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Q&A: Maya Law

Norwich’s finest singer-songwriter Maya Law is quickly becoming a rising star. Transforming difficult experiences into challenging but brilliant songs, her music captures a range of emotions. Offering a moment of catharsis on her brand new EP ‘Hitchhiking’, we caught up with Maya to chat more about the release and her plans for the rest of the year.

Hey Maya – how are you doing?

Yeah all good thank you! General lockdown blues every so often but I think that’s the same for most people, so surprisingly good!

You haven’t released anything for almost five years, why does now feel like the right time?

Well, these tracks all fell out of me roughly at the same time so it felt pretty natural to put them together as a project. Hitchhiking, the last single, in particular felt like it came out at the perfect time; it’s a very “things are going to get better” track and I think everyone needs a bit of a self-love hug right now.

Your new EP Hitchhiking is incredibly gorgeous! Can you tell us more about the six tracks?

Thank you! So it starts with Slumber which is definitely an introduction to the EP – it’s a very ‘feeling sorry for myself’ tune and kind of narrates those first few days post-break up where you are just a mess haha. Say It Ain’t So was produced by the incredible Freya Roy and I think it’s maybe the saddest – it’s kind of about that moment where you know everything is just about to fuck up and there’s not a lot you can do about it! Then it moves pretty quickly on to the angry bit of the post-break up with Absence – this is the most kind of classic “letter to my ex” thing. I found this one the easiest to write, I wasn’t expecting what came out and I kind of had to check myself and be like “wow I didn’t know I had that in me”. God Awful Call is a kind of interlude, moving from the sad and onto the “I’m free!”. Tired is the beginning of the B Side and musically sounds like a development, this was written when I had really lost all patience. I worked closely with Lavar Bullard on this and he really helped build the layers that moves from the acoustic to the full band. It finishes with Hitchhiking which acts as the final chapter of the book. It definitely focuses more heavily on me and slowly feeling better – it becomes less nostalgic and more future-thinking. It’s my comfort blanket for sure.

It’s raw and honest and heavily emotive, what inspires your songwriting?

I’ve always been attracted to music that feels authentic and honest; I’m particularly inspired by Amy Winehouse and female songwriters who unapologetically write about their lives and emotions. I think there’s power in vulnerability so that’s what draws me to writing as openly as possible.

There’s an acoustic/DIY sound running throughout the EP, how do you feel that those sounds best reflect you?

I wanted this project to have that DIY sound because the topic of the project is basically my vulnerability and my struggle with an emotional time in my life. I wanted it to be as raw and as easy to get stuck into as possible, without lots of layers of sound sitting around it which sometimes I find can take away from the lyricism. But I do tend to mix up the genres that I work within quite often so maybe for the next project, I’ll be doing something completely different!

What’s your favourite song from the EP and why?

I think at the moment it’s Hitchhiking mostly because of the lovely feedback I had from people. I think it resonated more than the other tracks because it came out at a time where people were feeling a bit lonely and stuck. It gave me a new found love for it as I’d written it such a long time ago – I think it’s exactly what I needed then and hopefully what people need right now.

Are there any artists in particular that have influenced your work?

At the moment, I’m taking a lot of inspiration from the likes of Cleo Sol, Gaidaa and Jazmine Sullivan. Although this project doesn’t directly lift musical elements from their work, the sensitivity that comes with female writers is something that I aspire to emulate.

What’s your plans for the rest of this year?

I’ve got a couple of tracks that I’m featured on coming just after the EP which is exciting! They’re pretty different to the vibe of Hitchhiking and I think it will be nice to be seen in a different light. I’ll also probably be taking a bit of time to just do ‘normal life’ for a while which I’m looking forward to.

And finally, can we get our hands on a physical copy of Hitchhiking?

Yes! You can buy the vinyl on my Bandcamp which is super exciting for me. I’ve always wanted to hold a physical copy of my tracks so it feels really surreal to me finally have this ready. It really does mean the world to me when someone grabs themselves a copy!

Get your hands on Maya’s new EP here.

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Q&A: Maya Law
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