Acadia student Maura Whitman two-time 2023 ECMA nominee
Fourth-year psychology honours student Maura Whitman has received two East Coast Music Award nominations for her debut EP, Introspection. The album, released in September 2022, was nominated for Pop Recording of the Year and Electronic Recording of the Year. The awards ceremony will take place in Halifax in early May.
The Coast also named Introspection as one of its top 10 albums of the year. The album explores themes of self-discovery, personal growth, and mental health. It was produced with Juno-award-winning producer Corey LeRue.
Recently, the album's single, Anxiety, was a semi-finalist in two categories in the 2022 International Songwriting Contest out of 15,000 entries. Some of the judges included Mariah Carey, Coldplay, and Gloria Estefan.
"Music has always been a therapeutic way for me to work through my thoughts and feelings," Whitman says. "Songwriting and performing have become a part of my identity that allows me to express myself and share my story with others. The most rewarding part about pursuing music is the ability to bring people together."
At 22, Maura has shared the stage with many notable names in the industry. These include Neon Dreams, Gordie Sampson, Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies), Serena Ryder, Acadia alumna Heather Rankin, Loud Luxury, and Walk off the Earth. Invited as one of Nova Scotia's most promising young songwriters to take part in the prestigious Gordie Sampson Songwriting Camp, she had the opportunity to collaborate with some of North America's most sought-after songwriters and producers, including Grammy Award winner Gordie Sampson.
ADVOCATING FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Whitman strongly advocates for mental health wellness and is fundraising for Phoenix Youth Programs. The song "Anxiety" on the Introspection EP reflects her journey of dealing with anxiety and the steps she took to cope with intrusive thoughts.
"I wanted to speak about my mental health struggles through my music platform so that others experiencing an internal battle know that they are not alone and should never feel ashamed not to be OK," she says. "As a singer-songwriter and psychology student, I wanted to combine these passions by creating an anthem that encourages others to seek help when they need it and to provide a sense of comfort for those going through a similar experience."
Whitman, also an advocate for the Ovarian Cancer Society, will perform at the annual Lady Ball and Mother-Daughter-Sister Tea in May.
A STRONG PRESENCE AT ACADIA
What brought Maura Whitman to Acadia?
"I heard so many amazing things about the faculty and programs and the smaller class sizes," she says. "I love the small-town feel and the welcoming community on and off campus. Being close to the city has allowed me to continue to pursue my songwriting, producing, and performing."
Despite a busy music schedule, Whitman has been on Acadia's Dean's List for the past three years and has won multiple scholarships and awards. She has worked as a research assistant and a teaching assistant. As a member of Acadia's WISE (Women In Science and Engineering), she has mentored a female high school student about pursuing a career in the STEAM field.
The ECMA's are taking place May 3-7 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.