MARIA WIRRIES was born in Haiti and has spent her life training as a singer, actress, dancer, musician, and composer. She attended the Musical Theatre program at Penn State University and immediately joined the Broadway company of DEAR EVAN HANSEN upon graduating. Her influences extend from Broadway to jazz, classical to country, and gospel to Americana.
MATT SANGIOVANNI is a guitarist/multi-instrumentalist from Middlesex, NJ. He studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston and afterwards moved to New York to become a Broadway musician. He has since played for several Broadway shows and tours as well as working frequently across the city with various songwriters and composers.
The duo met when they were both hired for the First National Tour of Dear Evan Hansen. As collaborators, Maria is the primary songwriter and Matt brings her ideas to fruition as her music director/producer. Having written songs her entire life, Maria knows how to create catchy melodies with thought-provoking lyrics and interesting song structures. She will often write a song in its entirety and create a fully orchestrated demo track, which Matt will then take and turn into a fully produced piece of music while adding his own flare and personality throughout, whether that means playing instruments, creating samples, mixing tracks, or finding other musicians to supplement them.
About Just Keep Singing
“You’re Alive” (Track 1)
After being on tour for 2 years, the thought of having a home and being in one place felt like a dream. Sometimes you can move so fast through life and time that you forget you are alive and existing in the present. “Listen to the song in the wind. Feel it upon your skin. Feel how you’re alive right now.”
“Thoughts on the Fjord” (Track 2)
While sitting on a weathered stone at 5:15 in the morning over-looking a Fjord in Iceland, I was inspired to write this song about growth and acceptance of change. I always find when I travel I am able to gain new perspective. Whether that be about another group of people, their culture & customs, or about myself & my diverse background. I’ve been learning as I grow that change is inevitable. It is ok to bend, flow, and not know what is coming next. Especially in these complex and frustrating times this song has reminded me that even a year ago I was a completely different person. We as creatures of this earth are able to adapt and evolve into something more every moment we’re alive. Listening to this song always makes me joyful about the changes to come. As well as remembering there is always more than what you see on the surface. Dig deeper and embrace the ride.
“Southern Rain” (Track 3)
I grew up in rural, central, south Florida. Going to rodeos, four-wheeling, and growing sugar cane with my cousins was an afternoon pastime. I romanticized the South much like my white family did. It wasn’t until I went away that I realized how blind I had been. I’d always been different but now my home and everyone in it felt like the different ones. One might see Jeanie as the one who escaped her small town. Others may see her someone who ran away from all she’d ever known.
“Why Are Musicians so Sad?” (Track 4)
I wrote this as an ode to my younger self. I just wanted to be a singer when I was a kid. Just singing my heart out on stages since I was three years old. I didn’t always really understand the words I was singing but the music made me feel so alive. As I’ve grown, the songs’ meanings change, revealing the painful underbelly of lyrical expression. Being an empath and someone who has battled with anxiety and depression, I understand how hard it can be to take a step into the vulnerable spaces this craft asks us to. But I like to look back sometimes at the small girl who just loved the music.
“Blue Line to Wonderland” (Track 5)
While standing in a metro station in Boston, I looked up and saw a sign that said, “Blue Line to Wonderland”. I thought that was the grooviest thing I had ever heard. My mind began to wander into a “magical trip”, if you will, following a woman as she boards this train to the next plane of existence. Truth is, I have never myself been on this actual train but maybe next time I’m in the city I’ll go and let you know if it’s as fantastical as I dreamed. 😉
“My Joe” (Track 6)
My Joe tells the story of the loves I have struggled to let go. When someone is so entrenched in your life positively or toxically it can feel so frustrating and scary to not have them in your life anymore. Love that made you need a person to hold you up but taught you that you were holding the both of you up can provide you with a chance to expand. To take up more space next time. To make your own space next time. It isn’t easy but maybe in your next space you’ll find that you can decorate the walls with the memories that remind you of how bright you’ve always shone. And while the “baggage” seems to stick around (at least for now) it can spend more and more time in the basement instead of cluttering your path.
“Let Go” (Track 7)
This song kinda hits me every time. I think that often in my life people have created their own version of who I am that suits them the best and I let them. It makes it really hard to know who YOU really are. It happened the most in early relationships for me. I think this song is what I wish I could have said.
“Goodbye, Cecilia” (Track 8)
For Jeaneen, my queen of lilac times.