Ria MacNutt (born March 12, 1991), known professionally as Ria Mae, is a Canadian singer and songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Ria Mae
Born (1991-03-12) March 12, 1991 (age 28)
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
OriginHalifax, Nova Scotia
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active2009—present
LabelsSony Music Canada


As a child, Mae's family moved around Halifax, switching from school to school while she learned to write songs. Ria has described herself as a teenager who spent hours in her bedroom writing songs and teaching herself how to play guitar while rarely sharing them with anyone else. "I was super shy and just kept it hidden," she says. "I used to write about relationships but I never had one. It was just imagination stuff."[1] She wouldn't play those songs in front of a big crowd until shortly before high school graduation.

But instead of pursuing a career in music, she briefly dabbled in construction management out of high school.[2] Before long, she would return to music, playing in bars and clubs and steadily growing a fan base.

Her first release, the EP Between the Bad, was released in 2009. Two years later, Mae was chosen as a finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, causing her to cancel her show at the Halifax Pop Explosion.[3]

In 2011, Mae self-released her debut album Under Your Skin, recorded with Mir members Asif and Shehab Illyas at The Shire Studios in Halifax.[4] Mae met the Illyas brothers while acting in Rohan Fernando's feature-length independent film, Snow, in which she played an itinerant singer.[4] The Illyas brothers composed the score for Snow.[2] Under Your Skin won an East Coast Music Award in 2012.[4] In March 2012, the song "Under Your Skin" was chosen as a finalist in the Radio Star National Talent Search at Canadian Music Week.

In 2013 she was nominated for another ECMA for Song of the Year for her song "Leaving Today".

The single "Clothes Off" was released in 2015 and has received positive reviews.[5][6] The themes behind the song were inspired by a visit to Montreal where Mae took in the nightlife. It is her first release with Sony Music Canada. The track is produced by Juno Award-winning hip-hop producer Classified, who Mae chose after hearing his work with David Myles and Chad Hatcher.[7] "Clothes Off" was nominated for Juno Award for Single of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2016.[8]

Mae was nominated for Songwriter of the Year at the 2015 East Coast Music Awards.[9]

Her self-titled album was also produced by Classified and Mae has said she doesn't think the collaboration would've come about if they weren't both from Halifax. "(Halifax) makes for some really funny collaborations," she told The Canadian Press in an interview. "If I grew up in Toronto I wouldn't necessarily be collaborating with the most famous hip-hop artist (in the city)."[10]

Classified co-wrote and produced Mae's hit song "Thoughts On Fire"[11] and raps on the version featuring Classified. Mae wrote "Thoughts On Fire" the day she signed with Sony Music Entertainment Canada: "Despite being told 'no' for over a year, I just never stopped believing," she said.[12]

Mae has performed at CMJ Music Marathon in New York City, Folk Alliance International in Memphis, Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Contact East in Fredericton, and at East Coast Music Awards Week. She has shared the stage with Family of the Year, Xavier Rudd, Buck 65, Classified, and opened for Elle King.

She is out as a member of the LGBT community.[13]

Mae is a member of Canadian charity Artists Against Racism.[14]

Mae portrayed a lesbian relationship in the music video for her single "Gold".[15] It would later be acknowledged as a rare example of a positive lesbian relationship in a music video that didn't "exist solely for the titillation of straight men."[16]

The singer told The Canadian Press that she struggled with playing an alternate version of her sexuality in a music video, concerned it might pigeonhole her career. After some consideration she changed her perspective: “I had this gut feeling, like, ‘Shut up. It’s good, and it’s important,'" she said.[10]


Studio albumsEdit

Title Details Peak positions
Under Your Skin
  • Release date: August 30, 2011
  • Label: Ria Mae
Ria Mae 71
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Title Details Peak positions
Between the Bad
  • Release date: November 17, 2009
  • Label: Ria Mae
My Love
  • Release date: November 3, 2017
  • Label: Sony Canada
  • Release date: March 8, 2019
  • Label: Sony Canada
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak positions Certifications Album

2012 "Under Your Skin" Under Your Skin
2013 "Leaving Today"[22] Non-album single
2015 "Clothes Off" 31 30 13 8 Ria Mae
2016 "Gold" 98 38 31 18
"Ooh Love" 77 15 47 10
2017 "Thoughts on Fire"[24]
(featuring Classified)
"Bend" 68 6 16 4 My Love
"Red Light" 50 37
2018 "Hold Me"
(featuring Frank Kadillac)
2019 "Too Close"[25]
(with Dan Talevski)
67 TBA
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  • Snow as an itinerant singer


  1. ^ "Halifax singer Ria Mae finds confidence in making pop music". Atlantic. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  2. ^ a b "Ria Mae channels inner Gypsy". The Chronicle-Herald. November 3, 2011. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  3. ^ McNutt, Ryan (November 17, 2011). "Ria's spark". The Coast. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  4. ^ a b c "Ria Mae gets Under Your Skin". Xtra!, June 17, 2012.
  5. ^ "Ria Mae Holiday Inn, Truro NS, November 6". Exclaim!. November 7, 2014. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  6. ^ "Music Lives: Warm up with great Nova Scotian music". Truro Daily News. March 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  7. ^ Ritchie, Matthew (June 28, 2012). "Mae day". The Coast. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  8. ^ "Passion personified; Juno-nominated Ria Mae talks inspiration, collaboration". Halifax Chronicle-Herald, February 19, 2016.
  9. ^ "2015 ECMA nominees announced". The Telegram. January 28, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  10. ^ a b "Friend, David. Halifax singer Ria Mae finds confidence in making pop music". CTV Atlantic. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  11. ^ Doole, Kerry. "Ria Mae: Thoughts on Fire". fyimusicnews.ca. Retrieved 30 January 2017. [I am] so proud to be featured on this song with Ria," explains Classified in a label press release. "I had a great time producing this whole album and we talked about me rapping on one of the songs and finding the right song. When I heard 'Thoughts on Fire,' I knew this was the one I wanted to rhyme on... the song is very personal and something I can relate to.
  12. ^ Doole, Kerry. "Ria Mae: Thoughts on Fire". fyimusicnews.ca. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Ria Mae talks signing to Sony and working on her new hip hop-inspired album". After Ellen, February 12, 2015.
  14. ^ http://artistsagainstracism.org/artists/
  15. ^ "Ria Mae - Gold (Music Video)". YouTube. March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  16. ^ Friend, David (June 24, 2016). "Musical Pride: How a generation of LGBTQ voices are reshaping music videos". Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Ria Mae Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  18. ^ "Ria Mae Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  19. ^ "Ria Mae Chart History (Canada AC)". Billboard. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  20. ^ "Ria Mae Chart History (Canada CHR/Top 40)". Billboard. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  21. ^ "Ria Mae Chart History (Canada Hot AC)". Billboard. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  22. ^ Cooke, Stephen (March 6, 2013). "Ria Mae, 'Leaving Today'". The Chronicle Herald. SaltWire Network. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  23. ^ a b c "Canadian single certifications – Ria Mae". Music Canada. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  24. ^ Doole, Kerry (January 13, 2017). "Ria Mae: Thoughts on Fire". FYI Music News. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  25. ^ https://music.apple.com/ca/album/too-close-single/1482169413