“When I put my song out on SoundCloud and started seeing all the positive feedback on it, like how it has helped others feel less alone and even stopped them from taking their own life, I knew I wanted to do this as a career”.
Originally from London, Los Angeles R&B artist Maia Zakay has always loved music from a very young age and explains how she used to sing cover songs for fun, choosing not to take music too seriously until reaching the age of 17. The artist highlights how having been through a dark period of her life; she needed an escapism to feel better about the situation. This is how her first title “By Myself” was born. Maia highlights her passion for helping others as the driving factor to continue creating new songs. For the artist there is nothing that compares to the happiness she feels when she is involved with projects where music is an intricate part of its creation.
The songwriter explains how the name of her new album #SpeakUp is down to her songs core elements focused on voicing lyrics around topics she knew a lot of her listeners can relate to. Keen to show people it’s okay to be vulnerable about these hard times in life. Highlighting that the more open we are about it with each other, the less isolated we will feel. The production of her new album has had an incredible impact on the artists development in what she has learnt [studio terminology] and helped the artist to identify what music style suits her best. “By the time I finished this album, I felt I truly unlocked my potential in what I needed to do to be 100% proud of my work”. Maia explains how as each song she produces tells a personal story, the artist takes pride from the real life impacts her fans take from the raw emotions the artist places into her songs.
Maia’s favourite song to date has been her “2 NICE” production. A song the artist is particularly proud of due to the lift it gave her, and those that have been affected by the emotional focus of her lyrics. The song itself based on a period where the artist felt she was too nice to people who took her for granted. Describing the song as a way for her to get her anger out and take her power back. Maia explains how it is important for her listeners to be able to connect with her music on an emotional level. A focus on channelling music where her listeners feel that there is hope no matter what struggles they are facing in life, and take heart in the fact that they are not alone.
Maia explains how her dad believed in her music well before she did. Looking back, she highlights how he helped her see that she had a gift that should not go to waste, and opens up about it taking a lot of effort to get her to see his point of view. The artist goes onto to explain how her father introduced her to producer Stephan Oberhoff, in addition to the financial support offered at the time. From her, she explains how Stephan took him under his wing and mentored her in the studio from day one and taught her everything she knows about the studio and song production. For the songwriter, Stephan’s belief in her gave her enough confidence to trust her instincts. Pointing out that the the issues she once struggled with, come naturally to her.
Maia reminds herself every day that everything happens for a reason. Pointing to the importance of cutting out all the people that are not good for her mental health. Whilst simultaneously actively reading positive quotes everyday and sharing them on social media. “My whole motto is to “keep it real”, so I use social media to spread mental health awareness and keep people updated on my life and music projects”. Highlighting how she loves interacting with her social media supporters as they inspire her to never give up on her dreams.
Maia points to word of mouth as a key factor to making the most of in the music industry. Referencing how it has enabled her to really enhance and take advantage of the opportunities that have come her way. “When legendary producer, Scott Storch, heard my songs and wanted to work with me to create a hit single, my music career catapulted to the next level. I can’t talk too much about that project right now as it is unreleased but 2021 will be an exciting year!” Maia explains that whilst she may look like a “girly girl”; she is a very big sports fan and have a big love for football. In addition to living for adventures and going on spontaneous trips with her friends.
She recommends anyone looking to get into the music industry to teach yourself as much as you can prior as the old phrase “knowledge is power” holds true. To stay true to who you are and to not let setbacks of the music industry change your spirit. The artist highlights her biggest challenge so far as getting her name known and her music out there. “This world has a huge amount of competition through social media that creates a big challenge to stand out in the sea of artists. The key is to continue creating art, keep putting content out there, and never giving up”.
Next to her current project with Scott Storch; the artist has recently collaborated with a very well known rapper that due for release early 2021. Maia is currently working on her second album and is in the process of working on getting her new website completed and merchandise ready for her post pandemic tour.#watchthisspace