MARIA CHIARA ARGIRO
Maria has been quietly weaving her way around the UK jazz, classical and electronic worlds since she moved to London from Rome 11 years ago. A pianist from the age of nine and a key player in the capital’s multi-national jazz scene, she’s lent her skills to indie band These New Puritans, lush jazz troupe Kinkajous and, more recently, collaborations with Jamie Leeming – their 2020 album Flow was nominated for one of the albums of the year in the Jazz Revelations Awards and was the Guardian’s jazz album of the month – and beat-driven duo Moonfish.
Maria recorded and self-produced “Clouds” between her bedroom and studio with the precious help of her longtime collaborators and electronic producers, In a Sleeping Mood and mixing engineer Alex Killpartrick. And, crucially, she is singing for the first time, too – her airy, otherworldly vocals on “Clouds” resemble Emiliana Torrini or a singer in a smoky, late-night club, alone under the spotlight on the stage.
When she was starting out in Rome, Maria was one of the very few women in jazz she could think of. “All my life I’ve been surrounded by men,” she says. “But when you’re 15, you don’t really think about being the only woman. Now I see many more women in jazz and electronic music but back then, it wasn’t the case at all.” She moved to London over a decade ago to immerse herself in the music scene; in Italy, she says, “jazz is still seen as the older generation’s music. I wanted to find my own path.”