Exclusive interview with Maya J : New Single “Like You”

Stay Sparkly!

They say brevity is the soul of wit and it seems Maya Jenkins has mastered this art. The phrase given above has been coined by the singer to describe her personality and we could not agree more.

The talented and vivacious artist has been making her mark both as a singer as well as an actor. She has made several appearances on movies and TV shows. She was cast in “Muted” alongside Chandra Wilson and Malcom Jamall Warner and appeared as a guest on “You Can Do Better”.

As a singer, Maya has been working on her original tracks. She has an intense voice and the sort of versatility that enables her to showcase different aspects of herself as an artist. Owing to her talent, in the year 2017, her single “Tell Me” was featured on the popular series “Famous in Love” and now the singer has released her first track for 2018.

Maya is back in the music scene with her new single “Like You”. CelebMix talked to the singer about her endeavors and her new single. Check out the complete interview below:

Please tell our readers a bit about yourself.

My name is Maya Jenkins, Maya J for short! I’m an actress, singer, & songwriter, and I have such a passion for what I do.  I know people say my music is very emotional, but outside of music, I always say that people should “Stay Sparkly” as best they can, and keep a positive outlook – and that’s not cliche. Anyway, I’m thankful that I get to write/sing music & act, and I’m also super thankful to have a team (manager/agent) that really believes in me & treats me well. In this business, you don’t always get that – so I’m counting my blessings!

You are so young, but a really good & inspiring example for people who dream of becoming an artist one day. Considering that you have had some big moments as an artist, how do you see yourself placed as a singer and an actor in the industry?

I see myself as an actor who loves music, and a musician who is also an actor. I hope to have a career that incorporates both, because I can’t leave one or the other. You never know what’s truly lying around the corner for you, God has a plan the entire time, so I’ll just trust in the universe.

Do you have a goal as an artist or beyond art that you would want to achieve?

I do have an overall music/acting goal, and that is to shower amazing music & tv/film projects on the world. I want to be able to make people laugh, and not just the people that know me personally. For that, I want to be remembered. Make a sparkly mark and leave it forever. My personal goals do include building my own family, and doing all that I can to live a long healthy life. There are so many things for your body to stay away from, so living healthily is a big part of my daily life.

Apart from singing and songwriter, you are also active as an actor. Please tell us a bit about your journey as an actor.

Being an actor has been a huge journey for me. I started out as basically so shy & nervous when I was on set. Now it all comes easier, and I can do what I love without shaking in my boots. I’m happy I’ve been able to be in the projects I’ve done so far, and I can’t wait for more. Right now, I have a show in development, called “Live Out Loud”, and I am itching to tell the world about it. It’s still in pre-production, and we’ve been working on it for so long. I know that when the time is right it will come out, and hopefully when it does, people are able to relate to it, and be entertained by it. I play the lead and that’s really all I can say right now.

“Come Find Me” is a sensual yet catchy love song while “Tell Me” is a heart wrenching single. But both the songs show us different aspects of you as a vocalist and as a songwriter. Please tell us a bit about your songwriting process.

Thank You! I want people to see the different sides. While my songs are all passionate, they are different and each create a world of their own. I’m a person that acts totally on feeling, so when I get inspired to write, chords form based on my mood (minor if I’m feeling a sexy or sad song, and major if I’m feeling loving or happy), then a melody pours out. I solidify the lyrics from there.

Are you a fan of a specific genre or do you like to experiment with different genres both as a listener and as a creator?

I have such an eclectic taste is music, I can like everything from Sade, to Beyonce, to Taylor Swift, to Carrie Underwood! I like Pop mainly, but that is such a large umbrella that many styles can fit into. I even like the occasional bubblegum pop. However, I wouldn’t be releasing music in that genre. My personal style is sultry, moody pop – with an R&B kick to it.

What kinds of topics would you want to talk about through your music? There needn’t be a fixed answer. We are just quite intrigued by your work.

Aww that’s the best! I love that you’re intrigued. I like to write songs that pull on heartstrings. I feel strong emotions, whether they are happy, sad, loving, or heartbreaking. I believe in love and cosmic love, and my empathetic nature causes me to be able to capture a feeling in words.

If you had to name three artists who you wish could become a part of your Album (in terms of collaboration), which 3 artists would be on your list?

Dream Collaborations? I definitely have them. I really want either Big Sean or Nicki Minaj to rap on one of my songs. Duet wise, I’d love to sing with Rihanna, The Weeknd, or Justin Bieber. I know that’s more than 3, but I would love a collaboration with all of those amazing artists.

Congratulations on “Like You”. Please tell us a bit about the single.

Thank You!!! The song’s recording process was crazy up and down, but ultimately rewarding in the end. I always say this, but I like ambiguity in my music; I like people to feel my songs in their own way , without me going into detail too much on why I thought it up & wrote it. It’s basically a story about not allowing people to turn you into a bad person, into a monster. They hurt you, tried to bring you down, and broke your heart. But you’re not going to stay down, you’re not going to be anything like them. You’re going to be strong. I hope people like it, and I hope it’s inspiring in many ways, and that people understand the message behind it. It can be sad, but it can also be triumphant if you look at it that way.

The single will be released today. How excited are you? What are your expectations in terms of reception?

I am very excited! I mean , I don’t exactly know how people will receive it, which is why the nerves always come everytime I’m about to release a single. This one is different, but it’s still SO me! Like I said, I really hope people like it, because I really did lyrically pour my heart out in this one.

Can we expect a music video for the single to be released soon?

You can definitely expect a music video for “Like You”. We’re just getting together a concept, but I’ll be sharing more updates on that via my social media accounts. @everythingmayaj on Twitter and @mayapapayalove on instagram.

Would you like to share with us your future projects or endeavors?

Yep! I kind of exposed everything throughout the interview, haha! But yes! I want you guys to listen to Like You, and let me know how you feel! Keep up with updates on the official music video. In the near future, I have a little surprise pertaining to “Come Find Me”, coming out. I originally wrote Come Find Me as a piano ballad, if that tells you anything. :) My series “Live Out Loud” is moving forward, so when I can chat more about it, I will. I can say that it’s a dramatic comedy, and that the show includes music here and there. Otherwise, I do hope I have some more film/TV projects coming my way!

You can stream Jenkins’ single on both Apple Music and Spotify:

How did you find “Like You”? Share your thoughts via tweet @CelebMix.

Written by Ayushi

Hi! I am Ayushi from India. The only thing that is consistent about me is my passion for writing and reading. Weaving words to form a story is the best thing I know and the only thing I want to do.
"Writer by nature is a dreamer, a conscious dreamer."
-Carson McCullers

If you want, you can follow me on Twitter using the handle @ayushidelhi1996