My name’s Maya Law and I’ve just released my new EP Hitchhiking. I wanted to create a body of work that meant more to me than just 5 or 6 tracks randomly pushed together, inevitably becoming lost in the noise and disposable. And maybe this will become lost in the noise but it’s definitely not disposable to me.
I started writing this EP while I was still with my long term and long distant ex. At that point, I hadn’t planned on writing it (or breaking up with her) but the track “Say It Ain’t So” suddenly fell out of me. For anyone who hasn’t heard it, it sounds like a post-break up track, but is actually something I wrote a few months before the s**t hit the fan.
I reckon it was my gut telling me to get the hell out of there. I kind of pushed those feelings (and that song) back and powered on through the terrible times, which then landed me in a surprisingly fast break-up – inspiring the rest of the project.
I took the idea of an EP to my managers at the time and told them that I needed to package up my heartbreak into a pretty parcel and give it to everyone. I hadn’t released anything in a while and felt like this was the perfect catalyst for my return to the music scene.
I quickly found solace in my songwriting again and found that I was writing more honestly and authentically than before so it didn’t take long for all the tracks to be finished and recorded.
I worked closely with Lavar Bullard to find the right layers musically that would emulate the Hip-Hop sounds I previously worked within, but with the added live band element I was looking for. “Tired” was the product of that, which is the first track I worked with Freya Roy on.
Freya quickly became a vital part of the creation of the EP; she produced three of the six tracks and played the solo on “Tired”. It was clear from the first session that she was someone to hold on to. Her wide range of musical disciplines meant that I could look at my work differently, and push my own skills further.
Working musically with a fellow female artist was also new to me and brought a new comfort level in the creative space. “Slumber”, “Say It Ain’t So” and “God Awful Call” were all a result of that, recorded in Freya’s kitchen.
I wanted the EP to have a DIY feel to reflect the vulnerability and honesty in the lyrics. I didn’t want loads of distractions or anything taking away from the topic at hand, and really wanted this to be my most open work so far. That’s why the recording environment was always pretty relaxed, and the musicians I worked with were close to me on a personal level as well as creatively.
Writing honestly has always come quite naturally to me; it feels like a sort of free therapy. When something happens like a break-up, my first instinct is to give myself some time to get it down on paper. An example of that is in the tune “Absence” – it’s definitely the most raw in terms of writing and recording.
It was the first track post-break up that I wrote and fell out of me really quickly. It’s really all the things I wish I had said but didn’t have a chance to, so when it came to recording, it felt necessary to do it live.
Myself, my manager, Lavar and videographer Nathan Clarke went to the Puppet Theatre in Norwich, set up one camera and one mic and in a few hours it was done. I used to always go to the Puppet Theatre as a kid and watch some Roald Dahl show over and over so it was quite special to be on the stage singing such a personal track.
The point of the video was to have me playing to an empty audience, which is kind of how I felt whilst in the relationship – never being able to really get how I felt across. Having a live track like that then pressed to vinyl was a really surreal moment for me. Being able to hold the EP in physical form was and will always be one of the highlights of my career.
Now that I’m in the final moments before the release, I feel really humbled by all the support so far. It’s been a really long process but that’s given me time to reflect on everything that’s happened along the way.
I’ve built relationships within this industry, creatively and personally, that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my career, which is more than I could have imagined. I can truly say that I’m proud of this body of work and everything that came with it – I hope you enjoy it.
Listen to my Hitchhiking EP below and buy it on Vinyl here.