Introducing The Maya Spectra Part I: Janel Blanco / by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

Photography by Dino Webb

Photography by Dino Webb

The Maya Spectra are the newest trio on the scene bringing unconventional sounds to the world of electronic. While a portion of their inspiration comes from their multicultural and urban backgrounds, all three members of the band are musical powerhouses who bring their training, as well as their creative camaraderie, completely “gung-ho” compared to their counterparts in the scene. In this series of Anima Artist Management’s blog faithful to everything electronic, we are giving you the skinny on each member of The Maya Spectra, and hopefully giving you a little more insight on how the band comes together as a creative big-bang.

What makes The Maya Spectra unique as a group, is not only their dedication in achieving the most fine-tuned product of their music, but also regularly “jamming” as a traditional band to throw ideas around, and develop their “off-the-cuff” ideas. In this edition of the series, you’ll get a quick profile on Janel Blanco, the woman behind the voice who has served as the trio’s vocalist.

Right off the bat, Janel’s penchant for “going with the flow,” and embracing what her voice provides made her a fit for the group from the very start. As a musician and vocalist, Janel got her foundations from her performance-art-orientated mother and father, who possessed backgrounds from the street culture of Hip-Hop, being immersed in the genre of R+B, and her mother’s own world of dance, being part of a B-Boy crew. Janel followed in her parents footsteps and embraced a plethora of her cultural background to shape the diverse artist she is today.

Upon going to school in Santa Fe and meeting Julian and Donald Pena, all three of them were exposed to sounds they had never heard before, and sound-structures that were indeed unfamiliar to what we know as the electronic music industry. In developing her unique vocal style, Janel emphasizes she is “not a powerhouse,” but someone who “takes it as it comes.” On terms of developing her vocal style, she feels that being in The Maya Spectra has helped her express her style from a plethora of life experience that she can interpret in the form of sound and song.

Janel has been instrumental in providing vocals for the group, and can be heard in their “Music Box E.P.” with full-force. One thing we mentioned that The Maya Spectra comes together spectacularly as, is their ability to work together as a trio. Janel see’s her voice as “always changing,” and is more than happy to be laying down vocals for a group that not only lets her reach the range of her vocal expression, but also make her own contribution to The Maya Spectra’s “Omnigenre” movement. The careful quality to Janel’s mindset aides herself in learning more about her own inner workings; in being open to the sounds her voice may produce naturally, she is on the cutting edge of developing riffs, chords, and slick ideas on the fly to make some of their best tunes. Don’t mistake her entire game for improv, for although sometimes her best ideas can arrive by accident, she feels her ideas arrive best as well through premeditated vibrations.

With the wonderful stylings of Janel in-mind, The Maya Spectra has big plans for a full-length album coming up, and in the mean-time, check out a sample of their awesome tunes from their music video for Music Box.



Janel Blanco

The Maya Spectra