LET’S START WITH SOMETHING THAT WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT MAYA JAMA?
When I was a toddler I could speak Swedish because that’s where we lived at the time, but once I moved back to Bristol everything was forgotten as my mum stopped speaking it to me. Something I’m still sad about.
WAS PRESENTING THE PROFESSION YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK IN? WERE THERE EVER ANY OTHER CAREERS YOU DREAMT OF PURSUING?
I always knew I wanted to be on TV doing something; I thought it was acting at first because all I wanted to do was entertain people through dancing, or putting together short plays, even singing at one point; I was in a Gospel choir at school, I wasn’t the best but at least I tried. But as soon as I discovered presenting I knew that that was the one. Whenever I would act, I would play over exaggerated characters of myself and it just felt right with presenting. It was all me.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE TO US?
My style? I have like two extremes. Day time, when I’m not on camera, I am the most casual woman; I’ll be in tracksuits or baggy jumpers and jeans with a hat over an unbrushed ponytail. Then if I go to an event of a show where I’m on camera, everything is glamourous. I love a bodycon dress. Rita Ora is one of my style Go-To’s and I slyly look at her Instagram for inspiration.
WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL SECRETS FOR HAPPINESS?
I pray every day that my day, and that of my loved ones, is filled with happiness and gratitude. I feel this is the major key to happiness and I always say that if you write a list with everything that you’re grateful for before you start your day then it starts the day “right”. It’s all about appreciating what you have around you and reminding yourself how far you’ve come.
HOW DO YOU FIND BALANCE IN YOUR BUSY LIFE?
I don’t really to be honest; it’s something I’m working on, but I turn my phone off sometimes when I’m not working and just ignore the world for a few hours. Honestly, it helps; but then when you turn the phone back on, you’re straight back in the deep again and have to catch up. I might start yoga! I really want to start meditating because I’ve heard that’s amazing. I’m just all-systems-go until I get a day off, then I literally don’t get out of my pyjamas all day.
YOU’RE HOSTING A DINNER PARTY WITH THREE GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD YOU INVITE?
Eminem, Aaliyah and Keith Lemon… just to make awkward jokes.
RIGHT NOW, WHAT THREE SONGS ARE THE SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR LIFE?
IN TODAY’S WORLD, HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK IT IS TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A VOICE THAT INSPIRES OTHERS, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION?
I think it’s so important. Young people are influenced by everything around them and at the moment, the place they spend the most time is social media. Literally anyone with a huge following can be considered an “influencer”, so the right message should be spread as much as possible with all the bad that’s going on in the world. We need to how people, through our platforms, that you can achieve anything. It needs to be known that I started from nowhere; you have to work hard and not just appear to be. I’ll show the gruesome 5am wake ups and bags under my eyes as well as the glam make up touch-ups in the studio! I’ve never out and said I’m a role model, but I’m aware that a lot of girls look up to me and with that, I do feel a responsibility to be real and honest.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU FEEL IS SIGNIFICANT TO PASS ON TO THE YOUNG GENERATION OF TODAY?
I think it’s extremely important to pass on the message of self love; I feel like now more than ever it’s impossible to avoid images and articles filled with bodies and beauty that is unrealistic, and it’s harder than ever to accept yourself when you don’t feel you match up to the perfect image being shown in the media. It needs to be clear that most of these looks aren’t real and that beauty is everywhere, even in our imperfections. It’s so much more than skin deep. It’s the most obvious thing to do, but the hardest.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A PART OF THE BRITS AWARDS THIS YEAR?
So amazing, I literally couldn’t believe it when I got the call because I’ve been watching The Brits since I was a child, and to me it’s like the highest of high; to be able to say I work for them makes me so happy [laughs], and this year is set to be one of the most exciting yet so I can’t wait!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR TOP BRIT ’17 MOMENT SO FAR?
My top Brit moment has been presenting the live stream after the nominations with Anne Marie and Michael Kiwunaku!
IN AN IDEAL WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN THE NEAR FUTURE, AND WHAT WOULD YOUR DREAM ROLE BE?
I would love to have my own show on prime time TV like Alan Carr or Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night. I’d call it something like “Moments with Maya”!
photographer DEAN MARTINDALE
stylist SARAH-MARIA BOOTH
makeup artist ABBIE MAY USING NARS AND RODIAL SKINCARE
hair stylist NICK PETERS AT EIGHTEEN MANAGEMENT USING ORIBE
fashion assistants SAMARA KAY & ELLIE PATIS