She’s one of the biggest success stories in electronic music over the past 12 months. Nominated in DJmag’s Best Breakthrough Producer category at the Best Of British Awards at the end of 2010, Maya Jane Coles is one of the hottest DJs in the world right now. But behind this meteoric rise, there has been a lot of hard work over the past few years.
She started making music in her mid-teens on her dad’s primitive equipment, and soon was enrolled on music production courses in east London. She started going to trendy east London parties like Mulletover and Secretsundaze at 16, and began to devote all her spare time into producing her own music. She scored releases on Real Tone — ‘What They Say’ — and Dogmatik, then Hypercolour and Mobilee, and now has a new EP on Ralph Lawson’s ever-consistent 2020 Vision label.
'What They Say'
“Ralph got in touch with me after hearing my release on Real Tone and asked if I could do an EP for 2020,” she says. “Unlike a lot of the other labels that were getting in touch at the time, Ralph wasn't just looking for club/house tracks and I liked his open minded attitude to what I could include on the release.”
“I have a lot of respect for 2020 as a long-standing solid label and was happy to be part of the roster,” she continues. “I sent him four tracks — one which was an older production, and three that I had started much more recently — and bam, we had an MJC EP on 2020.”
The genre-defying title track on the ‘Focus Now EP’ shimmers magnificently with a bleepy twilight synth sitting atop intricate percussion. ‘Little One’ is more of a deep house groove, with distant vocals by Maya herself, while slower electro-pop ditty ‘Senseless’ has a full ethereal vocal from Maya that highlights this added dimension to her prodigious talent. EP closer ‘The High Life’, meanwhile, is an aching soulful deep tech string-y end-of nighter with a great under-the-ground bassline, rounding off a package that demonstrates what a diverse talent Maya is.
The EP is already out on vinyl, and gets its Beatport exclusive on May 30th before a full digital release on June 13th.
“A track for me can take anything from a couple of hours to a couple of months of going back and forth,” she tells us. “Usually the stuff I'm most satisfied with is the stuff that comes naturally and quite instantly. It's not as satisfying when something becomes a chore to finish.”
As befits such a breakthrough talent, Maya’s DJ gig diary is rammed at the moment, and she says she’s especially looking forward to playing at the Exit and Glastonbury festivals as she’s never been to either. She hopes to finish her album by the end of the year, and has some collaborations coming up that she’s very excited about.