curve RE VIE W S
A Sharp Tongue
Singer-songwriter Maia Sharp plays it her way.
By Stephanie Kay CaStor
aia Sharp is a crossover
pioneer in the star-studded world of alt-country, folk rock and
bona fide blues babes.
Born in California’s Central Valley,
the singer-songwriter has found success in producing and collaborating
with artists such as Cher, Bonnie Raitt,
Art Garfunkel, the Dixie Chicks, Edwin McCain—the list goes on. Sharp
found her niche among these artists,
several of whom were early influences,
as she began to explore her identity,
both musically and sexually.
“I fell for music when the genre
lines were blurred. I was heavy into
Joni Mitchell, Ry Cooder, Rickie Lee
Jones and—the dream come true—
Bonnie Raitt,” she says.
Sharp came out as a lesbian at age
23, while she was studying music theory
at Cal State, Northridge.
It is no secret that being a woman,
let alone a lesbian, in the music indus-
try can be difficult. Constantly making
the effort to validate her technique,
her stylistic choices and overall com-
petencies, in a male-driven occupa-
tion—let’s just say it can be wearing.
Sharp was fortunate to be able to defy
any attempt to marginalize her.