Twenty year old multi-creative Maya Delilah is an artist on a path straight to stardom.
Taking influence by the simple things in life, whether it be her cats, friends or boys; the London based newcomer and her fresh blend of RnB, soul and pop has gathered herself a dedicated online presence using both her music, and her Youtube series 'Table Talk'.
With her highly anticipated debut EP, Oh Boy freshly landed on playlists across the country, we spoke to Maya about her roots, influences and aims for the future.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been making music for?
HELLO. I am Maya Delilah, I’ve just turned 20 (AH) and I’ve been making music for probably around 2 years now. I started playing music, however, when I was 8 when I started learning the guitar. I actually played folk music for about 8 years and only when I started Sixth Form at The BRIT School did I realise that I wanted to take my music in a different direction (more soul/R&B).
At what point in your life did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?
I think the second I started Sixth Form. I was picking between staying at my secondary school (studying a mixture of things that I wasn’t really interested in) or going to BRIT (where I would only study music). I was being very indecisive until my mum said “what would Prince have done” and, as a Prince fanatic, I knew where I had to go. During my time there however, I only focused playing guitar and had my career set on becoming a session musician. When I left school I knew uni wasn’t for me, and a producer I met through playing for another artist heard me sing and wanted to work with me as my own artist - having someone want to work with me for purely my music influenced my decision to be an artist massively, as the excitement I felt then was bigger than ever playing for someone else.
What is the main source of influence for your song-writing?
It’s hard to narrow it down to a main source as I get inspired by so many things all the time. I have, however, recently realised that lyrics come out much easier when I have fun with them and not try to analyse them too much. I have always been someone that finds it easier and more exciting to make the music part of the song (probably as I’m a guitarist before a singer) but my producer has a rule that once we’ve found the chords to a song, I am not allowed to touch my guitar until we have written the entire song. I have begun to really listen to lyrics of songs I like and watch Genius videos where artists talk about how they wrote their song to get inspired and ideas. But, my overall influence comes from many places - TV shows and movies, having normal conversations with people, listening to other music, seeing a random object - anywhere really.
What is something you’ve learned about yourself through making music?
I have learned how much of a workaholic I am. I have especially learnt this during quarantine as I have found I can’t really do a relaxation day, I constantly have to be doing something productive otherwise I feel a bit ‘meh’. I am also very impatient. When I get an idea or inspiration I HAVE to get to the studio to put it down as soon as I can. I have also learned that so many other things come with the music when being an artist. You need to show your personality too, in order to really engage an audience, and I’ve LOVED doing this. I find it really fun to create on online presence and show people more than just music.
What is something you wish you’d known when you first got into the music industry?
It is very easy to be naive starting out in the music industry but to be honest I lucked out and met the right people from pretty much the beginning, so I haven’t had many bad experiences (hopefully not jinxing it now…). But I do wish that I hadn’t taken myself so seriously at the beginning. Something I have found a very freeing realisation is that being an artist means you are a creative person. Therefore, you do not need to have a business/serious type of personality. Early on I never really showed my full personality to the industry or on social media when trying to present myself, as I wanted to look professional (which is of course a great thing to be and I still believe I act professionally when necessary), but I wish I had been more myself from the start.
Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from the city you live in?
Having gone to a music school most of my friends are upcoming artists and they all have really great music. Matilda Mann writes beautiful music with such thought-out and pleasing song-writing (and has just released an EP). Then there’s Thomas Headon who has also just released his first EP, his music is super good bedroom pop. Also my producer Stephen Barnes has his own artist project called Nabes which you should definitely check out. Lastly, an artist called Olivia Dean. Her music is such a lovely easy listen, very soulful and catchy and I can’t get enough.
What would your dream tour & rider look like?
My DREAM dream tour would be an world arena tour because I like to dream big lol. I would want a full band, that I get a long really well with, playing with me. For my rider, I’d like a lot of food, an assortment of teas, a humidifier and maybe a nice bottle of tequila.
If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose?
Probably Grey’s Anatomy as it’s always been one of my favourite shows and I have always dreamed of having my music in the show. For a film however, Baby Driver would be sick as the director Edgar Wright synced the whole soundtrack to the action and that would be pretty cool to see with my own music.
What’s the bucket list goal for you as an artist?
At the moment it’s to support an artist that has inspired me. To be able to share the stage with them and reach that point where I am chosen to open the stage for an inspiration of mine would be the coolest thing ever.