Maiah Wynne has a voice that’s both sweet and haunting. Such that if it reached the ear of any sailor, he’d mistake her for a Siren and tie himself to the mast. On top of that, she’s an accomplished multi-instrumentalist: you’ll just as soon find her playing the dulcimer or ukulele as the piano or guitar, all the while stomping out percussion with her feet.
At just 21 years old Wynne is already scorching out a path as a rising star of the folk-pop world, but what made us fall for her even more was her drive to use her talents to make a difference.
In 2017 she was one of 15 women to feature on a collaborative album called Ukelele Sirens: Songs for the Sea. All proceeds from the album are being donated to environmental nonprofits.
“I ended up working on the Songs for the Sea project through Facebook!” said Wynne. “All of the ladies on the album are part of the same ukulele group…it’s been quite a journey. It took over a year for us to come up with an idea and for everyone to record their songs, and it took another to get everything off the ground and running to where it is now.”
Wynne’s contribution to the album is a lilting ukulele track, fittingly titled “A Siren’s Song.” It doesn’t address the need to preserve our oceans directly, or dip into the doom-and-gloom of environmental problems.
Instead it fills you with wonder, with longing, with appreciation for the natural beauty that we so often overlook — and in doing so makes you want to run out and hug that mysterious ocean world and keep it safe from harm.
“I wanted the song to inspire people, to make them feel happy and to be reminded of how truly precious this planet is,” said Wynne.
“I have been deeply affected by the environment and the ocean, and I wanted whoever was listening to be reminded of their most beautiful and profound moments in nature.”
Wynne has just released a brand new video for “A Siren’s Song.” But her work is far from done.
“So far our album has raised more than $2,500 for nonprofit organizations who are helping to keep the ocean blue,” she says. “My single, “A Siren’s Song”, also helped to promote Misool Foundation and Wildaid’s fundraiser at Patagonia here in Portland. Together we raised $15,000 for Misool Foundation.”
These successes have only made Wynne hungry to do more. “I was also able to attend HATCH this last year and brainstormed ideas with the absolutely incredible and inspirational Sylvia Earle on how to keep the oceans clean and how to instil a love for nature in today’s youth,” she said. “That conversation lit a fire inside me that is still burning, and I want to continue to do as much as I can to make a difference in this world for the betterment of this planet and the animals that live on it.”
Creating beautiful music while working to save the ocean? Who could argue with that? After all, the ocean is life.
Maiah Wynne agrees. “The ocean is magnificent, and it keeps us all alive,” she says. “It is a giant, beautiful, breathing, moving creature. When I put my feet in the water, it’s like I can feel the entire planet breathe. When I stand next to the ocean I am reminded how small I am, but that I can still make waves.”
And making waves she is.
You can watch her new video for “A Siren’s Song” above, or order a copy of the Songs For The Sea album here.
You can find Maiah’s album on Spotify and iTunes, and we also play it on 30Aradio.com. Click here to listen to 30A Radio live now!
TANIA BRAUKAMPER is an Australian-born writer and photographer currently living in Portugal. She’s obsessed with photographing sunsets and going for long coastal hikes, and always does her best to schedule her travel plans into an endless summer.