María during her performance at the Lodge Room in Los Angeles on September 29. (Photo by Nicole Funes)

Arts and Entertainment

Psychedelic soul band The Marías share how they first started making music

The Marías, a psychedelic soul band launched their latest musical talent on Sept. 28, an EP titled “Superclean Vol II,” the continuation to “Superclean Vol I.” The release, comprised of six songs include the likings of, “Cariño,” “Ruthless” and “ABQ.” The band, comprised of five members, include lead singer María and drummer Josh Conway. The…
<a href="" target="_self">Nicole Funes</a>

Nicole Funes

November 15, 2018

The Marías, a psychedelic soul band launched their latest musical talent on Sept. 28, an EP titled “Superclean Vol II,” the continuation to “Superclean Vol I.” The release, comprised of six songs include the likings of, “Cariño,” “Ruthless” and “ABQ.” The band, comprised of five members, include lead singer María and drummer Josh Conway.

The duo innovated the idea of starting a band by inviting close friends, Carter Lee, bassist; Edward James, keyboardist; and Jesse Perlman, guitarist to accompany them on their musical endeavors. This is how each got started.

Maria, lead singer and author of the Superclean EPs, loves “Ruthless,” a song that has gone through many versions since she started writing it five years ago. “It feel good to finally have it out in the world. It took long enough,” she said. (Photo by Nicole Funes)


María grew up just outside of Atlanta, where she was ridiculed for being a Puerto Rican girl.

“They’d make fun of my school lunches [because] my dad [packed] jamón con chorizo sandwiches in a baguette instead of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” she said.

María has left her childhood bullies behind, now fully embracing her latin culture by blending Spanish and english lyrics into her successful songs. María’s mother taught her to write captivating prose and her father taught her to play symphonic melodies on the guitar, the first being “Cielito Lindo,” a song performed by Mariachi bands across Mexico. “Spanish and english make up who I am,” María said.

Thanks to her fused upbringing, she explored an amalgamation of both worlds. “It’s only natural that it now gets blended into our music,” María said.

Josh Conway, drummer’s favorite song is always rotating, but at the moment, it is “Cariño.” “Although I’m not fluent in Spanish, the melody and chorus progression are really resonating with me now,” he said. (Photo by Nicole Funes)

Josh Conway

María’s musical muse, Conway, native to Los Angeles, discovered his musical talent at a young age, playing piano for eight years. Throughout middle and high school, he played in different bands, but it wasn’t “until my [two half brothers] got me ProTools as a birthday gift,” when he realized, “how much more drawn I was to songs as a whole rather than just instruments,” he said.

Conway’s passion for music led him to employment at a recording studio right after high school. Within a few months there, he learned more than he ever did in music class.

“I’ve always had that mindset since I was a kid though. I never wanted to be told how to do something. I always wanted to figure it out on my own” Conway said.

Jesse Perlman, guitarist’s favorite song from Superclean Vol. II is “ABQ.” “It’s pretty different from anything we’ve ever done before. It would be cool if that song went on to [become] a cult fan favorite” he said. (Photo by Nicole Funes)

Jesse Perlman

Conway became good friends with Perlman in sixth grade, who also lived for making music, starting with drums, followed by piano and ultimately uncovering a knack for guitar.

“[We recorded] many not so great sounding Garage Band demos,” Perlman said. Having upgraded from his Garage Band demo days, Perlman looks forward to performing at Nashville, Tenn. “[I’ve] never been there before and have heard many great things about it,” he said.

At Nashville, one can find the origins of legendary music. The Marías’ exponential growth has allowed for members to visit beautiful cities and experience life on the road, so Perlman’s advice for those pursuing a career in the music industry is to, “Record as many not so great sounding Garage Band demos as possible. Take it slow, be patient and don’t rush into anything,” he said.

Edward James, keyboardist’s favorite song off the new EP is “Cariño,” “despite my inability to speak or understand the language. I suppose that’s a good example of the transcendent quality of music,” he said. (Photo by Nicole Funes)

Edward James

James initiated his musical endeavors when he wrote a song for a girl he was “head over heels for,” and believes sending her the song was a mistake.

“I’m certain it led to losing her interest shortly thereafter,” he said.

James has come a long way since then, with plans to play in New York on Nov. 18. New York has always been a favorite of his.

“[We} spend more than a day there, which is a rarity for us on the road,” James said. “I get to visit my favorite bar in the country, McSorley’s.”

Carter Lee, bassist’s favorite off the EP is “ABQ.” “It’s a bop,” he said. (Photo by Nicole Funes)

Carter Lee

Lee was raised in suburban Alberta, Canada, a city named Edmonton, also known as the “Gateway to the North” where it sprinkles snow half the year.

“Alberta is an incredibly spacious and beautiful place, I can’t imagine having grown up anywhere else,” the bassist said.

During times of snow, Lee snowboarded and played ice hockey until music became his central focus. “Practicing my instrument has always been an outlet and I feel a huge dip in my drive to make music when I go a few days without it.,” he said. The art of creating music was handed down to him from his dad, who played in bands before Lee was born.

It wasn’t until turning 16 that Lee asked to be taught.

“His first bass was my first bass and I still play it all the time.”

The Marías will return to Los Angeles for a performance at Tropicalia and perform with Triathalon in early November.

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