first day in the songwriting tract. One of the first things we did was sit down in a circle and play a song for each other. We all loved each other's songs, and we didn't tell each other that right away. But over the next couple of days, getting to know each other and everything, we ended up getting to write together, and it was a really easy experience for us. It was really fun. We ended up performing a song at the end of the week and people really enjoyed it. Then, a year later, we moved to Nashville together.

UMN: As we speak, you all are driving to the next leg of your tour, which starts at the Sundilla Coffee House in Alabama, followed by some listening rooms and house concerts. What's your favorite part about performing in these kinds of venues?

Katy: People are usually listening more and you have more of a connection with the audience. They're not just there to have some background noise, you know? And usually, they'll participate and hopefully laugh at our bad jokes and stuff. [laughs] It's hard when it's quiet and they don't react to much of anything, if they're shy, or you don't know.

Alaina: Yeah, and Kristin used to play to the wild crowd in an Iron Maiden cover band. She's gone from head-bangers to head-bobbers now. [All laugh]

UMN: [Laughs] Love it! Could you all share a memorable story or experience at one of your shows?

Kristen: On this one tour, we played in Washington D.C. for the first time, and it was a little bit louder venue. I was expecting a lot of people not to be listening. But we walked out on stage and everyone got quiet and then they clapped. We looked at each other confused and said, wait... they're clapping for us? Are you sure? [laughs] We were the headlining act so it was really cool and exciting. They were my favorite crowd on the tour. It was so memorable, they were so into it, they were attentive... so many people were listening. We sold like a hundred tickets that night. It was so crazy because it was our first time playing there. It's so cool to be able to do this as a living and make an impact like that.

Alaina: Yeah, that was a great one. My favorite was our very first performance ever, at Grammy Camp, the very last night. In the first song we ever wrote, there's a key change at the end. And when we played the key change, everybody in the audience started clapping and whistling. It was such a cool experience to have an audience react like that to something that was so new to us. It wasn't like we were working on it for years and years, but it was like an immediate reaction to us as a group. It felt really good and awesome to experience that. That was six years ago but it is still one of my favorite moments.

Katy: It was 2014 and because we formed at Grammy Camp, we got to play "A Song Is Born" during Grammy Week out in L.A., and it was just insane... because also performing that night were Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Gavin Degraw, Joey Williams from Civil Wars, the lead singer of Goo Goo Dolls, all these insane people and us. [laughs] So, that was probably the most memorable show we've had, just because of all the talent. We were in awe that we were there.

UMN: Wow, that sounds like it was awesome! Ladies, thank you again for sharing your stories with us. We'll see you on your tour.