"Ariana's soulful talent has taken up elite residency in what constitutes the very best that songwriting has to offer. On the cusp of 20 years old she was composing material that was outrageously original, melodic and passionate. Now under the wing of multi-talented Americana everyman Buddy Miller the stars are aligned and Ariana Gillis will prove through these recordings that she is no flash in the pan flavor of the month but a force to be reckoned with now and for a very long time."
-Bernie Taupin (Lyricist of Elton John)
Hailing from just outside Toronto, Ariana Gillis began taking singing lessons at the age of six, but she was hardly thrilled. So, her father encouraged her to write her own material and learn to play the guitar. An award-winning songwriter himself, he gave her invaluable insight into the process.
Gillis made an immediate impact on the Niagara music scene, and the Canadian Folk music scene, winning Songwriter of the Year at the 2009 Niagara Music Awards, followed by Female Vocalist and Album of the Year in 2010, as well as 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award, Young Performer of the Year. She networked at music conferences, which led to a quick, two-song performance for Dave Marsh in a stairwell in Memphis, following the release of her second album, Forget Me Not. Marsh then played Gillis on his Sirius XM radio show, which caught the attention of Elton John's songwriting partner which in turn, led to Buddy Miller.
About the record...
Fast forward a year later — Buddy witnessed Ariana perform at the City Winery in Nashville experiencing first hand the conviction and power of her song writing, singing and stage presence. This led to further conversations and ultimately brought them together to create the album, "The Maze". Recorded live-off-the-floor in Nashville at Buddy's studio – this album features lyrics and performances that feel both natural and strangely unique all at once.
“I’ve never seen an unknown performer with more power as when I saw Ariana….
I couldn’t stop talking about her. She may be the best new emerging artist anywhere.”
– Writer - Rock Critic - Historian, Dave Marsh
“I have been a fan of Ariana Gillis since discovering her music on satellite radio…something rare and unseen – genuine, un-calculated, un-co-opted, art from a soulful gem.”
– Grammy Award-winner, Buddy Miller