Mariya Stokes Bio
Mariya Stokes is a country artist and songwriter, with a 70s-pop flare. Growing up in the small town of Stavely, Alberta, she has been likened to modern country artists such as Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris. Currently, Stokes is recording her debut EP with producers Spencer Cheyne and Justin Kudding at OCL Studios in Alberta and will be releasing her first single entitled “Hands On My Body” in summer 2018.
One of her recent show highlights was in January, 2018 when she opened for Leaving Thomas at their EP Release show at the Palace Theatre in Calgary, Alberta. She was also a finalist in the 2017 Country 105 Rising Star Contest at Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall and gained international recognition when she won two awards for her work, including the “2016 International Modern Country Songwriter of the Year” from the North American Country Music Association Int’l for her song “Detours”.
Stokes is deeply committed to the craft of songwriting and has multiple artists recording and releasing songs that she cowrote, such as Leaving Thomas (Like I Used To), Celia Palli (Paralyzed), and Devin Cooper (Nothing On You – April, 2018). She consistently takes writing trips to Nashville, TN with a commitment to growing her skillset as a writer. In 2015 and 2016, Stokes collaborated with the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre on a project entitled “Shelter From the Storm”, writing original songs, poems and stories that captured the essence of the community with clients of the organization. The project released its second record in June 2016, entitled “Verses Vs. Homelessness”, which featured her song "Lucky".
In August of 2017, Mariya was selected to participate in Canada’s Music Incubator Artist Entrepreneur program in Toronto, honing her craft and learning about the business of music.
Project WILD Bootcamp song co-write pairing: Nathan Cunningham
5 Questions With... Mariya Stokes
1. What brought you to country/roots music?
When I was born, my parents would play Dixie Chicks, Johnny Cash, and Ian Tyson constantly in our house, and my dad was a drummer for a country band. Country music was the first music I ever fell in love with, and I started listening to it so young that I guess you could say it’s part of my DNA now. I’ve been told that even when I try to sing other genres, I still sound a little country (haha!).
2. When did you write your first song - as an artist or with a band?
I wrote my first song when I was 14 years old – it was called “I’m Gonna Miss You” (original title, I know ) and it was for my Jr. High friends because I was going to be switching schools in the fall.
3. If you could go on tour opening to any performing artist right now, who would it be?
I would love to open for Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, or Kesha.
4. What is the best trend in country/roots music right now?
I love that country music is pulling in some funk and soul influenced sounds and beats, like in Lady Antebellum's “You Look Good”, and I really hope that trend continues – it’s so fun to dance to!
5. What part of Project WILD are you most looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to going to Bootcamp and collaborating with the other artists in the program, and continuing to develop my live show with the musicians and mentors that are working with Project Wild.