Meet the Oakland original, dedicated to writing with her heart on her sleeve.
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For Northern California-based musician Maia – who releases music under the pseudonym mxmtoon – it was an early reaction from fans that led her to follow a path that has made her one of the most captivating artists to emerge in recent years.
In 2017 she began releasing comedy songs online, and with an army of 200 followers or so, took a deep breath and uploaded her first non-humorous track feelings are fatal – a candid ukulele jam that drips with raw emotion. The reaction was overwhelming, leading mxmtoon to develop a philosophy that she’s fiercely maintained – she’ll be an artist who is prepared to put it all out there for the world to see.
Not only does this outlook on life define her music, but mxmtoon also brings this spirit to her interaction with fans. She can be found regularly conversing with her half-a-million YouTube subscribers, and using her platform to speak out on the issues that are important to her, in particular as a bisexual woman of colour.
This, in turn, has deeply ingrained her connection mxmtoon with her fanbase. She’s mighty protective of them, and them of her.
Continuing to write and produce music, mxmtoon developed her craft at a rapid pace. Her debut EP plum blossom dropped in 2018 – receiving more than 100 million streams – and shortly afterwards the songwriter started work on her debut album.
Released in September 2019, the masquerade is a dream-pop epic that seemingly invites fans to sing te words direct from her unlocked diary.
One highlight of the Cavetown produced LP is prom dress, a swooning, Beach Boys sounding track that mxmtoon uses to recount the panic she felt when, after indulging in a Double-Double burger from In-N-Out, she could no longer fit into her prom dress. The track soundtracks the battle for self-acceptance.
Although she only released her debut album late last year, Maia has spent the early part of 2020 releasing new music with the arrival of two new single, fever dream and quiet motions. They mark a sonic shift for the musician, featuring less of her signature ukulele and incorporating new electronic sounds, whilst still maintaining her characteristic honesty.
As well as her ginormous online fanbase, mxmtoon has transferred that positive energy into her live shows. Her last UK run came late last year, including a sold out show at London’s 1500 capacity Electric Ballroom.
More essential mxmtoon tracks
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