I am MAPY
We’ve all heard that success is 80% mindset and 20% skill. And when award-winning violinist, Mapy took the stage at the 2021 Grammy Awards, she played in honor of all her mother had done to ensure that she had developed both. Mapy’s mindset was molded by her mother’s words, “Music is a passport that breaks boundaries between social classes. One day you will understand and thank me.” And for the Reunion Island native, hailing from the “no go zone” slums of Paris — she was determined to break boundaries and generational struggles by using her musical strength. Until this day, Mapy continues to thank her mother for the wisdom and guidance that propelled her into the position of stardom that once seemed unimaginable.
But who is Mapy?
Raised by a single mother in a home with 4 other siblings, Mapy’s escape was always music. At the age of 6, the violinist began cultivating her gift at the Conservatory in Paris, France. Her mother worked hard and made countless sacrifices to pay for Mapy’s violin lessons, sacrifices that weren’t lost on Mapy whose mantra was “I can not fail.” She spent many years practicing, learning, and even teaching others, and eventually, she discovered the sound she loved to make a classical instrument play was Hip Hop, Reggae and Soca. But Mapy, now known as “The Violin Queen,” struggled to earn her crown, and was taunted for making a mockery of the violin. Her look. Her sound. Her choices. They weren’t widely accepted. But Mapy began to accept herself and with confidence pursued her dream. “One day I just decided to quit my job and fully commit to believing in myself... my dream... my passion and purpose to play music. And after that day... because I believed... doors began to open for me.”
Quitting a job to pursue a passion wasn’t easy for Mapy, whose mother had roots working on a plantation, and who had lived in poverty most of her life. But her mindset was shaped by her determination to succeed. And with only a few dollars, determination, and a dream, Mapy pursued music by moving to the United States. She believed her skills would pave the way. And they did. They led her to a performance on the Ellen Degeneres Show with Pharrell Williams; performances of the National Anthem and Halftime for the NBA at the Barclays Center, at Paris Fashion Week, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent; headlining and performing with French Montana at the 2019 St Kitts Music Festival; and countless nods from top artists and brands such as Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, DJ Khaled, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, DaBaby, MTV, BET Music, Young Thug and the Afrobeats & Caribbean Legends; Davido, Machel Montano, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Movado and more.
In 2017, she released her mixtape Island Girl, and it debuted at #1 on the iTunes reggae charts. And in 2018 she released an inspirational anthem, "Dreams'' followed by her second original single "Tropsical,” a personal piece that paid tribute to her roots. In December of 2019 she became a National Film and TV Award Winner for "Best Performance On a Reality TV Show." In 2021, following her Grammy Awards performance with DaBaby, Mapy is 100% sure there are no boundaries she can't break and she continues to relish in the success that past sacrifices have now afforded her.
Mapy in "2BKaribbean.com" - USA
"Mapy the Violinist Destroys Stereotypes One Musical Note at a Time"
Her sweet and endearing personality strikes a daring contrast to her laser-focused musical persona who continues to shatter stereotypes every time she plays her violin. When Mapy the Violinist plays her instrument, she takes on the role of a cultural ambassador who is determined to challenge the status quo. In this role, she has contested many stereotypes, such as, ‘a Caribbean cultural ambassador should be born in the region’, or, the one that says ‘you are more likely to be a conservative person if you play classical music’ or even the stereotype that says ‘classical music is the accepted genre of choice for violin players’. This daughter of African soil has embraced the challenge of being different in a world that is more comfortable with the familiar. She is serious about her role as an original thinker and cultural ambassador and she is determined to use her violin as her tool to introduce the world to Caribbean music.
Mapy in "iStandard" - USA
"Mapy Discusses Journey as a Violinist, Power of Visuals & Advice for Musicians"
The violin wasn’t Mapy‘s first choice for an instrument, yet after going viral on YouTube it’s a decision she’s glad she made. The Parisian violinist, Reggae and Hip Hop artist brings a ton of different sounds to the table. In our interview she talks about her journey up to this point, doubting herself, and how posting her first video was the breakthrough she needed to push forward.
Mapy in "The Fader" - USA
"Stop What You’re Doing And Watch This Amazing Trio Tear Up Tracks By Wayne Wonder, Gyptian, And Rupee"
Mapy in "MissBish" - USA
"Get to know Acoustic and Electric Violinist Mapy"
We recently caught up with Mapy, a Parisian who has been playing the violin since she was a child. Known as #ViolinQueen, Mapy has performed with several different artists, including Pharrell Williams. Find out more about the fierce female changing the classical instrument game, one hip-hop track at a time...