With her first single, “Burn,” released on Oct. 6, Vanderbilt’s own Maeve Steele is pursuing the same big dream so many Nashville migrants hold dear: she wants to succeed as a singer.

Maeve Steele's single "Burn"
Photo courtesy Maeve Steele.

And she’s hustling to make it happen.

A junior English major from the San Francisco Bay area, Steele grew up playing instruments both at home and at school. Her mother was a musician herself and her non-traditional primary school heavily encouraged musical engagement in its students. Her adolescent story reads like many others: she played violin until she eventually began to teach herself guitar; she sang in the school choir and then, in the privacy of her own room, dabbled in writing her own songs.

While she went to songwriting camp and openly loved music, Steele was shy as a musician. She found it difficult to put herself out there and perform the way musicians trying to “make itmust do. It wasn’t until her freshman year at Vanderbilt that she decided to seriously pursue music, impassioned by the loss of a musical mentor from back home.

“I remember being like, wow, he was such an amazing musician; I wish I could have done what he did. He always performed and recorded and stuff like that, so I really started looking into what that would actually be like.”

“I kind of realized,” Steele continued, “I’m not good enough, if this is something I want to do I need to actually sit down and do it. So my sophomore year of college, I said every single day I’m just going to go to the music room and I’m going to get really good. And I did.”

After all of that practice and a summer of recording, Steele’s out with “Burn,” a sultry pop song sung with airy, dreamy anguish about the questions we ask ourselves after a relationship has gone wrong.

“This song is in the reflection period of a relationship being like, oh that was shitty, that sucked, you don’t want to go back to that,” she explained, grimacing as if to illustrate her point, “I guess it’s trying to explain how it felt when you’re like, oh, do I want to backslide, do I want to go back to that?”

Anticipating the release of two to three more singles within the next month or so and hoping to get an EP out by January 2019, Maeve Steele is ready to go. There’s no doubt we’ll all be hearing more from her soon.

Check out “Burn” here.

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