Interview: Maijah

Maijah is a fascinating pop artist with a unique sound to her music, meaning it needs to be heard! I reviewed her song My Time recently and wanted to find out more – read on below to see how we got on!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a song titled My Time, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about this song and where can it be purchased?

I first released My Time as a single but it is also on my debut EP, Star-Fairy, that came out in late May! I wrote it as a self-motivation song to turn toxic feelings of self-doubt and comparison into working towards my goals — that’s why the beginning of the song almost sounds like a work-out song, or something that would be in a glow-up montage in an action movie! You can find it on all streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Youtube, etc. 

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Quite the opposite — I actually felt like the pandemic really highlighted that I finally had time to push myself to start releasing music, which I had been making and performing ever since I was a kid. I actually first started releasing music during the middle of the pandemic and I’m so glad I did! It’s been really interesting to learn how to collaborate and work with others remotely by sending tracks back and forth. You definitely have to be self-motivated, but once you meet the right talented people who you can trust and love to work with, it’s not as hard as you would think to make a song without even meeting in person! 

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

It’s different for every single song! Oftentimes I’ll hear some lyrics or a phrase in my head and become inspired to flesh it out into a full song. Most of the time, I’ll write a song using my guitar to find the melodies, and from there I’ll work with someone to produce it out and get it sounding exactly how I hear it in my head. When working with others like that I make really detailed sheets of references/moods/target audiences/etc., so whoever I’m working with has the best chance of understanding my vision as possible. 

There have also been times though, like with my song Magnetize, where I’ve found a beat or music that I’ve liked and written lyrics over it. It really does depend on the track! Writing lyrics and recording vocals is definitely my favourite part. In terms of recording, I have a few studios that I love to record at – the Ruby Room in Seattle or Singing Sands in Portland for example — but I’ve also definitely recorded vocals from home. In my song Sparkly, I recorded all of the vocal tracks by myself in my closet just using Garage Band. It’s harder to do it that way, but it’s definitely doable! 

Have you started writing for a future EP/album yet?

I actually just released my debut EP Star-Fairy on May 21st! It has 6 songs in total and I’m extremely proud of it – it helped me coin my genre as ‘main character music,’ because, while every song has a different theme, mood, and subject matter, each song in its own way makes the listener feel like they’re the main character in a movie. 

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

I do! I’m trying to release as often as possible — hopefully at least every other month, if not more! In fact, I actually am releasing a remix to my song Magnetize (the most popular song off of my EP) on July 28! The remix features three other artists — Monita, who actually made the beat for the original Magnetize, Shariya Wise, and Montana Janel. The song is completely written and performed by women and it is a total divine feminine empowerment anthem! 

Whereabouts are you based and what is the local music scene like?

I’m currently based in the Pacific Northwest, often going between Portland, OR and the Seattle area. Now that things are opening up, the music scene does seem a lot more booming in terms of local music and shows! I’m definitely performing more this summer than I ever have before. However, I’ve noticed there’s definitely more of a pop music scene in Seattle than Portland and even still, I hope to move to the LA area in the near future. 

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

I have a ton of musical influences but some of my favourites right now have been Doja Cat, Sabrina Claudio, Jorja Smith, and Billie Eilish. I’m incredibly inspired by lyricism – the symbolism of lyrics, double-meanings, lyrical phrasing – as well as powerful vocals and harmonies. I love songs I can sing to, so any song that’s vocally fun and has interesting harmonies is totally my jam. In general too, I really like songs that make me feelMusical poetry gets me every time! 

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

I’ve actually been doing a mini Star-Fairy tour this summer! I’ve been playing different venues around the Portland area, but the one I’m most excited for is my headlining EP Release Star-Fairy Party on Vashon Island on August 5th! It’s at this huge beautiful theatre and it’s probably the biggest show I’ve played yet! 

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

Lately I’ve been really playing with the idea of having live dancers and visuals – making my shows as much of a full production as the venue allows! If you see me live, you can expect vocals, dancing, lots and lots of glitter and complete authenticity. Every time I play a show I’m dedicated to making it a safe, judgement free zone where people can be themselves and feel like the main character! 

Any last words for the fans?

Thank you to everyone who listens and supports my music! I’m so excited to expand on the ‘Main Character Music’ genre and keep releasing bops you that can either help you manifest, empower you, relate to you or just straight up entertain you… if not all of the above!