We first discovered Maya Law around three years ago when she was performing at the Roundhouse in London. Out of all the artists showcasing their music, there was something very special about her.
Back then, Maya was very shy, it might actually be one of her first live performances. However, I felt the connection and was patiently waiting for the moment when she is going to return with something stunning. You can imagine my excitement when she announced the release of a brand new single.
‘Tired’ involves MOBO grant awardee jazz musician Freya Roy, and producer Lavar Bullard (Akala, Natty, Pixx). Following her headline gig at the Southbank Centre, this single is breaking four years of silence.
‘Tired’ is a bloody brilliant anthem to heal a broken heartDOV ZAVADO » INDIE TOO 39
It’s a painfully beautiful song that will help you reflect on a relationship that just ended. It’s sad to realise that sometimes we waste too much time and give away the power to the other person. Not all relationships are meant to have a happy ending and ‘Tired’ is a great example of that experience.
Tell us about the journey up until the release of your single “Tired”
I started writing and recording properly when I was about 16, working with Gabriel Gifford and we wrote and produced our debut album ‘Her or Him’. That was kind of the stepping stone for me, it made me decide that staying in the music industry was something that I wanted. I then went on to work with a new producer and found a different sound to the Rnb and Hip Hop-esque music I was making with Gabs.
As someone who came out of a painful relationship lately, I felt your pain in ‘Tired’. Are you willing to share more about how the song came to life?
I wrote this tune probably over a year ago. Looking back it really was more of personal therapy for me; it kind of just came out of me and I took it to my producer and we both decided it had a place on the EP. We then built it up with layers from various session musicians and my guitarist, Freya Roy, added the guitar solo right at the end. It was definitely a slow build but I’m really happy with the outcome.
How do you feel when such a personal track is available everywhere?
It definitely doesn’t get less weird the more you do it! I remember the first really personal song that I put out, ‘Take It From Me’, was definitely the scariest. It’s kind of like letting someone read your diary but I find that it really helps the process of making yourself feel better after something bad happens. I also noticed that people tend to gravitate a lot more towards songs that are really personal and honest which is also really lovely for an artist to see.
People tend to gravitate a lot more towards songs that are really personal and honest which is also really lovely for an artist to see.MAYA LAW
In one of the recent interviews, you hinted about the new EP that you are currently working on. Will it continue with the vibe of coming out of the painful relationship?
The EP ‘Hitchhiking’ starts off acoustic for the first half and continues with a fuller sound, like ‘Tired’, in the second half. It definitely has a ‘break-up’ theme but it’s more of a progressional thing for me, kind of showing where I’ve come from and where I’m heading.
Is it hard for you to be so honest in your music or does it happen naturally?
It happens pretty naturally for me; every time I’ve tried to force it it’s never come out very well. Yeah writing is definitely a bit of therapy for me.
Well I’ve got to get this off my chest / Well I did not know love till you left / And now I’m covered in somebody new / Didn’t take much for me to forget youMAYA LAW » TIRED
How would you describe your sound?
I always find that question really hard to answer – I think it’s definitely influenced by soul and RnB but right now I think I’m still finding something that fits a little bit better.
Where do your ideas for songs come from?
It can come from anywhere, really. A feeling or a person or a line from a book that really resonated with me. It has to be honest for me to carry on with it though.
Who are your biggest music influences?
Definitely Amy Winehouse. I grew up listening to her music and she’s definitely influenced me massively in terms of songwriting. More recently though, I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from people like Pip Millett, Nai Palm, and Lady Wray.
What makes you truly happy in life?
Being around people that motivate you to be better and broaden how you look at things! I always feel best when I know I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone and made something I really like.
I always feel best when I know I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone and made something I really like.MAYA LAW
Do you experience any of the challenges as an independent artist working in the music industry?
Being an independent artist in the music industry is always going to be difficult – everything costs a lot of money and it can be quite hard hitting when you get shot down again and again. But the freedom you get on the creative side makes a lot of it worthwhile.
What piece of advice you’d give to other artists who are at the beginning of their journey?
Keep writing and refining your sound. You never stop learning from yourself and other people so collaborate and open yourself up to changing things completely a few times till you find something you’re happy with.
If we’d hack your Spotify account, what artists would we find?
Pip Millett, Joesef, Lady Wray, SZA, Sault and whole lot of Rihanna
Do you have a song, that when you hear it, you’d say, “I wish I’d written that”?
All the time, it’s hard to pick one. Probably at the moment ‘Piece of Me’ by Lady Wray.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Probably playing at the Roundhouse sold out while we were on tour. That was a very special moment for me for sure.
When did you ‘decide’ that you wanted to create music?
I took a lot of inspiration from my older brother Dan Law (dlore). He started playing and writing a long while before I did and I pretty much copied him in a very ‘little sister’ way. I saw him killing it and fancied trying it out too.
How would you define success in the music business?
Success for me is definitely about creating music that I love. Being able to listen to something that I wrote and be totally happy with it and proud of it. Working with artists that I look up to.
Do you think there’s anything artists or fans can do to support each other during these strange times of COVID-19?
Just being supportive of each other and what everyone is producing. It’s a tough time for everyone and artists have been hit hard. This is the time we all have to stick together and have each other’s backs. Buy the merch and listen to new tracks, reach out to the artists that you love.
What have you got planned for 2020 and have any of your plans been impacted?
Yeah a lot of my plans for the EP have been postponed but I’m trying to see the positive and take it as extra time to sort things out. It will still be coming out this year and will be pressed to vinyl which is very exciting!