Maberry wins BMI award

Wilson teacher wins gospel award
Posted on 04/06/2022

Andrew Wilson MTSS Coordinator Alayna Maberry has a new title: 2022 BMI Trailblazer of Gospel Songwriter Award Winner.

Maberry was honored with the award March 31 in Nashville for “So Good,” a song she cowrote and was performed by Keyla Richardson. 

“I received the news in February that the song had won this award, and it just blew my mind; it still blows my mind actually,” she said. “I’m just excited. It’s huge. I didn’t think 10 years ago that this song would position me the way that it has as a song writer.”

Maberry was signed to a gospel label in 2011, after auditioning for Sunday Best in NOLA with Kirk Franklin in 2010.

“I did well, but I didn’t move on. I was presented with the contract, and I was like, ‘sure, I would love to do an album.’ We just kind of got into the studio, and I started learning about how to record and that whole process and that creative side,” she said. “We didn’t have the resources to bring in writers, and I said I can write; I’ll give it a try. So, we actually collaborated, myself and Sean Keys, who is the producer on that song.”

The duo wrote about 10 songs for that project, but ultimately, Maberry decided not to stay with the label and walked away from the project.

In 2019, Keys reached out to Maberry with an opportunity. 

“He stated that an artist he had was interested in the song, and that they wanted to do some revisions,” she said, adding that she agreed to the project because “I just never really let music go.”

Maberry on the red carpet at BMI AwardsSince 2019, “So Good” charted on Billboard and achieved a No. 1 spot. 

“It was just my testimony when I wrote the song years ago, but now it’s impacting so many people, which is great,” she said. “It was awesome to see that that song would be considered timeless and that it could be reintroduced in this era and be received so well. That was affirmation to me as an artist that good songs are good songs. You just have to keep writing and creating.”

Music isn’t the only place Maberry has made an impression. Before taking her current position, she was a teacher for 10 years, 8 of which in special education.

“Being a special education teacher and working on that end of the spectrum is about supporting students to meet those additional strategies needed to receive and retain information,” she said.

As MTSS Coordinator, she works the student assistance team and supporting teachers with strategies and intervention for students who need additional supports. 

“I feel like when I came to Wilson and the position was offered to me, it seemed to already be aligned with what I was doing with the more intensive population, and I would be able to impact more students by organizing and facilitating on a larger scale,” she said. “I enjoy the work. I enjoy knowing I am trying to help those students, and in the end, they are getting what they need.” 

While she has no plans to leave education anytime soon, saying “I love the kids and being a part of this movement and this work as well. I plan to continue my work here.” She also said she is ready to see what she can do with the music side of her life.

Maberry released the single “Loyalty” last April under the name A. Miche. She’s hoping to release the second single, “Can’t Find the Words” this month. She just wrapped up shooting the video.

“I feel like I am an Inspirational Soul artist if I had to give myself a category – love music, feel good music is what I do,” she said, adding she’s considering releasing a three-song EP.

Maberry said she’s trying to find a balance between music and education.

“I’m trying to navigate the work-life balance and pursue a dream and passion versus love and desire to help and reach people. It’s an interesting balance to try and keep all of that together and not neglect or negate the other,” she said.

Part of that balance is bringing music to Wilson. After Maberry and her daughter sang the Black National Anthem for the Black History Month program at Wilson, she said she was bombarded with students saying they can sing and wanting to have a talent show. Another teacher asked her if they can have a jam session. 

“I’m thinking maybe we can see what kind of voices we have here at the school, maybe have an extracurricular choir or something,” she said. “That would be a nice outlet to help me satisfy that void of music and not singing throughout the day by working with some kids and igniting the passion in them. That would be awesome.”

Maberry said she hopes her story can be an inspiration to others.

“My biggest thing was I am so much older now and feeling like time dictates what you’re able to do,” she said. “Daily I’m realizing that’s just a misconception I have in my head, and it’s really all about timing. The work and preparation in between are what will allow you to be successful and go to the next level.”

Maberry is hoping this award will help take her to the next level and open up future collaboration opportunities. 

“There’s so much happening. I can say I am an award-winning songwriter, and here’s my new single with a video,” she said. “Life is good.”

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