Ayren Maxwell was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and grew up in a family of accomplished musicians. From the time he was in his mother‘s womb, he was in the studio. His mother says, “I was so surprised when he started kicking to the beat.”
Growing up, he watched his grandfather, Earnest Maxwell, who played with such greats as Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, play finger style Jazz and Classical music. He also watched his father, Joe Maxwell, record in the studio playing a slew of various styles for artists of all genre. “I remember, as a young boy, sitting with my father and listening to a great jazz song the way that most fathers and sons watch a football game. Music has always been in my blood; I couldn‘t run from it if I tried,” reminisced Ayren.
When Ayren was 13, his father threw a bass guitar in his hand and said, “Learn this because you’re playing Sunday.” By that Sunday, he was playing on stage with the band. Ayren recalled, “I probably didn’t sound very good -- Actually, no, I’m pretty sure I sounded like crap, but I had fun and was hooked.” At the age of 15, his family and he moved to Texas where he spent countless days playing and learning guitar from his grandfather. He remembers playing for hours on end, staying up till four or five in the morning, studying and learning the guitar. He states that he practiced every style, learning from anyone he could. Ayren recalls, “Nobody ever had to tell me to practice; I had a burning passion to play.”
“My dad was always there to offer guidance,” Ayren remembers, “but he wanted me to learn on my own and develop my own style of playing. He gave me all of his books and advised me to learn from everyone and all genres. I didn’t quite understand, at the time, why he did it that way, but I understand now. Learning music is similar to courting a woman; no one can do it for you. They can offer advice, but you have to do the work. If you put the proper time and effort into it, you find its well worth it. In guiding me in this way, my father caused music to become my first paramour. I now thank him for his wisdom.”
At the age of 18, Ayren began working in the recording studio on sessions for other artist and freelancing as a guitar player. A few years later, he began his solo act. “When he plays and sings he has so much soul; his style is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. When he does a guitar solo, its like he’s talking with his guitar; you can really hear and feel what he’s trying to say. Its like he draws emotion from the crowd and plays it back to them. His voice has the same quality,” says his good friend and co-writer/producer Harley.
Ayren hopes to evoke emotion out of people with his music. He states, “I want people to commune together in the collective heartbeat that only music can ensue. Music is enormous and all encompassing in the way it brings everything together.” One of his favorite quotes describing music is from the movie August Rush, “You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in the universe, a harmonic connection between all living beings, every where, even the stars.”