Interview: Neo-Soul singer-songwriter Maya Law, CHATS HER debut EP ‘Hitchhiking.

The lyrics of Maya Law’s new song ‘Hitchhiking’ has a lot of emotional elements we can all relate to. Listening to the song feels like a personal journey, leaving something behind for something much bigger, changing a mind-set, leaving past struggles, or just focussing on self reflection. After doing this interview, I caught myself listening to it so many times it ended up in my most repeated songs list on spotify.


How did you experience music in your younger years before you became an artist?

I grew up in a family of music lovers; we always had music playing around the house: Janis Joplin, Carole King, Otis Redding. I’ve got my parents to thank for that, maybe I wouldn’t be as involved in the music industry now if they hadn’t have shown me such a huge range of tunes. My older brother is also an artist (Leo Lore) and he started writing and gigging a few years before me, so I had a lot of inspiration around me growing up. 

It is a big blessing having such a valuable upbringing with music lovers in your family, do you also have other interests/hobbies that uplift your creative outlet? 

I’m a big reader! Reading always makes being creative a bit easier for me. Sometimes, a couple of lines in particular will spark a whole tune out of me. I recently read You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat which actually did inspire an entire track. 10/10 book – highly recommended.

I will write this one down, thanks for the tip! (For the readers; The book is about fantasies and desires of a young woman coming across different identities in life such as religious, cultural and sexual). Do you have others who inspire you as an artist and why?

Amy Winehouse is definitely my main inspiration in terms of writing, I try to write as openly and honestly as possible which I think stems from her authenticity in her lyricism. At the moment, I’m looking at artists like SAULT, Jazmine Sullivan, and Gaidaa. I think women are killing the game in the music scene at the moment and it’s really inspiring to watch that happen. 

A creative process is different for any kind of artist, some have routines and others flow naturally, do you create a specific surrounding when you focus on writing/making music? 

For me, it usually just comes out when it’s ready. I don’t set anything up around me to write or anything like that. I feel it’s always easier if I wait to see what happens rather than force it out of me. I definitely prefer to write on my own but when it comes to recording and producing, I always need a buddy. 

Could you name some elements that describe your specific sound?

I think it’s quite a mix of lots of things and it changes quite a lot too. Sometimes it will be folky and completely acoustic and other times it will have more of a Pop vibe. I think my attention span is quite short which is why I wanna make different things all the time. I think the next project will be completely different to my previous stuff which is exciting.

In times like these, societal themes are very forefront when it comes to making people more aware. Do societal themes influence your music? 

I write differently depending on what’s happening around me for sure. I used to write a lot about societal issues and hopefully more things like that will come out of me, but I want my writing to always feel authentic and forcing topics never feels right to me. 

What is your personal message as a creative? 

I think at the moment it’s to be kind to each other, and lift each other up instead of tearing each other down. Everyone’s had a difficult year and it’s more important than ever to treat each other well. 

That sounds like a very good mantra for everyone ‘right now it’s more important than ever to treat each other well’. When we talk about your new release Hitchhiking, is there a philosophical message behind this song? 

For me, it was just about being on my way to somewhere new and hopefully feeling better for it. Change can be super scary sometimes but this was more like a comfort blanket for me – it’s about looking forward to feeling better even if you’re not quite there yet. 

Explaining the message behind the song, would you say that 2020 in any way affected or changed your process in making music? 

I definitely had to do a lot more work on my own which was new. I was recording some bits remotely and had to rely on my very limited equipment and experience haha. But it was good to be forced into that new way of working. Plus, having a break from being in the studio and doing gigs gave me more time to write and focus on the boring admin side of music. I think upon reflection, I’ll definitely be giving myself more time to work on my own and spend time by myself than I would have before. 

Did you use other/new elements than previous tracks to give this song a different (cheerful) sound? 

Not consciously! I had already finished the writing before I went into the studio and I think we all just knew it was going to be the happiest on the EP. I wanted the ‘full band’ sound to come in half way to show some sort of change I guess, but apart from that it happened quite naturally!

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