Featured Performer
August

Mavenn

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Talking to

MichaelJ Rossini

Mavenn has always been one of my favourite singers in Second Life.  Along with soo many others I have missed her wonderful performances as she has taken time off from her hectic schedule - but now she is back - and  to mark the occasion we at TFM are so proud to have been granted an interview with this awesome songstress!

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Michael :   Hi Mavenn - thank you soo much for taking time out to do this interview with Toggle For Music.

Michael :   First up - Could you tell our readers something about your background - were you an established artiste in RL before you got here - and how on earth did you get involved in the crazy world of Second Life? 


Mavenn:     I was drawn to SL as a music fan, actually. A musician I knew from another program was trying to establish himself here and asked a few of us if we would come for support. There were a handful or so of us that came over then. I stuck with it. I love music, always lived for the next album I'd buy, so I loved the music community very much! But far from being an artist, I was an avid listener. Opened a venue with a few friends, and we made quite a go of it for a while. 


Other than singing in choruses and a few small parts in school plays or functions, I had never considered myself a singer, although I would sing to anything and all day long. Enough to drive the family nuts. SL is the only place I have ever applied myself to singing. I may try out in the real world one day!

Michael :   Do you remember your first gig - the venue and how it went ?


Mavenn:    My first full gig was at Kickin'! MissPriss and Scrts and the gang, Everyone was just so amazing and supportive. It's the people here in SL ... the encouragement and support are just incredible. You know, not everyone is to everyone's taste but in all the years I have been doing this I can recall only a couple of detractors. That's incredible and truly speaks to the standards of a supportive community!

Michael :    Was there anyone here who helped you, or inspired you, during those early days?


Mavenn:    I was/am inspired and helped by so many on a regular basis. I listen to technique and new songs all the time from other performers. Folks IM me with sound tech advice (I'm clueless), My Manager, SOL and my fabulous hosts and venue owners. There's no end to the people I should thank! 

Michael :   Following on from that is there a gig you remember above all ?


Mavenn:    There was a time when the " karaoke singers" and the "musicians" were separated, often playing different clubs and making broad stroke distinctions between what was "real music". The first time I was booked at one of the "musician clubs" is especially meaningful for me. I know perhaps it shouldn't matter, but it sure felt great!

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Michael :   You just got back from a lengthy lay off.  I know how much your fans and I have missed you - but for you - how  frustrating to be unable to perform here and how did your first comeback gigs go ?  were you nervous at all ?


Mavenn:    Fans lol, (Hello friends)... I missed singing a great deal, and performing has become a kind of therapy for me. It's been an incredible welcome back!! - And I am always nervous. I have a quote from Nina Simone I recite before shows "And the latest story that I know is the one that I'm supposed to go out with."... I want to express myself through the songs I sing with what I am feeling that day. The truth in it... It's a soul-baring experience, if that doesn't make you nervous... I don't know, but the rewards from the connection with people. It's something real and irreplaceable. Keeps me believing in the magic in humanity.

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Michael :   Is there a performer(s) in Second Life you particularly admire ?


Mavenn:    I have come to know so many performers on a personal level and I know some of the struggles and difficulties some of them go through and still the love in the music and their dedication to it pulls them through. This I admire. 

Michael :   It can be hard trying to find your place in the SL music scene with so many performers on the grid - something you have clearly done.  Do you have any advice to new performers on how to break through and stand out?


Mavenn:    I hope it doesn't sound too trite, but try and be your authentic self. All of the facets of being a person in todays world are within all of us. Your shared experience is some thing we all relate to - People listen to music to feel something. They've given you a moment of their time ...to ask them if they feel how you feel sometimes (.. Peter Frampton could make his guitar ask us!) - 
Express yourself honestly and take the time to listen to the people you LOVE to hear. I love to spend time listening to my favorites on and off the grid! Closely listening to my favorite singers perform LIVE (this is important) has been invaluable - listen to the breathing, the intent in the delivery of their message; what they are trying to tell us with this song.  Most of all be inspired by their bravery. 

Michael :   You know the Second Life live music industry inside out by now.  Do you feel it is in a healthy state at this moment in time ?  If you could do one thing to improve it - what would it be? 


Mavenn:    First off, knowing the community inside and out?
Nope! My mantra is ... I don't know a thing about a damn thing, lol - The more often I remember that the better off I am.
Healthy?
  it's still got a beating heart. That's enough for the day. 
  If I could improve it? 
  You know, it's always improving at it's own pace for everyone as we go. I've been so lucky to be able to grow as I have just by being part of this community. We're all lucky.

Michael :   Conversely what would you say irks you the most ?  (aside from annoying interviewers)

 
Mavenn:    The awkward silence that is sometimes felt on this side of the monitor. When I am nervous (see above) a personal touch of chat - requests! Please send more requests! - That kind of engagement with the audience gives us a chance to relate - I'm going to give you MY version of this song you think you know one way - hopefully you'll like it. It's so okay if you don't though and it's really cool if you tell me either way! - So many wonderful and engaging people on this scene, I love to know their thoughts and impressions of what I do. Music is an interactive art! 

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Michael :   At Toggle For Music we are now almost 6 months into our crusade  to promote SL live music in any way we can.  Could you give us any advice on ways we could go about this?


Mavenn:    love to read the articles and especially when the author reveals what they especially liked, which songs, the singer's style and why!
 

Michael :    Finally, in closing, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?


Mavenn:    I love you. Thank you so much (( ♥))

Michael :    Thank you Mavenn!

Looking back - there were soo many fascinating insights in this wonderful interview, and one which came across so vividly to me was how artists like Mavenn appreciate and feed off interaction with their audience, and love to receive requests and dedications.  Maybe we should all bear this in mind when we attend live concerts and actively get involved in showing our love and appreciation for what they do.....

                                                                                                                                                                                          MichaelJ Rossini   30/07/2021