Meet MAYAH, who keeps in her own lane with her debut single, Pray
It's the first taste of music from the Cairns-raised, Brisbane-based musician, and it's really brilliant moment.
Over the past few months particularly, there's been a large pool of talent emerge from Queensland's north end that seems to floor us time and time again, regardless of genre. No different is MAYAH, who despite now living in Brisbane (after a short stint in New York City, where she deepened her skillset as a musician on the rise), is proving a strong force to watch originally from Cairns - summing up the rising potential and looming stars from a region who otherwise, seem to be locked out of the cultural discussion in favour of the Brisbane/Gold Coast area.
Her debut single Pray is the final result of years of finesse and skill-building, with time spent amongst masters of songwriting and vocals such as Craig Derry (Alicia Keys, Mary J Blige, D'Angelo) - "His classes are so high energy. I felt honoured to be part of them and I met some of the most talented people I’d ever come across at the time," - built upon in studios around Australia, working alongside musicians who much like MAYAH, encompass the next generation of Australian pop and electronic, as well as the many realms it may hold.
Pray, her debut single, is incredibly slick as a result. Fusing elements of R&B and hip-hop with a strong, electronic-leaning backbone, it's a single that showcases MAYAH and her talents into one succinct package, with her craft for creating catchy moments of soaring brilliance on feature display throughout the track. "The song is about how we show curated snippets of our lives on social media but it's not the full side; it's the highlight reel," she says on the single. "It's often hard not to compare or question your own happiness, but it's more important to stay true to yourself and what you love and want to do. Forget about what the f**k anyone else is doing."
There's plenty to love here, and with even more on the way, dive into Pray below and better introduce yourself to MAYAH while you're at it - she may just be the next moment of brilliance to come from 2019's last breaths.
Tell us about yourself?
- I’m from Cairns – you been there? Please try the Nutella crepes in Kuranda they will change your life.
- I’m literally always late it’s a problem.
- My drawing, cooking and navigation skills are rubbish.
- So I make music instead. And use Google maps, a lot.
- I’m hoping people will like this music.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
I’m a sucker for big dirty beats, bass and sing-rap style rhythms and melodies. Music is my way of removing that barrier between self and the world, so a lot of my lyrics and general vibe comes from a place of vulnerability and self-assuredness as a woman and far from perfect human. Oh, and I also like writing songs for people to get lit to, because that is fun.
What are your production and writing processes like?
- Take all 220 phone recordings to the studio and hope that the producer doesn’t think you’re too weird and gets rad production ideas.
Can you tell us about your new single, Pray?
Pray is a bit of a quirky tune. It’s got that loud AF wooden block as a main feature and a wordy sing rap for the chorus. I wrote it on a flight on my way to a studio sesh in Melbourne. I had no beat or instruments, so I hummed a melody into my phone recorder and probably annoyed the passenger next to me for a good halfa. I linked with Rob Amoruso later, a mad producer I hadn’t met prior. It was a bit of a wildcard day as this was my first proper writing session in a studio and we had no plans. After one day the song was finished and we were stoked. Minus a couple of hours spent trying to work out some wack chord that we didn’t even use, the track came together easily and organically. There were a lot of weird dance moves, vibing and ‘ayes’ coming out of the studio that day, so I reckon we had something pretty fun brewing up.
Lyrically it touches on the concept of ‘curated realities’ and how there’s often a pressure to curate our lives on social media so that we only display our ‘highlight reels’. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of social comparison and self-doubt and Pray searches for a deeper connection than the surface level flex.
Any tour dates coming up?
Updates soon yas!
What does the rest of 2019 – and beyond - have in store for you?
I’ll be putting out another cheeky track later in the year. Just in time for hot girl summer mmm.
Where can we find more of your music?
Follow MAYAH: FACEBOOK