Introducing The Maya Spectra Part II: Julian Peña / by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen



In the second installment of our “Meet The Maya Spectra” series, we are taking the time to introduce the next mastermind of sound, partly responsible for the vibes and production behind the trio: Julian Peña. Like most budding musicians, his fascination with music came at an early age, singing and air drumming along to his favorite songs and beats, eventually picking up the violin in second grade. Upon reaching the age of 11, Julian egged his parents on for drum or guitar lessons, and hung up the violin for the drum sticks. While carrying a background in the genre of jazz  during his youth, Julian simultaneously began covering classic rock songs and delved into the genre of progressive rock with his brother, Donnie.

On terms of his contributions to The Maya Spectra, Julian Peña displays his own eclectic background within his own means of production, as well as a plethora of cultural, educational, and personal experiences that have shaped his style and world-view. As someone who brings the best of his musical experiences forward when contributing his work to the band, Julian brings his original love of Hip Hop, R&B, progressive rock, and experience with Jazz to incorporate a variety of sounds and inspiration mixed with what he has heard on a global scale. As a musician, Julian stresses how lucky he has been to have had instructors who have fostered the importance of being well-rounded and exposed to many different kinds of sounds.

As an individual, Julian is still learning to balance the precarious juggling act of being a producer, mixer, and drummer within the band. While drumming may be a more natural fit for him, the man himself is incorporating everything that he understands musically to hone his skills fervently to push out the most polished musical products, and push out sounds that rival the mixing of authentic world-drum sounds, and modern drum machines.

On terms of working with his bandmates, brother Donald “Donnie” Peña, and vocalist/friend Janel Blanco, Julian stresses the power of the trio itself, and is careful not to take too much credit. As mentioned in the last edition of the series, much of Maya Spectra’s never-heard-before production stylings come from a collection of musical experiences, global sounds, and their own human experience that stems from them acting as a cohesive trio. In finding their inspiration through various traditional jamming sessions not normally found in the electronic community, they are able to bring their carefully crafted ideas together until they find that specific sound they are truly looking for. In a way, this diversity of sound is molding what the trio coins as, “Omnigenre.”

Although you may know that The Maya Spectra will be releasing a full-length LP in the near future, you can check out their older sounds through their Music Box E.P. available on Bandcamp. This E.P. touches on many of the sounds that Julian and the gang have explored, but also don’t forget to stay tuned for new material; like a snowflake, The Maya Spectra’s sound is constantly evolving.


Julian Peña

The Maya Spectra