Island-raised pop sensation Maijah Sanson-Frey will perform a headline homecoming show at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5 at the Kay White Hall of Vashon Center for the Arts.
The show will commemorate the recent release of her debut EP, “Star-Fairy,” and is billed as a dazzling dance party for audiences of all ages to enjoy.
Many islanders are already familiar with the singer’s soulful voice and magnetic stage presence.
Starting at the age of 12, Sanson-Frey, who now performs mononymously as Maijah, began her musical journey on Vashon — quickly becoming a fixture in her teen years on the Vashon music scene, performing sets at Strawberry Festival and Sharing the Stage concerts, and opening for local acts at the Red Bike.
Along the way, Maijah wowed audiences with her vocal prowess when singing covers, and impressed audiences with the vulnerability and catchiness of her lyrics in her original songs.
Since relocating to Portland and releasing “Star-Fairy” and a few songs as singles, Maijah has amassed a worldwide fan base. She currently boasts close to 63,000 monthly listeners on Spotify — a number that is continuously growing.
On returning to the island for this performance, Maijah said in a recent interview that “it feels very surreal, like a full-circle moment.”
She also said this show will be unlike anything she has before performed on the island. Unlike her past solo Vashon performances, during which she backed her own singing with an acoustic guitar, this show will be a full-on pop experience, complete with bass-heavy beats and glitzy backup dancers.
Maijah’s songs range in mood, lyrical content, and style, but all fit within a genre that she has created and coined as “Main Character Music.”
“The thing that ties my songs together is that they are all very cinematic, in a way that makes you feel like you are the main character in a show or movie,” she said.
Maijah said her aim is to write songs that inspire listeners to embrace, understand, and express all of their feelings — both the highs and the lows — that encompass their human experience.
Much of her music also celebrates femininity, and this show will highlight that.
“It’s going to be a big divine feminine, powerhouse vocals, women and femme-forward type of show, which I’m really excited about too because Vashon is full of amazing, talented women — but I feel like, in general, the music world is so male-dominated, even still,” she said.
While making arrangements with Vashon Center for the Arts, Maijah was adamant that a Vashon youth would perform an opening act.
“I would not be where I am without those opportunities that I got, even if it felt like a small thing or even a favor…it definitely built up my performance quality,” she said. “Every performance I learned something and every mistake I made was something I wanted to change later. I just feel like it’s really important to keep fostering that for the youth on Vashon, and also, just everywhere,” she said.
Vashon High School student Eva Cain was recommended to open for Maijah, and Maijah said she is thrilled to share the stage with her. Cain loves to perform covers, and even released an album of covers in 2021, which included songs by a variety of artists including Billie Eilish, Conan Gray, and the Beatles.
Tacoma-based musician Stella Mar will also open for Maijah. Mar has been a staple opening act for Maijah’s recent run of live shows in Portland.
In 2021, Mar released her debut album, “White Noise,” which musicalizes heartbreak with a pop sensibility grounded by her deep and expressive voice.
Maijah hopes that audience members will leave her concert feeling both thoroughly entertained and empowered.
“I am heavily encouraging people to dance…I want people to do whatever makes them feel sparkly and amazing,” she said. “It’s going to be a night where everyone will be the main character of their own movie and I’m just there to accompany them.”
To purchase tickets for the concert, visit vashoncenterforthearts.org.