From a very early
age Maria has been writing songs. The earliest she has on tape is
a little song she wrote to sing in Sunday school at the age of six.
She was sent for electronic organ lessons at the age of eleven and
remembers spending most of the time staring at the piano that was
kept in the corner of the room and wanting to play the songs she
had been writing during the week instead of practicing.
She continued to
be a prolific writer throughout her teens and decided that she ought
to teach herself to play the guitar after listening to the likes
of Tracy Chapman and Tanita Tikaram. This brought on a whole new
style of songwriting, simpler in many ways.
At the age of eleven Maria joined
a band with her cousins and played gigs in local churches. Some
of the photographs are truly embarrassing.
She pursued a musical education
at Barnsley College and then went on to do a degree in jazz, contemporary
and popular music at The Leeds College of Music. Maria chose voice
to be her principle instrument and sang with many bands at the college
including The Duke Ellington Orchestra who headlined at a jazz festival
in Limerick in 1995.
It was in this year that she
formed 'Kiss PrudAnce' a band dedicated to playing Maria's songs.
They disbanded in 1997 and she formed a cover band called 'The Love
Cats' in 1998 and gigged in most cities in the UK. It was at one
of these gigs that she met an ex- tutor from Barnsley College called
Nigel Pease - a sound engineer who
was rather impressed with what he saw. He expressed an interest
in doing some recording but it was some time later when they actually
Maria qualified as a secondary
school music teacher in 1998 and now teaches at The Kingstone School
in Barnsley. The Love Cats stopped gigging in 2000 and just did
the occasional wedding or party while Maria had a rest. This gave
her time to catch up on what she loved - music. Van Morrison, Sheryl
Crow and James Taylor. An inspirational hall of fame.
Maria contacted Nigel in December
2000 and they set to work on a solo album in January 2001. A demo
was quickly recorded and the album was born.