By Maya Earls
At only 21 years old, Soleil Laurent embodies the phrase of being an old soul trapped in a young body. When she performs with her band Quantum Split, she is like a hair metal guitar soloist of the 1980s, leather pants and all. As a soloist, she is more subdued but her soulful voice and electric guitar hints at her power. Either way, Laurent is a versatile performer. Her biggest downfall may be that her music is hard to find.
Her artist Facebook page has many photos and short videos, but no full songs. Her personal website links to longer videos, but they still don’t show her talent. The best source for her music is currently YouTube, with one video titled, “Opening Performance” and another of her vocal lesson with Jay Williams and Anwar Robinson. Of the two, “vocal lesson” not only shows her talent now, but also shows her potential as an artist. Her personality shines as she sings with the piano. She sings about being a strong woman, living on her own and not letting others push her around. Her R&B sound is different from her rock’n’roll image, but her “vocal lesson” video seemed to be her most authentic self.
I will always support a woman of color with an electric guitar in her hands, but out of the two videos, “vocal lesson” left me wanting more.
Maya comes from a classical music background, and had played the piano since the age of seven and later the violin at age 12. She has experience playing piano in a jazz band, and viola in an orchestra setting. She also has many years of studying music theory as an undergraduate music student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Outside of school, Maya is a concert fanatic. She’s been to more than 50 concerts and three different summer music festivals, seeing acts such as Parliament Funkadelic, Paul McCartney and Jennifer Hudson.