Check out our interview with talented artist Maia Zakay who recently released her new hit single and video for “You Had 1 Job.”
Maia’s debut album #Speakup, was released in the summer of 2020 and co-produced by industry legend Stephan Oberhoff, who has worked with mainstream stars like Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, David Foster and many other notable names. Maia’s talent has been largely praised by many she has collaborated with in the music business, including super-producer Scott Storch, who also worked with Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Post Malone and many more superstars!
Maia Zakay - You Had 1 Job
Describe yourself in 3 words?
REAL. CARING. FUNNY (SOMETIMES)
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I’ve always loved music from a young age and sang covers of songs for fun, but I never took it seriously until I turned 17. I started going through dark times in my life and needed a way to feel better about the situation. That’s when I wrote my first song. I showed my #1 fan (my dad) and he immediately freaked out and helped me find a producer who brought my song to life. My first day in that studio is where I truly fell in love with the art of songwriting and producing. Then, when I put my first song out on SoundCloud and started seeing all the positive feedback on it, like how it has helped others feel less alone and even stopped them from taking their own life, I knew I wanted to do this as a full-time career. My passion for helping others is what drives me to continue this career.
How has this changed your life?
I never knew what my PURPOSE was in the world until I discovered my passion for music and saw how I could change people’s lives with my ART. Music is my oxygen, I can’t live without it. This career has definitely changed my life for the better because I get to wake up every day and say that I love what I do. There are a lot of bad consequences for being in such a shady industry, but it’s all worth it in the end. I am doing this for the bigger picture of being a positive light in the world to guide others through the darkness, unlike some artists I know who are just doing it for MONEY and FAME… (I don’t approve of that purpose, it’s shallow and unfulfilling)
Describe your sound in 3 words?
POP/R&B. EMPOWERING. RELATABLE.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, etc. My entire PURPOSE for writing and singing is to help others through my music and make this world a better place through my many platforms.
Do you play any instrument?
I started teaching myself how to play piano and acoustic guitar for many years now but I still struggle to do it effortlessly. lol one day I’ll get there, it just takes consistent practice. A cool skill I learned is teaching myself how to engineer my own songs, so now I have a home studio where I record my own ideas for new music whenever I get inspired. (which is usually at 3 AM so my sleep schedule is absolutely gone)
Do you ever get nervous?
Yes, I literally get panic attacks every time I have to speak or perform at an important event, but over the years, I have taught myself how to turn my anxiety into excitement to not let it negatively affect my performances! Also the phrase “PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT” is very true for me because ever since I started live streaming every night on TIKTOK (@maiazakay) I noticed a huge change in my confidence level because I now have so much more experience singing and talking to people than before.
Tell us about your new single “You Had 1 Job?”
I first wrote “You Had 1 Job” as a joke when I was freestyling over beats in my car. I thought it was funny the way people used the phrase as a meme. I showed it to family, friends and my music team and the reaction was truly unexpected because they loved it! They convinced me to take it seriously and make it a real song. Everything happens for a reason because it is now the song I am most proud of and one of my new fan favorites.
What’s the story behind the song?
I wrote this song about being cheated on and how my ex had one job to be loyal to me and failed so I fired him lol (broke up with him) I wanted to write an empowering/fun/upbeat song about a really sad time to give people a revenge anthem that makes them feel better if they can relate to what I went through!
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
When my supporters express how much my music and platform helps them and how I made a positive difference in their life just by creating ART that makes me happy. When people listen to my music, it’s like they’re reading my ‘not-so-secret’ diary. Each song I put out tells a personal story, and I love that my listeners really feel my emotions I put into the songs. I want my listeners to connect with my music on an emotional level. I want them to feel that there is hope no matter what struggles they are facing in life, and realize that they are not alone.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Sadly, I don’t have any recommendations, but I wish I had read some advice books before I got into this industry. I truly had to learn all of my lessons the hard way in the music business by trial and error. Luckily, I finally know how to play the game right in order to be successful and not get taken advantage of anymore as a woman in this unfortunately shady industry.
What would you say are the greatest accomplishments you have had so far?
My biggest accomplishment so far was making a song with the legendary super producer, Scott Storch, who has worked with almost all of my favorite artists that inspire me, such as Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Beyonce, etc. I also had an insanely talented rapper named “DAX” feature on this song too! It was a life-changing experience for me and taught me so much. (The song is still unreleased but coming out soon!)
