In Focus: Maria Schuster

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

APEX is Music. APEX is Fun. APEX is Family.

I was introduced to APEX by a fellow Smuler from Germany. I already spent two years on Smule, taking part in groups (more or less active) and in competitions and just having fun. If I were to be honest to myself, I was absolutely jealous when APEX asked him to be a member. I started listening to their music and in my head an idea came to life - the “what if’s”. What if I were part of APEX? What if I could sound like that? What if I could make beautiful music like that? APEX seemed like a very distant dream.

When I was finally able to talk to Paul, our wonderful leader, I was literally sweating in front of my phone. Big time! He started to interview me and it felt like I was applying for a CEO job! He asked questions like “how loyal are you?” or “who are you in a team - a follower or a leader?”, which made me super nervous.

When my husband came home in the middle of that conversation, I almost screamed at him to not bug me then. “THIS IS IMPORTANT! LEAVE ME ALONE!”. I think you can tell that I was serious about my attempt to become a part of the APEX team.

Well, what can I say? It worked! And music, which has always been a part of my life, became an even bigger influence.

My parents both studied singing, but before APEX, they actually never heard me sing. Music was everywhere. Instruments were played all the time and songs were always sung. But I never had the courage to sing in front of them or show them a recording. German parents can be super critical. And even today I struggle with sending them the songs we produce in APEX. But, from time to time, they surprise me with nice words. In other countries that would mean awards and medals, you know? Sometimes I would get brutally honest feedback and sometimes I would win the jackpot with a “good job, Maria”. So, when I found APEX I found a new channel to connect with my family, too.

I still wouldn’t dare to sing on a stage. I still am shaking when I know my husband is next door when I record a song, knowing that he’ll be able to hear me. I often force him to listen to loud music on headphones as I sing. But it gets better and better! My favorite audience now is my daughter (because she can’t escape, yet). Ha! I really hope to be able to teach her the joy of music, too. As Friedrich Nietzsche would say, “Without music life would be a mistake.”

When I say that music has always been important for me, I go back to my 15 years of dancing. I was in a dance team and appreciated team spirit and harmony among people for a very long time. When I stopped dancing, I felt I also left a family and I was searching for a new one for a very long time. It was a hard time. Maybe you know how it is when you feel that something is missing and you cannot really describe exactly what it is? It didn’t take me long to realize that APEX became that new family that was missing. A team with everything that a team needs.

From mother hen and kinky sisters to naughty uncle ad fun grandmas - we have them all! And we’re all united as a virtual choir that loves putting a lot of effort in projects. It’s always worth it. Sometimes I even get to use my dancing skills when creating a little choreography for projects! It’s a perfect combination.

It’s a gift to see APEX develop as a team and to see growth in every single member, too, including myself. I know I have grown my musical-self a lot, thanks to APEX! There is so much I can be thankful for in APEX. But it is especially the APEXians (I even got to meet some!) that make my life richer!

If Paul would ask me again today “who are you in a team?”, there would be several answers. I‘m a sweet one. I‘m a caretaker. I‘m a loyalist. I‘m a leader. I‘m a supporter. I‘m a predator (don’t question that; the team knows what they were doing with giving me that title). I‘m a mean one. I‘m always honest. I‘m humble. I‘m proud. And most of all, I‘m an APEXian.

Maria Schuster

Smule ID: Maria_APEX

Berlin, Germany

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