Maiko Watson
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Maiko Watson

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band R&B Funk

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"Sweet Vibration: Maiko Watson"

You may recall Maiko Watson as a member of Canadian girl group Sugar Jones, the pop band manufactured in 2001 on the pre-Idol TV series Popstars. She has a rich, expansive set of pipes, imbued with a subtlety that reminds me of singers like Amy Winehouse, Des'ree and Estelle. The Winnipeg native wrote, arranged and produced the 10-song collection – save "Ready To Be Loved," penned with former husband Remy Shand. Her debut album is comprised of optimistic ruminations about love and life in a soothing mix of jazz, disco, reggae and soul. It's a welcome return. CD release performance at 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Rivoli; admission $13. Top Track: The lush "Under Your Spell."
- Toronto Star


"The New Music"

There’s something just so soothing and breathtaking when you hear a voice that resonates a slice of what Heaven would sound like. And while voices like this are becoming scarcer by the minute, we feel fortunate that we found Toronto-based (originally from Winnipeg) Maiko Watson from our friends over at 1LoveTO. A former member of the Canadian girl group Sugar Jones, her voice is one that is rich and sultry. And her time in Sugar Jones gave her the training she needed to learn how to play guitar, bass, and keyboards, as well as drum programming and multi-tracking. A one-woman force, her music will seduce you, and her voice will leave a lasting impression. Being influenced by the likes of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, her debut album “Sweet Vibration” is comprised of optimistic ruminations about everyday stories of love, heartbreak, optimism and strength in a soothing mix of jazz, disco, reggae and soul. It is a modern take on classic soul, yet somehow, Maiko Watson never seems to stray too far from the past. - Freshly.Educated.Men


"(Re-) Introducing Maiko Watson"

Classic soul songstress Maiko Watson first came to prominence as a member of Canadian chart-toppers, Sugar Jones, whose cover of Fierce’s 1999 hit “Days Like This” went to #1 on the Canadian Singles Charts and stayed there for six weeks. Dropping out of Sugar Jones, Watson again made a blip on the pop culture radar in 2001 when she married blue-eyed soulster Remy Shand and then disappeared off the public radar. It appears the eight-year absence was time well spent. Nothing Watson has done before will prepare you for this easy perfection of the singer/songwriter’s smoldering debut, Sweet Vibration. Channeling sultry vets Maxine Nightingale and Marlena Shaw with a healthy dollop of Amy Winehouse, Sweet Vibration is the perfect 11th hour entry to close out 2009. Listen to Maiko Watson croon “Another Day” and “Some Kinda Love” and fall in love. - BET's Soul Sessions


"Sweet Vibration: Review"

Who says you can’t do R&B and soul in Winnipeg? Recorded here by several of the Moses Mayes crew (Mark Penner, Julian Bradford, Ben Reimer and Nathan Reimer), Sweet Vibration is a profound showcase of Maiko Watson’s singing and writing skills. Unlike most contemporary ‘urban’ albums, which feature walls of sound produced by committees, this is a living, breathing document of rootsy, classic soul performances, pure and simple. Maiko wrote nine of these 10 songs on her own (the 10th is a co-write with her former husband, Remy Shand) and, to paraphrase her own song, everything should be lookin’ up for her with this release.
— John Kendle - Uptown Magazine


Discography

Breaking My Heart (Single) - December 2011
Sweet Vibration - November 2009

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Bio

Award winning singer/songwriter Maiko Watson brings a fresh take on soul music to the Canadian independent music scene. Whether performing with a band or minimal instrumentation, her radiant sultry voice shines through... delivering a powerful, earthy, organic sound that sets her apart from the rest. Influenced by artists such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sade, David Bowie and Bjork, Maiko fuses elements of disco, du-wop, jazz and rock, creating a sense of nostalgia while remaining well ahead of her time.

“…A personal triumph and a first-rate showcase for her lush, soothing vocal tones, which are wrapped in a spirited mix of jazz, reggae, soul and disco influences. There's not a duff track out of the ten on the disc.” Matt Bauer, Exclaim! Magazine

Maiko has been singing for as long as she can remember. She began writing songs over instrumental music at age twelve. She got her start in the music industry in her teens, beating thousands of young women to become a member of Sugar Jones, spawned from Global TV series Popstars. Sugar Jones' debut album went Platinum in Canada and was released in the UK. Her first solo album, "Sweet Vibration" took home the award for Best Urban Album at the Breakout West Awards in 2010.

Maiko's songs are everyday stories of love, heartbreak, optimism and strength. She is currently back in the studio working on new material and performing throughout Canada.