Behind the Music: Interview with Maya Law

‘Whether it’s picking up an instrument or just finding some new tunes, music is a great way of escaping the real world.’

Describe your music style in no more than 5 words: A big mix of everything.

Who/what influences your music? My brother (Dlore) was a big influence for me. Growing up and watching him perform and write made me copy him a little bit I think. There was also always music playing in our house growing up so people like Amy Winehouse, Carole King, Aretha Franklin; mainly strong female role models.

How does your songwriting process work? I don’t really have a process, I generally just start with a couple of lines that will be stuck in my head for a while and then sit down with my guitar and try to structure it. But, I always find it works best when it just falls out without it being forced.

What does a Maya Law recording session look like? Generally I’ll go in the studio with an idea of what I’m doing already and then my producer (Lavar Bullard) will make me go through it over and over till I’ve got the right take hahaha. But putting in the time to get what you want from that process is always worth it.

Who else is involved in the creation of your tracks? Freya Roy, who’s single I featured on recently, has become quite involved in the process. She produced one of the tracks that will be on my EP coming out later on this year. I’ve also been working with a bunch of session musicians to get the right sound.

Your 2016 EP ’Her or Him’ features a lot of collaborations. How does working with other artists affect your musical direction? It’s always nice working with new people who change the way you create. My aim for 2020 is to work with as many different people from different creative backgrounds as possible; I think you learn lots about yourself when you put yourself out of your comfort zone during that process.

You also recently featured on the beautiful track ‘Fantasies’ alongside Freya Roy. How did this collaboration come about? Freya and I actually met at work while I was looking for band members and she offered to be a part of that. She then started recording for me too and the feature on her track came out of that. She was looking for something new for the tune and I sent over my part and we just kind of worked really naturally together from there!

How does music impact on other parts of your life? It’s definitely a kind of therapy for me, definitely keeps me sane. If I didn’t write to music, I’d be writing out everything that’s in my head anyway so it’s more of a happy coincidence that people seem to like it. It also has massively widened my social circles. The music industry is really great for meeting people from different backgrounds and from all over the world.

‘It’s so interesting to see how different people with different tastes interpret the same tune.’

When did you first know that music would play a big part in your life? I think I always knew I wanted to make music and see if I could turn it into a career but probably after my first single with Gabriel came out! People seemed to be drawn towards that collaboration and I’d literally gone from recording rough Soundcloud demos in my room to having our tunes played on BBC Radio 1. It was definitely a stepping stone for me and I’ll always be grateful to him for allowing me to work so closely with him.

Your forthcoming release ‘Tired’ (Out Friday 10th April) is so effortlessly soulful. What is the story behind the lyricism of it? Ah thanks! I originally wrote ‘Tired’ on my acoustic and took it to my producer once I had my idea for the EP. I’d just come out of a long term relationship so it is a kind of break up tune but I wanted it to be a bit more than that, so we started building up layers and brought more people into the studio to help. Freya’s wonderful guitar solo tied the whole thing together right at the end.

Do you prefer performing live or recording in a studio? I love both but performing live is definitely where my heart is. Being able to be on stage and have people respond well to what I’ve written is a feeling I can’t fully describe.

The remixes of your single ‘Breeze’ are incredibly contrasting. Were you surprised by how Popop and Gabriel Gifford interpreted your music? Yeah! I love hearing what other people do with my tunes. It’s so interesting to see how different people with different tastes interpret the same tune so I’m a big fan of remixes!

What is more important: writing a successful track or having the chance to express yourself? Definitely having the chance to get everything out! But I feel that they go hand in hand as when you write honestly and authentically, the response always seems to be better.

When you’re not writing, recording or performing, what do you listen to? I’m loving Pip Millett at the moment, and Sault and Lady Wray. I’m really enjoying the old school feel to all the new tracks coming out at the moment. 2020 is a good year for new music so far!

And finally… with everything going on the world right now, why should everyone ensure they have music in their life in some form? I always find that music is a great escape to all the sh*t in our lives so now we’re all self-isolating, and spending so much time at home, it’s important to have a bit of a break from the real world. Whether that’s picking up an instrument, having a solo dance in your room or just finding some new tunes to fall in love with!

Thanks Maya Law for chatting with Listen to Discover

Find out more about Maya Law at:
Track Review: Maya Law: Tired
Guest Writer Track Review: Maya Law: Hitchhiking

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