“We’re all just imports with big dreams and big ideas” \\ Maya Huyana, the rising artist who’s followed by Obama
When we heard Maya Huyana‘s EP Rebirth for the first time, we knew instantly it would be a favourite at EZH-Q.
Now based in LA, Huyana was raised in California’s Inland Empire, an area known for its rock scene; Queens of the Stone Age, vocalist Amy Lee (Evanescence) and drummer Travis Barker are a few of the recognisable names that call IE home. For Huyana however, with her open soul and ears, she takes sonic inspiration from the local beat scene. What’s almost as instantaneous to recognise however, is the inspiration she draws from human issues; race, gender and soul nourishment.
Whilst Maya Huyana (My-yuh Who-yawn-uh) is still relatively unestablished outside of her local scene, we predict it won’t stay that way for long; Rebirth is an addictive debut. Barack Obama follows her on Twitter; we know the man has taste, and that you do, too, so we took some time to get to know one of our favourite rising artists.
\\ Tell us about some of the narratives running through ‘Rebirth’?
I created Rebirth when I was in a space of frustration and kind of feeling “what’s next?” now that people are beginning to wake up about the plight of blackness in America, the current state of unrest in the world, and the plight of poor people. I feel that a re-birth must occur—and is occurring; love of self, love of your heritage, black and brown pride & acknowledgment, organisation, unity and respect are all themes of the album.
I also feel that a re-birth will be reflected in the arts, as a modern renaissance period, in which the negative media representation and low-vibrational content can die out, and the good art can rise up again. People are tired of trash content and music. Lastly, a couple more obvious recurring key themes would be water—which represents rejuvenation & purity—and the skits from the movie Tamango, a film by Dorothy Dandridge, which has dialogue taking place between slaves.
The name Rebirth came to me after I wrote the track of the same name. Each line was something I wished I could change at that very moment. Something within myself or something I was witnessing around me. In addition, it was time for me to take my place as an artist, jump into music 100% committed, and shed my old life. I Later found out that the instrumental for the song Rebirth was from a GOLDDIGGA (GD) album called Reborn which was a cool and odd coincidence.
\\ Tell us about the relationship you have with beat maker GOLDDIGGA?
GD and I first became acquainted when I reached out to him via email. I was listening to Beat Haus Radio NY (shoutout to them!) and they always play amazing beats, But for some reason, this one particular beat caught my ear. It was incessant and stuck in my head; I had to reach out to whoever made it. So I went on the BHR site and saw that someone named GOLDDIGGA from NY made the beat. At first I was hesitant, (who the heck was I to reach out to someone like that). When I went to GOLDDIGGA’s links, he didn’t have that many followers (LOL!) so I thought “man maybe he’s accessible. I better hit him up before he blows!”
Long story short, he loved my sound. We linked a couple times when he’d fly to CA from NY, and now we have this signature anthology of music and our own sound. No matter what else I create, I think the GD and Maya Huyana sound is something special, thus we plan to create more in the very near future. Another coincidence is that we both ended up moving to LA this year about ten minutes from one another, so I’m definitely excited about that particular partnership.
\\ Tell us about the music scene you’re based in? What inspires you about it and the people in it?
I was kind of harvested in the Inland Empire underground scene. I’m not originally from LA, so one thing about the IE region is everybody here still loves hiphop. There’s actual bars, actual individuality. We all aren’t interested in Hollywood. We all have our own identities, unique sound waves, and that’s why I’m proud to be based in that region and based underground. At the moment I’m now in Los Angeles, and it’s inspiring because everyone here seems to be from somewhere else; we’re all just imports with big dreams and big ideas. It’s extremely eclectic and it’s a fast paced grind.
\\ Do you have plans to tour ‘Rebirth’?
Absolutely! I have three shows this month in LA, as well as planning a listening party in the IE. I’ve recently been approached by some booking agents, but I’m a person that moves slow and calculated so it’s just a matter of me sealing the deal.
EZH | Tina Edwards