Maya Jane Coles - independent, visionary and fiercely hard working.
These are some of the words that first come to mind when we're chatting all things Maya. She tends to write, produce, mix, arrange and design the sleeve artwork for all her releases. She has a vision and what she sees, goes.
Now the London based producer is fresh from releasing 'Take Flight', only her second full album to date.
We spoke to her about collaborating, particularly with Chelou, London's dance scene as well as closing Ushuaia this year.
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Can you talk to us a little bit about the concept behind ‘Take Flight’?
'Take Flight' is basically a journey through my mind in the last few years, translated into sounds, textures and rhythms. I try to create a completely different atmosphere with each track but I think everything ties together consistently and stays within my personality. I feel like I’ve grown into my sound more for this album and it definitely crosses over quite a few styles.
There are so many sides of me when it comes to my music production and this time around I just couldn't seem to fit everything onto a single album without compromising something or leaving out some of my favourite tracks. It just made sense to make it a double album.
How has the transition from studio to club gone with the new album? Have you had the chance to ‘road-test’ any of the tracks live?
The majority of 'Take Flight' is home listening/atmospheric or early warm up set kind of stuff so there are only a couple of tracks on there that I would really sneak into a peak time DJ set. The stuff I have played out has seemed to go down well though. I tend to play my own material more before I actually release it than after it’s already out cause I like to keep people guessing with tracks.
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I try to create a completely different atmosphere with each track...
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You’ve recently collaborated with some exciting new artists like Chelou. Are there any collaborations on ‘Take Flight’ that fans might see more of in the future?
The material I’ve been working on with Chelou has been really exciting. I’ve been producing a few tracks for his debut album which has been a great outlet for a sound I don’t often get to spend time working on.
'Take Flight' is much less collaboration based than my first album 'Comfort'. It's a lot more personal and was more about creating soundscapes than full vocal tracks so I decided to work with less guests for the album but everyone I worked with, I had already collaborated with in the past and I would work with again for sure.
You must have spent a lot of time in the studio for 'Take Flight' – writing, editing and producing the album. What will you be doing to take your mind off the music?
I never want to do anything to take my mind off the music!
From playing Hi Ibiza to Coachella, you travel a lot. What do you miss the most from home when you’re on the road?
Good fresh food! My girlfriend. Friends. Family. Studio.
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London is such a diverse city and I’m lucky to have grown up here.
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As a Londoner how have you found playing new venues like Printworks and what impact do venues like these have on the city?
Printworks is an amazing venue and London is my favourite city. Combine that with some of my favourite people too and you’re pretty much guaranteed an incredible atmosphere. It’s my hometown and it’s where my career started so I really feel the love when I play here.
How has London’s music scene influenced you as an artist over the years?
London is such a diverse city and I’m lucky to have grown up here. There’s room for everything and always so much going on that I was definitely spoilt for choice musically when growing up. Exposure to so many different kinds of niche nights and genres from a young age definitely had a big impact on the kind of music I made from a young age.
You joined Heidi earlier this month for a B2B set at Ushuaia. Any standout DJs who you’ve played alongside this summer?
Heidi and Kim Ann Foxman are the only two DJs I’ve played B2B with this year as I usually much prefer to play on my own. It’s been fun with them as they are good friends and we can have silly fun. DJing is super personal for me so when I DJ on my own I feel like I can take people more through a journey into my own mind.
How are you feeling about closing Ushuaia for ANTs in September? What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Ants closing will be fun. I love the team there and we are all like family now really. Loads of my friends will be coming out for that one too so I know what to expect.
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'Take Flight' is out now.
Words: Milo Wasserman
For tickets to the latest Maya Jane Coles shows click HERE.
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