Maya B knows exactly what she’s doing. As one of the more interesting sounds striving for originality in contemporary rap today, Maya’s life has been consumed by music from a very early age. Nostalgic memories of performing alongside her sisters in her very first girl group, although make-believe, are what she claims “sparked my passion for music”.
With an exploding profile, her is sound bold and brash, her visuals bright and blazing and her persona no different. Maya B’s new recent single “Selenas” is exactly that, the new track is a shining encapsulation of who she is, while also talking about what she’s not, and that is someone that tolerates weak boys. “Listening to Sara Vaughn, Angel Olsen, Kanye and Connan Mockasin manifest into this clusterfuck of a song like “Selenas”. She says, standing at only 21 years young, Maya B can only be described as mature and her sound very much established, despite the “clusterfuck”, it’s an organised mess like a stressed millennial’s bedroom “I think my personal and family struggles have helped mold my backbone at a pretty young age. Musically, I was constantly exposing myself to the unknown, which helped me become a well rounded musician and listener”.
Maya’s general inspirations doesn’t fall far behind, with her influences being as varied as her sound, revolving to someone and something new each month of the year; “I love Missy Elliot because of her boyish swag and her super dope beats. I love Angel Olsen because her lyricism is absolutely mind blowing, but more recently I’ve been listening to a lot of The Drums ‘cause I love that carefree vibe they’ve got going. I look up to Alt-J so much as well. Their vocal arrangements and song structures are just amazing. I could go on forever haha- those are my biggest influences though!” Just over a year ago she released the contrasting soft ambience of “Kiss On My Neck”, which earned the praise of numerous music critics plus DJ Khaled as well as her follow-up single, “River” which Zane Lowe chose to lead off his playlist of favourite new artists in January 2018 and later played the song on his Beats 1 radio show, Maya is taking the world by storm and turning it up a notch. But if her life were to be described with a few songs, it would have to be; ‘Through The Late Night’ – Travis Scott – ‘I Don’t Know How To Love’ – The Drums and ‘F**k Out My Face’ – A$AP Ferg.
“Selenas” is a debut single that Maya B released with Virgin EMI/Capitol Records, the angsty electro-punk instrumentals alongside the flame-filled ferociousness of the lyrics is a modern self defying anthem, so it comes of no major surprise to find that Maya B did not only write the song, but self-produced it as well. However, she doesn’t plan on stopping there, Maya B also plans to take creative control of almost all of her future projects showcasing precocious yet intensely driven self. She explains “My favourite part about being an artist would have to be creating the art. I love the creative process of video and I wanna learn more about it and get more involved as the videos roll out. I definitely know I would want to direct one eventually!”. Though there anguish expressed in her more recent tracks, the LA riser admits that her only frustrations within the industry are the artistic battles within herself “I think the only real challenge is getting over myself. You know – finding it within myself to keep going when I’m tired or letting the good moments win over the bad days. Any industry has those little things that’ll bug you but it’s not a challenge if it’s your passion”.
With a poetic prose and an artist sensibility, and a representation of her own personal courage of conviction, Maya comments “Art is the calm sun squeezing through the blinds, waking me up and telling me, ‘get the fuck up and work”. What keeps her motivated? “Music, painting, and my team. What’s interesting is I have these very emotional days – but when it comes to my art and music I’m so clear. It’s kinda annoying! Even on a rest day I end up working my shit somehow, lol. In the future I hope to be creating more art and sharing it with more and more people. I hope to be in a place where I’m super busy and super happy with the hustle of it all”.
Ashley Morris | WRITER