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Meet Maiya Sykes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maiya Sykes.

Maiya, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
If you ask my mom, I was literally born singing. According to family folklore (never challenge my mother on this, you will regret it) I was born in Long Beach, CA with my eyes open, sang three notes and then began to cry upon entering this world. If you ask me, I can honestly say that I don’t remember a time in which I didn’t sing. I’ve been a working Los Angeles based singer for 17 years. My dad is a wonderfully accomplished musician and my mom is a Renaissance woman of theatre and film. My parents taught me very early in my career to think of music as a business and pursue my passion. I’ve been blessed to have provided background vocals for Macy Gray, Aloe Blacc, Tori Kelly, The Goo Goo Dolls, The LaLa Land score and soundtrack, Dolly Parton and countless others. Recently, I was honored to have been a featured back up singer in Netflix’s Dolomite is My Name. In addition to background work, I’ve been a proud member of PostModern Juxebox since 2014. I’ve also recently participated in collaborations with the ever funky group Scary Pockets. I could list my entire resume but here’s my life: I get to write, sing, and listen to music every day! I know, I’ve got it pretty good…

Has it been a smooth road?
Music is definitely not an easy path but no creative calling is easy. That’s why it’s a calling. If I could do something for money that was half as enjoyable as making music, especially making music with my friends, I would have done so long ago. There are days when I just want to quit music and become a real estate agent. There are other days when I cannot believe how blessed I’ve been thus far in my life. Callings aren’t supposed to be easy, they are supposed to drive you to excellence.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
All professional vocalists that I know wear a multitude of hats to stay employed. I am no exception. I teach voice, I am a vocal arranger and producer, a vocal contractor, a writer and a live performer. I think I’m most proud of my ability to adapt. The music business is constantly changing. Lack of adaptation will have you broke in these streets.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Honestly, I wish I knew what music will evolve into in 5-10 years. I do see that people want live music again and that is a relief. I think we are in a time in which people want honesty, honesty of any kind. As a country, I think we are starving for honest and tangible connections with each other.

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Image Credit:

Dave Schwep; Leelu LA

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