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mxmtoon

California Bay Area songwriter mxmtoon started out as a vlogger, uploading videos on various topics, with many focusing on her playing cover songs or her own compositions on ukulele. As her number of followers grew into the hundreds of thousands, she began releasing her own tracks officially, defining her jazz-infected style with the humorous, self-reflective songs on her 2018 EP, plum blossom. Her debut album, 2019's the masquerade, reached the Top 20 of the Billboard Heatseekers chart, paving the way for collaborations with artists ranging from Noah Kahan to G Flip. She was still incorporating ukulele into some of the fleshy pop and indie electronica of her second full-length, 2022's rising. Going just by her first name, Maia, mxmtoon began posting videos online in 2013. Still just barely into her teens, she created content based around travel experiences, everyday life, and songs she was writing. After a time spent exploring comedic songs, she shifted her style to more emotional and introspective material, writing lyrics about crushes, uncertainty about the future, and other real struggles of teenage life. Her popularity began skyrocketing as she continued uploading new material, and her music career slowly took shape alongside her increasingly viral presence as a vlogger. She began posting demos and home-recorded songs in 2015, but started sharing more officially recorded material in 2017 with singles like "Falling for U." From there, mxmtoon's fan base exploded. She continued releasing new songs, singles, and acoustic versions of tracks that already existed in other, more-produced forms. Several of her stand-alone singles were collected in 2018 as the plum blossom EP. In early 2019, mxmtoon returned with an EP titled the masquerade (IV), a four-song outing centered around themes of teenage relationships and experiences. The full-length the masquerade, which included the single "Unspoken Words," arrived later that year and hit 17 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. Two more EPs appeared in 2020, with dawn arriving in April and dusk following that October; both were combined into the dawn/dusk LP set. That year, she also had a featured spot on the Noah Kahan single "Pride." In 2021, mxmtoon guested on tracks by G Flip and Ricky Montgomery, and her own True Colors EP -- a set of songs to accompany the graphic adventure game Life Is Strange -- appeared that September. It included covers of Radiohead's "Creep" and Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun." Led by the singles "mona lisa" and "sad disco," her independently released second album, rising, followed in May 2022. She toured extensively in support of the album, with dates throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
© Fred Thomas & Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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