The artist addresses her depression and traumatic experiences in her compelling new project.
She’s been teasing us during the past few months with her soothing and unique sound, but now up-and-coming R&B singer Maya is ready to take the industry by storm with her new project “B”. Filled with soulful boom-baps and sky-high vocals, the singer takes her sound to another level in the project, bringing her honest penmanship skills to the forefront of the project. Entering the same wavelength of Ella Mai on “Don’t Think About It”, Maya rides the trap-infused beat, merging her passionate vocals with contemporary hip-hop productions.
“B is an absolute big deal to me,” Maya revealed. “But in that same breath, it is absolutely the beginning. One of my biggest goals is to be in the Songwriter‘s Hall of Fame. So I’m looking at this release from that zoomed out perspective of ‘what’s next’. Of course, B is everything to me and I’m very proud of what I said and what we did musically. But I’ve got a lot more in this head of mine.”
Having gained support from various tastemakers for her ever-expanding sound and introspective lyricism, the artist is set to be a part of Tommy Hilfiger’s spring campaign as well as their upcoming summer campaign in the coming months. Talking to us virtually on the project, Maya dives in deep on becoming an authentic artist, touring with Summer Walker and how she dreams of joining the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
Check out the project and EP below…
How’s this past year been for you? How has it affected your creativity?
This past year has definitely been a whirlwind. But at least it was a productive one! I’ve managed to stay pretty creative despite the chaos in the world. I even wrote the bonus track ‘Nasty’ on my debut EP
How did you first get into music? What is your earliest memory?
As I grew up, I quickly realized I could make music. Then my family around quickly saw that I was actually decent at it. One of my earliest memories of making music was performing Aretha Franklin in three-part harmony with my sisters. Other than that I remember my parents surprising me with my first drum set. The rest of the memories are as precious as they are cringe.
You grew up in LA, how did growing up here impact your sound?
Growing up in LA exposed me to a lot of different cultures. That definitely made finding my voice as an artist imperative. The pace here is already fast but with the added weight of the aspiring musician hustle I’ve found isolating myself and limiting myself to what’s going on around me has been a superpower. I’m fully in my own world. Most of the time.
Congratulations on your new project, talk us through the production process?
Thanks so much! Because “B” is my debut EP I wanted to make sure that it was an accurate intro to me and my imperfect scatterbrained reality. Production-wise, Soulshock, Karlin, Hydrate, Malay Ho all stepped up to the plate as collaborators and really helped bring my world to life.
What does this project mean to you?
“B” is an absolute big deal to me. But in that same breath, it is absolutely the beginning. One of my biggest goals is to be in the Songwriter‘s Hall of Fame. So I’m looking at this release from that zoomed out perspective of what’s next. Of course, “B[1”] is everything to me and I’m very proud of what I said and what we did musically. But I’ve got a lot more in this head of mine.
The project touches on a lot of topics, what was your mindset going into the project?
I went into this project with the mindset of being unapologetically and authentically me. It was important for me to talk about my depression. It was important for me to talk about how my upbringing or lack of guidance was a huge part of me finding my identity. I never want to paint my past as bad or traumatic even though in some people’s eyes it may be. I never wanted to make LA or my hard life experiences the centrepiece for this project – I just wanted to tell my truth and share how I’ve grown. I tried to keep the nods to my personal life subtle because it’s my personal life. But it’s absolutely affected the way that I carry myself and my music is my diary – it was going to come out sooner or later.
Who would you say are your inspirations?
I love true artists. Unapologetic artists. I found myself gravitating towards legends with quiet confidence like David Bowie, Prince, and John Lennon.
Your song featured in Promising Young Woman, what was it like hearing your song in the movie?
Hearing my song “Selenas” in Promising Young Woman was very surreal. Especially because the movie was created and driven by such a strong woman. It was really a full-circle moment for me because I wrote and produced “Selenas” because I felt I needed to take my power back as a woman. I felt disrespected by a guy and so I kind of made “Selenas” as an anthem for myself. I’m so happy to see so many people relating to the film and relating to the song.
You’ve toured with Summer Walker and worked with Saint JHN, what were these experiences like?
Both great artists. Touring with summer Walker was actually my first tour and I learned a lot on that tour. Mostly that I love touring and also it kind of got my brain going about what I would want my tour to look like down the line. When it comes to Saint, he and I go back to the beginning of my journey. I wasn’t signed and I was at a riding camp in Jamaica when I played him “Selenas” before it was out and he played me some of his songs before they were out. There was just a creative understanding I feel we had then. Over time, both of our artistic visions aged very well and when I wrote sink I hit him up to see if he was down to spit on it and you know the rest. I’m very grateful to have worked with two upcoming amazing artists so early in my career. Definitely appreciate them both for showing their support.
Now your project is here, what’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
Besides dropping this long-awaited EP, I’m most excited to be present for this because this is going to be the first projects of many. Also, I am pretty stoked about being in Tommy Hilfiger‘s spring campaign as well as their upcoming summer campaign. I guess lastly I am excited for the unknown that’s going to come from this EP. I’m just ready to throw it out into the world and watch it find its tribe.