interview | maeta

The past decade has seen an electrifying resurgence in alt-R&B. The latest rising starlet on the scene is 21-year-old Indianapolis native Maeta. Recently signed to Roc Nation, she’s crafted a signature sound of crystalline vocals and sultry production. On 30 April the world will get to hear her latest offering Habits. The EP reflects on a toxic relationship and was written while Maeta was in the midst of one. Her lyricism is open, relatable and reminiscent of alt-R&B contemporaries like PARTYNEXTDOOR and Jhené Aiko. Beyond the personal perspective, Maeta’s EP radiates an undeniable tone of hopefulness over pain.
The project’s opening track Teen Scene featuring rapper Buddy and produced by Grammy-winning Kaytranada feels like a balmy summer afternoon. Maeta’s voice is saccharine and silky capturing the warm heartiness that makes R&B female voices so memorable. Her latest single TOXIC is a minimal acoustic number that shows off the crystal notes in Maeta’s vocals.  If you’re craving a new addition to your in my feels playlist, Maeta’s EP Habits is worth exploring.
Congratulations on your record deal with Roc Nation. How did you first get your foot into music?
Thank you! Music has always been a huge part of my life. I’ve been singing since I was little as most singers say. My family had music playing at home all day long. I sang in my church choir [and]  took piano lessons since I was five.
Where did you grow up and how do you think it influenced the type of music you make?
I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. A lot of my friends listened to R&B and I was always around it. I think that definitely affected what I listen to and what I always gravitate towards. 
You now live in LA. As a young artist what are some of the perks and downfalls of the city?
Yes, I’ve been living there since I was 19 – about two years. As an artist it’s amazing because music is everywhere and most of my team is there. But of course it’s expensive, hard to make friends, especially outside of music. Not having my drivers license, Ubers get expensive! Especially since everything is so spread out. 
Do you think creating during a pandemic has helped or hindered your creativity?
I think it hindered [my creativity] to be honest. I feel most inspired when I’m around people so having to isolate was really hard. But I think it stripped me from distractions forcing me to be alone with myself. I found inspiration from that. 

Let’s talk about your new EP. What themes do you explore?
My EP Habits is about toxicity and everything that comes with a toxic relationship. I was finding my way through one during the making of this project so it was like therapy for me during that time. I sing about love, anger, sex, and every aspect of it. 
How do you feel social media has impacted the way young people navigate relationships?
I think it’s made people become a little lazy in relationships. I feel like all you gotta do is like an old picture to send a sign which can honestly be a plus to people like me who don’t feel like doing all that! 
Where do you usually find inspiration for your songs?
Usually from my own experiences. I fall in love so easily and that can often get the best of me which always ends up falling into a song. Everything I sing about on my project I went through. 
Is there a song on the EP that feels the most sentimental to you?
The one that feels most sentimental to me is a song called Gift. It’s a song about how much I love the person I’m singing about. I poured my heart into the song while recording it and I feel it every time I listen! 
You’ve already collaborated with some amazing talent like Kaytranada and Skrillex. Can you share a few of your dream collabs?
My two dreams are SZA and John Mayer. I love SZA so much now and I grew up listening to John Mayer. If I ever worked with him it would make my family so proud! My dad used to play him in the car every day so he is a big part of my childhood. 
Lastly, what do you hope to get out of the rest of 2021? 
I hope to just live in the moment! One thing I’m working on is letting go and letting life take me where it does without feeling like I need to control every detail. I think it’s more enjoyable that way!
Check out Maeta‘s EP ‘Habits,’ out on 30 April.
This Schön! online exclusive has been produced by
photography. Jackie Dimailig
talent. Maeta
words. Shama Nasinde

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