Charting in her native New Zealand was surely a highlight of Maya Payne‘s life but she couldn’t leave it at that. “If Only” was just the beginning for this pop songstress with electronic vibes. Her latest single, “Jungle,” entered the world not too long ago and she Maya was kind enough to chat with ZO about the music, her travels, and what’s next.
Kendra: What moment for you solidified that you had to pursue music as more than a hobby in your room?
Maya Payne: I had a singing teacher who introduced me to a producer visiting New Zealand from the US. I booked a session with him while he was here and that’s where my first single “Fragile” came from. That’s what set it all in motion.
Kendra: A couple of years ago you found yourself charting in New Zealand with your debut and “If Only.” How surreal was that to see your name on a chart like that?
Maya Payne: That was really really cool. It was a huge goal of mine to see myself on that chart. I always used to go to the Top 40 to find new music before Spotify was around, so it was really surreal.
Kendra: Now you’re likely going to do the same with “Jungle.” With its fresh pop sound and catching lyrics, it fits right into the summer but there is one line that really caught my attention, “ride or die.” Do you have a ride or die friend along with you for this ride right now?
Maya Payne: Yeah definitely. I have the most supportive friends and family. My ride or die would be my best friend.
Kendra: I’d hope so because you do a lot of traveling. I saw pictures from LA to Bali. When you travel, what about those different places and cultures really inspire you and keep you going until your next destination!
Maya Payne: Yes I love to travel! I just love meeting new people, and especially writing songs with people from around the world. Everybody has such different backgrounds and ideas it makes writing so interesting. I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve worked with. I also find traveling a great inspiration for song lyrics because I am constantly seeing new things.
Kendra: What’s next for you and your music? More singles? An album.
Maya Payne: I have an albums worth of songs I’m finishing. These days it seems to make more sense to release singles, but an album is on the cards.