Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, jazz-soul singer/songwriter Maysa Leak embarked on a singing career at an early age. By the age of six, she had already determined that she was going to be a singer, and she spent her elementary and high-school days performing in choir and musical theater productions. Maysa majored in classical voice performance at Morgan State University; during her studies there she began writing and recording original material. She also placed second in Baltimore's first annual Billie Holiday Vocal Jazz Contest and auditioned for Stevie Wonder's vocal group Wonderlove. She was accepted into the group but joined only after she had earned her degree from Morgan State.
Upon graduating, Maysa moved to North Hollywood to perform with Wonderlove on the Jungle Fever soundtrack and appeared in live and televised performances to promote the film. To pay her rent, Maysa also recorded jingles on her days off from performing with Wonderlove and worked at local record shops. In 1991, she was recommended to the British funk-jazz group Incognito by producer Steve Harvey, a mutual friend of Maysa's and of the band's leader, Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick.
Maysa moved to London and joined the band in time to record the 1992 album Scribes, Tribes & Vibes, which included the hit single "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing." She also recorded the 1993 album Positivity with Incognito before returning to Baltimore in 1994 to record her first solo album, Maysa. "What About Our Love," the album's single, reached number 52 on Billboard's Hot 100. In 1997, Maysa returned to Incognito and recorded Beneath the Surface. During this time she began collaborating with the neo-blues group Grainger, and appeared on their album Phase 1; she also recorded with Rick Braun, Rachel Z, Rhythm Logic, and Pieces of a Dream. Incognito's No Time Like the Future followed in 1999. She recorded a number of albums beginning in the early 2000s, including All My Life (2000), Out of the Blue (2002), Smooth Sailing (2004), Sweet Classic Soul (2006), Feel the Fire (2007), Metamorphosis (2008), A Woman in Love (2010), and Motions of Love (2011). She contemporized standards as well as dozens of R&B hits spanning several decades. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi