EJ Maldonado
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EJ Maldonado

Carson City, Nevada, United States | SELF

Carson City, Nevada, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Emotive Emerger"

Emotive Emerger
E.J. Maldonado is stepping out on his own to better define himself.

By Sarah Cook

E.J. Maldonado is stepping out on his own to better define himself.

E.J. Maldonado, formerly known as "Adverb," is currently on a search for a stronger identity. His first step was a much needed name change. "The person who I am onstage is me in every aspect, and I've been hiding that through 'Adverb,'" says the 32-year-old solo acoustic artist. "It's time to put the real me out there and not be afraid of who that is. ... It's all about finding myself." Part of that is trying to figure out exactly what he wants out of his music career and sharing who he is with his listeners without holding anything back or setting up a disguise.

Maldonado says the song he holds closest in his heart is "Falling in the Morning." He says the song is "about an unattainable desire," which is something listeners can relate to alongside Maldonado as he proceeds to let go of the past.

Being the fragile soul he presents himself as, Maldonado openly admits that he goes through a hell of a time getting ready to step onstage and reveal his heart to his listeners. "I have kind of an unwarranted routine before I get out there and play," he says. "I get stomach pains like you wouldn't believe. I can't eat. I can hardly breathe. It's like that tingling feeling you get when you're next to the person you want to be with."

Living in the land of inner butterflies before opening up to the world seems like it would hinder a performance, but that isn't the case for Maldonado. Tearing up the stage with acoustic tunes that are comparable to the sounds of Damien Rice and Jeff Buckley, you'd never know that he was nervous. Rocking back and forth, eyes shut, guitar in hand, Maldonado seems to feel emotion in every song he writes, as though he were playing it for the first time.

Before Maldonado went on a journey to discover himself, he played with the local indie band Ordinary. "I've just decided to branch out and do my own thing because I always knew I'd be good at it and wanted to see what it would be like," he says, giving props to his old band while leaving it behind to move forward on his own terms.

"I would say my music blends together the depressing aspects of the beautiful things in life," says Maldonado. "It's about finding your place at the dinner table and trying to make sense in a world that simply doesn't make much sense.

"When I write, I write about blatant human emotion," he says. "I'm fascinated with human qualities and imperfections, including those of my own. I like to write from a different aspect of things, from someone else's perspective. Say you got your heart walked on, I'll write from the point of view of the person who walked on it, instead of the one who's left broken."

Maldonado adds, "There's not always something wrong when I'm writing my music. I'm not always sad or releasing painful energy. I write for every feeling. My music is a break from Reno, and that makes me both accessible and inaccessible." - Reno News and Review


Live at Walden's (2006)
"safe behind these walls" EP (2007)
a/wake (2008)
Robots and Monsters (TBA 2010)



EJ Maldonado

After playing in his fair share of bands since the mid-90's, EJ Maldonado ventured on his own at the end of 2006. He came out of the gates running with a host of shows in the local area and became involved in the Spring Forward Campaign put forth by local alternative radio station, 100.9FM KRZQ, which gathered local bands/artists to raise money for local non-profits. EJ raised the most money during the campaign, which garnered him some attention with the community-at-large. He also started to notice his music and his voice had started to turn some heads and garner its own attention as well.

In early 2007, Maldonado released "Safe Behind These Walls", a five song EP he felt was necessary to release to get his music out to the public. It featured songs like "Beg Me To Stay", a song which was in regular rotation on KRZQ for a period of time in the summer of 2007. Maldonado finished the year playing shows and writing feverishly with anticipation to record a full-length album.

And so it was... during the last two weeks in December 2007, Maldonado filtered through 20 songs, worked on arrangements, and finally decided on 12 he truly liked. He set up his home recording studio with two microphones and began to record "a/wake", a full length album done in the style of old school recordings: live takes, no overdubs, and no studio tricks. The result is a powerful and emotional album that spans the range of both Maldonado's voice and songwriting ability. "a/wake" was released February 2008 to a snowy but successful release party (it must have snowed 8 inches that night).

Personal tragedy hit Maldonado early March 2008 with the passing of his father. It was an unexpected loss and one that left him isolated and out of the music scene for the better part of 2008.

On November 20th, Maldonado returned to the scene with an intimate show in downtown Reno with local musician and friend Mr. Vague. On the very next night, he played a benefit show at the Nugget Celebrity Showroom and shared the night with 17 other talented local bands/musicians.

The future remains bright, as plans for a new album are set for early spring 2009. Not to mention, Maldonado plans to return to the scene with more shows and to broaden his fan base.

EJ Maldonado also continues to give his time to the community through benefit concerts and by remaining an active humanitarian in the community.