When searching for fresh talent, paying close attention to the opening act is often just as important to us as the headliners. With that in mind, Maya Milan’s smooth soulful delivery and deeply personal lyrics caught our ear from the minute we heard it, prompting us to take immediate action. Turns out we were a bit late. The DMV representer has already carved out an impressive resume for herself, having opened up for names such as Rick Ross, J. Cole and K. Michelle. Currently, Milan is on tour with R&B icon Keith Sweat and fresh off her debut EP 11:11 which has 250k plays across streaming platforms. Still she found time to talk to us about her journey, and we were more than grateful to pull up a chair and listen. Enjoy!
1. Who is Maya Milan?
Maya Milan is the urban girl next door. I’m your bestfriend, your daughter, your cousin, your crush or even class mate. I make music that chronicles my life which shows common struggles young women go through when being in love. My music has a soulful foundation with an edgy twist. I pride myself on making music that you can feel.
2. What is the meaning behind her EP 11:11 Reloaded?
So,11:11 itself means to channel positive emotions and positive thoughts. I have been able to overcome my mind which is a huge thing to do especially in the music industry. I’ve learned my path is genuine and unique and it’s not the same as others. Now with my EP 11:11 Reloaded, I’ve added two new songs that show the evolution of my sound. They really add more depth and flavor to the project which makes me even more excited and confident to drop my next project in 2018.
3. How does it feel to be on tour with Keith Sweat? What has it taught you about the music industry?
Being on tour with Keith Sweat is such an adrenaline rush. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity. Special thank-you to my god father Teddy Riley who set up the audition for me. He put the bug in Keith’s ear that I had the talent and drive he was looking for. From working with Keith, I’ve learned that it takes a village to help an artist succeed on a professional level and keep the train moving. On tour especially, I’ve learned what it takes to have your shows and travel plans run smoothly. From our 3-4 hour sound checks, dealing with his loyal crazy fans lol and late night early morning shows it’s been a ride of a lifetime. I’m truly blessed to see how a legend still maintains a career after 25 years of being in the game. If anything this experience is motivation to create the best music I possibly can so I can make sure I have longevity just like my mentor K.Swizzle.
4. How did growing up in the DMV help shape your sound?
Growing up in the DMV has shaped my sound as an artist because I get to be a team captain for this city and really push myself to create a sound that people in the industry haven’t heard yet out of this area. As some may know, DC is the home of GOGO. The culture of GOGO has influenced my sound and is slightly infused in my music because a lot of my songs have that energy and kick to it. In the future, I would love to collaborate with a gogo band and take it to the moon by having that song be on the billboard charts. Mark my words.
5. What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest obstacle that I had to overcome, was me. I was my worst enemy. I had a lot of self-doubt. It took a while for me to realize that my negative thoughts could create negative results but now I’m ready, with a fresh outlook! I won’t ever let my mind destroy me. I know what I was created to do and the choice was mine. I choose me, I choose life, I choose success and I choose happiness.