14-year-old jazz singer scats for Vancouver's homeless youth
Teenager Maya Rae records her debut album Saphire Birds ahead of fundraiser for Vancouver Covenant House
Maya Rae is like most teenagers. She does her homework, goes to band practice, and listens to Christina Aguilera — but her musical tastes dig a lot deeper than Top 40 hits.
Rae's love for the jazz great inspired her to start scatting on her own — and the hobby paid off. The 14-year-old recently signed with Cellar Live records to record her debut jazz album, Saphire Birds.
And now she's using her music to give back to her community by raising money for Vancouver's homeless youth.
The grade nine student has never been one to let her age define her. She wrote the title track for Saphire Birds when she was just nine-years-old.
"It's about how much my family means to me, and that love and just experiencing life and childhood and family," she said. "It's a light-hearted and happy song."
"Saphire Birds" is one of two original tracks on the album. Rae's says her songs are meant to inspire love and confidence in oneself in the age of social media.
"I know for sure when I'm hanging out with my friends, everyone's always on their phones and looking at Instagram and Snapchat and seeing who is hanging out with who ... or looking at pretty pictures of someone and thinking 'I wish that was me.'"
"It's important to love who you are, and just be yourself."
Rae launches her album on Feb. 23 at Frankie's Jazz Club. The event is also a benefit for Vancouver's Covenant House — a short-term care facility for homeless and runaway youth.
This isn't the first benefit Rae's been a part of. In 2015, she helped raise over $13,000 for survivors of the Nepal earthquake, and last year she performed in a fundraiser for Syrian refugee families.
"I love that music makes a difference, and I love moving people with my music. I love giving back ... and I think it's great that music can do that for people."
With files from CBC's Hot Air
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: 14-year-old jazz singer scats for Vancouver's homeless youth