MARiA, pronounced Meiria (ﾒｲﾘｱ), formerly known professionally as Mizuhashi Mai (水橋舞, Mai Mizuhashi), is a singer-songwriter and utaite known for her strong, mature, and clear yet slightly husky voice. She first started singing professionally at the age of 11, and as such she is a very strong singer technically; possessing a wide vocal range and a firm hold on pitches and tones.
Although in recent years she has become more well known for being the lead vocalist and lyricist of the duo GARNiDELiA with producer Abe Yoshinoli (more popularly known among VOCALOID fans as TokuP), she first became a professional singer in 2003 as a member of the idol unit New man Co.,Ltd., created to perform the opening and ending themes for the anime Omoikkiri Kagaku Adventure Sou Nanda!. After the eventual disbanding of this group, she debuted as the youngest member of the group Harajuku BJ Girls (BJ standing for Blues & Jazz, before they changed their name to Chix Chicks in 2007). They gained initial fame for being a girl group that performed retro pop, jazz and Motown rather than the expected bubblegum pop. They released several albums before disbanding in 2010 to allow members to pursue solo careers.
She was signed under Newcome Inc. (a subsidiary of Sony Music Japan) as a solo artist, and as Mizuhashi Mai, she has sung many opening and ending themes to various anime series, including the fourth ending of Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl, "Kaze no Message". The first theme she performed as MARiA, however, was the opening theme of the anime Freezing - "COLOR", originally composed by TokuP. As a member of GARNiDELiA and as a featured vocalist, she has also sung the opening themes for anime series such as Kill la Kill and Mekakucity Actors.
Her debut cover, first foray into utattemita, and eventual namesake, was her cover of TokuP's "ARiA". It remains her most popular solo cover to date, with 410K as of August 2013. She also occasionally moonlights as an odorite, such as in her song and dance cover of "Girls"with Miume and Kamen Liar 217.