Another huge accomplishment that I recently had was receiving my first ever music plaque for winning the HMMA (Hollywood Music in Media Award) best independent artist song award for that year’s competition! I got to go on stage in front of many accomplished artists, producers, music executives, entertainers etc. and give a motivational speech about my win. It was a huge deal for me!
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Don’t take anything for granted & make every second count because life is short. I would tell myself this because I only recently learned it the hard way when I went through one of my worst struggles. In 2022, I lost my singing voice for 6 months straight and no doctor knew how to help me :/ I had to use my notes app on my phone to talk to ppl and no one knew how bad my panic attacks, anxiety, and depression became during that time period. After 6 months, I finally found the right doctors and got throat surgery, which fixed the problem.Although it was one of the scariest things to ever happen to me, the good part is that it helped me say FUCK FEAR. I never again held myself back from achieving my dreams after seeing how much I was taking for granted. It helped me realize that I have a gift/purpose/responsibility and I have to share it no matter how out of my comfort zone and scary it feels. Now I’m unstoppable and it’s only the beginning!!!
What’s next for Maia Zakay in 2023?
POST-PANDEMIC TOUR BABYYY! I’m starting to put together my first ever tour and I can’t wait to see you there!
How would you explain your fashion style?
My fashion style is different everyday lol. I dress myself depending on the mood I’m in and the occasion. I get my style inspo from people like Hailey Bieber, Rihanna, Madison Beer, and Ariana Grande.
What is your own definition of happiness?
To have a PURPOSE. To help others. To take care of yourself.
Best advice ever given?
I’m a mental health advocate so here are a few: Our hardest times in life are our CHARACTER BUILDING DAYS and we should be thankful for them. I definitely wouldn’t be as strong of a person as I am today without going through my worst experiences. Be kind to EVERYONE because you never know what someone is going through 👀 It can be super confusing to many people because everyone looks like they have the perfect life on social media, but we are are all human and we all go through hard times even if we don’t post about it 🦋 so be KIND. My last message is what my whole brand is about. ⭐️Authentic•REAL•BeYou⭐️ My brand is called “REAL” so I call my supporters, my “REAL ONES”. When you join our family, you agree to be genuine and treat people the way you would want to be treated. PS: (My “REAL” merch is dropping soon! STAY TUNED!)
Do you support any charity?
Yes! I have an ANIMAL RESCUE charity linked in my TIKTOK bio called “Best Friends Animal Society”. The well-being of all animals truly means the world to me and I will be donating so much more to them, as I grow in my career.
“Best Friends” is the leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of pets killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to well under a million.
Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of thousands of animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
In 5 years, I see myself succeeding at the peak of my music career with so many exciting projects in the works that I’ve always dreamed of accomplishing. Such as, working with some of the best artists that I respect heavily, modeling for big brands, and being in popular tv shows & movies since I just recently started my modeling and acting career and want to succeed in those too! I would also continue to use my growing platform to spread mental health awareness and make the world a better place with my music/message because we are all in this together and I love helping others!
Favorite song? Why?
My favorite song is called “HEADLINES” by DRAKE. It’s my go to hype song. I can’t wait till I collaborate with him because then I could die happy. He has been one of my favorite artists for a very long time and his music inspires me to think outside the box and keep going.
What do you think of Social Media?
I recently started using every social media platform available to my advantage because I realize how effective it is for my music career success. A lot of ppl don’t realize that our destiny is really in our hands, and all it takes is having a vision and being consistent to make that dream brand come to life. I livestream every day on TikTok to gain a REAL supporter following! Instead of paying someone for fake streams, I get authentic lasting ones. Everyday I make it my goal to interact with as many ppl in the world as possible to spread my name, message, brand, and music through all of my own platforms. It’s really all up to me to make my dreams a reality and I’m not depending on anyone anymore now that I mastered social media. It’s literally the key to success in today’s music industry. I was able to quit my boring ass 9 to 5 job when I started live-streaming on TikTok everyday because I started making more money to survive than ever before!
Where can we follow you?
My name is @maiazakay on all SOCIAL MEDIA & MUSIC STREAMING platforms!
Quote: “FEEL THE FEAR, AND DO IT ANYWAY.”
I love this quote because it reminds me how far I’ve come from when I used to let fear control my fate. Now, I constantly do things that scare tf out of me because the rewards are worth the risk and life is too short for regrets.
Movie: Any Adam Sandler movie is my go to!
Favorite Food: smoothies, sushi, chicken & waffles 🙂