Ria Mae was set to perform in Kamloops in November but cancelled due to illness. Now she’s returned and two rescheduled shows are set for next week.
Mae is a successful Canadian pop artist with two studio albums, two EPs and a handful of singles that have charted well.
Her music career started in 2009 and prior to that, she mostly kept her talents to herself.
“I’d always pretend to be singing to a bunch of people and pretend to be less awkward than I was — or a bit better looking than I was,” she told KTW in November.
Mae earned a Juno nomination for pop album of the year for her EP My Love in 2018 and in 2016 she earned a nomination for single of the year for Clothes Off.
A number of music videos dot the timeline of her success. Among her most popular are videos for Bend and Red Light, both from her latest album, and Gold and Clothes Off, both from her 2016 self-titled album.
Romantic relationships and sexuality have featured heavily in Mae’s music and videos. It’s something that got her some attention with Gold, where she portrayed herself in a lesbian relationship.
She was initially hesitant to do so, thinking it might pigeonhole her music career, but said now she’s not worried, and that being an out lesbian has helped her, especially during her start.
“Some of my first shows would be to like, 20 gay people in Michigan — it was just sort of an underground thing.
“And then when I started playing on the radio it was more like a general audience,” she said.
Much of that initial underground audience has followed Mae into the mainstream, with the singer-songwriter’s accomplishments often talked about in the LGBT community.
“I’m super proud. I always hoped that if I got the opportunity to make a music video that hundreds of thousands of people would see, that I would be true to myself, because it’s so important to see yourself represented — otherwise you just think you’re a weirdo,” she said.
Mae said when it comes to expressing her sexual orientation, she hopes she’s had a positive impact.
“I think in the past people have muted their own sexuality just so they wouldn’t make people uncomfortable. For me, I just want to be myself so that problem doesn’t exist in five years.”
Mae will perform next week on Tuesday and Wednesday at The Blue Grotto, 319 Victoria St.
Tickets for the Wednesday show are sold out, but still available for Tuesday. Find them online at kamtix.ca for $20.