Meeting Maya Lane; London’s captivating pop-folk rising star

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We caught up with UK pop-folk artist Maya Lane ahead of her show at St John’s Church in Gosport. Releasing her first EP Childish Games earlier this year, Maya is a 19 year old singer-songwriter from London with a very promising future. The EP was produced by Grammy and BRIT Award winner Jonathan Quarmby (Tom Walker and Lewis Capaldi) and is a stunning debut, with gorgeous vocals and endearing storytelling.

Hi Maya!  Thank you for taking time to chat with Melodic Mag.

Hey, thank you for chatting with me!

Your EP Childish Games from earlier this year was a stylish folk-country-pop debut. Which are your favourite songs from the EP and why?

I love all the songs for different reasons so it is super hard to pick a favourite. However, at the moment I love playing ‘When You Need Me’ live. I wrote the song about my little sister and the desire to shield and protect her from all the challenges you face growing up, so it’s very personal and emotional. It also has the more general message of supporting each other, which is special to see people connect to the song when playing.

Your songs have a vulnerable storytelling, often poignant, nostalgic feel to them. How would you like your audience to feel when they listen to your music?

Thank you so much! The lyrics are probably the most important part for me when creating music. I absolutely love being able to dive into my feelings/emotions or transport myself into someone else’s shoes. In terms of how I want the listeners to feel, I’m a big believer that everyone should take what they want from my songs, whatever that might be.

You’ve cited Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan amongst your influences, what is it about these artists that inspires you?

As I mentioned earlier I’m a big ‘lyric person’ and I personally feel as though both Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan are two of the greatest songwriters. When I’m listening to their music I can be transported into the world of the song, which I love. I am also totally in awe of Joni Mitchell’s vocals and the incredible melodies she creates.

We see you are a fan of contemporary folk and pop too. If you could pick a duet with Taylor Swift or Harry Styles, which would it be?

Oooo, this is the hardest question as I’m such a fan of them both. But if you really pushed me it would have to be Taylor.

Your music videos always enhance the stories in your songs. Do you take full creative control of the videos? Which was your favourite to shoot?

I absolutely love creating and filming music videos. I am a very visual person so I often come up with the idea for the video as I’m writing the song. I have a million moodboards of ideas. For all my videos I have come up with a concept, but I can’t take full credit. I worked with the most amazing director (Melody Berkery), together we developed my initial ideas and brought it all together.

You have a very impressive fashion style, and it often features in your socials and of course your music videos, has this changed over the years and have you always loved clothes?

Thank you! I have always been obsessed with fashion. As a kid I always chose my own clothes, this often meant some interesting combinations, such as my tutu, stripy tights and wooden bead phase, age 5! However, this really allowed me to experiment with my style and work out what I feel comfortable and confident in. I used to follow the trends a lot more but I never felt very me. Getting into vintage shopping (when I was around 15) really changed that and I worked out what I liked.

We read you got your first guitar at 7 and started emailing to play at festivals from the age of 12. What have been some of your highlights in music so far? Any particularly memorable shows or events over the years?

I was definitely super keen to play early on. I’ve played so many magical gigs and have been able to support some incredible artists. One highlight was playing the 110 Above festival this summer and getting the most amazing buzz from finally hearing people sing the songs from my EP back to me, usually it’s just my mum and nan who know the words!  There have also been some moments that haven’t quite gone to plan, such as when I shoved a tortilla chip in my mouth just before going on stage, only for part of it to get stuck in my throat during the first song (laughs).

We read you are a big ‘list person’. What are the top few things on your latest post-it note?

I am a massive list person (laughs). In my most recent note I have a recipe for some carrot cake muffins that I want to make, a reminder to tidy my room and a million random lyric/word ideas to take into my next writing sessions!

Heading into Christmas time, are you a fan of the festive season? Do you have a sing-song around the tree at home?

Yes, I love the festive season, I feel so lucky that I get to spend time, laugh, sing and eat yummy food with my family! We definitely love to sing although the rest of my family are not very musical, so we normally get out the karaoke machine.

End of the year is a good time for reflection; how’s your year been, and any resolutions for the next one?

This year has been really exciting for me as I started releasing music and put out my first EP! It’s been amazing to finally have music out there and be able to share what I’ve been working on with everyone. I don’t have any specific resolutions but I love to create a photo dream board for each year, so I can see all my goals. Next year’s board will definitely feature playing more live shows and releasing new music.

Thanks again for your time!

Thanks for talking to me!

Photos and words by Tony Palmer (Website, Instagram, TikTok).

Keep up with Maya Lane by following her socials: Facebook /// Instagram /// Website /// TikTok

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