Fresh from the release of her new project, ‘Hot Commodity’, we caught up with Maiya The Don to talk creativity and song-writing secrets…
What five words define your sound?
Cocky, braggadocios, expensive, flashy, vibrant.
Tell me something unique about your creative process
I can’t write with music playing. Most people like to keep the beat playing but I feel like I can’t think. I’ll listen, think, try it and then move on. I repeat it until it’s finished.
Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?
I think my song ‘Into Myself’, it does the best job of summarising who I am as an artist so far.
What inspired you to make that song?
I think it was just the beat. It made me feel good. It was the first time I rapped over a beat like that. Made me want to try new things.
What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?
I think the most vulnerable I’ve gotten in a song is ‘hello my name is’. It was actually really uncomfortable for me and I cried while recording it. It was so overwhelming but it felt good. I hope to be more comfortable with being so expressive in that way in the future.
What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?
The best experience I had on stage was in Albany NY. The crowd was sooooo lit, it was amazing. I wouldn’t say it was the worst, that’s fake dragging it but Black Sherif brought me out to perform and his audience is not the same as mine so they were looking at me a little crazy but they still were sweet [laughs].
What is your favourite song to perform?
My favourite song to perform is for sure ‘dusties’. It’s the most interactive I can be with the crowd. it’s open, I can do a call and response, it’s fun.
Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?
Oh man, I’m so inspired by so many people. I think Missy Elliot was the person who made me FEEL like I could rap, but Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Drake, they made me WANT to be a rapper. It’s two different things but equally as important.
What’s the meaning behind your name?
It’s means I’m The Don [laughs]. Nah it’s very straightforward in my opinion, I’m not a gimmick it’s not an alter ego. It’s who I am. I’m the Don.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?
I would be a psychologist or like a teacher or a stylist. Idk I went to school for psychology and I love kids but I think I was destined to be a creative. So that wouldn’t be enough for me, I would need that creative outlet.
What’s success to you?
Making my younger self proud.
What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?
I think I was feeling very stagnant in my life socially and mentally. I felt stuck, I needed more.
Where can people keep in touch with you?
They can follow me on twitter and Instagram @maiyathedon or they can text me +13478021597.