While most artists work with one or two media, 21-year-old Maya Maya Amara Millington has no limits when it comes to art.
“I’m an artist. I am passionate about art in every way possible, from visual art to sculpting, singing, song writing, film, print making, all aspects of art,” she told Bajan Vibes whilst emphasizing that she is, first and foremost, a visual artist.
“Visual art is what I knew first, I discovered I could sing when I was 15 years old or so, way after I knew I was an artist,” Barbadian-born Maya pointed out.
Maya draws inspiration from many things but her parents, she said, have always been her greatest inspiration. “My mom especially is an inspiration for me despite the fact that I honestly believe my talent comes from my dad. Both my parents are artsy, my mum as it relates to fabric and my dad in many ways.”
It was in her last year at Combermere School that Maya would realize she wanted to pursue art for the rest of her life. “Honestly, it hit me like a big rock and it was then that I could not see myself doing anything else,” she jovially remarked.
It was that revelation which pushed her to do an associate degree in art at Barbados Community College.
The Honey Jam alumna said this competition also contributed to her growth as an artist. “It was my first show with such a large audience and it was a great experience. I made a lot of connections; I was able to interact and learn from veterans in the industry, get feedback on how to better my craft and meet other extremely talented artists,” said Maya.
Barbados would lay the foundation for the NIFCA award-winning artist who would gain admission to the prestigious Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.
“Outside of releasing my recent single Night Time, I am most proud of this achievement. It is one of the best schools of art, it is my dream school and it just happened to be in New York, a city I absolutely adore,” said the Bachelor in Fine Arts student who majors in sculpture and minors in film.
Admitting that narrowing it down to just two media was not an easy decision, Maya went on: “I’ve explored many media and I love all but I’m passionate about sculpting and film. I think that they can be combined and film goes well with my music in terms of learning about video, sound and graphics so that in the future, I can direct my own music videos.”
Artistically, her work is influenced Van Gogh, Nick Cave, Cara Walker and so many others. Musically, the aspiring artist is influenced by Sza, Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey and, of course, Bajan sensation Rihanna.
Maya who released her second single, Night Time, last week, suggested in many ways it was reflection of her. “If anybody knows me, they know that I am somewhat of a vampire, like many creative artists are. I come alive in the night time and it’s basically what I am saying in the song,” she explained.
Sharing that night is the time when she does most of her work and gets her best ideas, she went on: “Everything happens in the night time, songwriting, painting, I work best at night. The song is also about an experience I had with someone and the conversations we shared which all primarily occurred at night.”
Although the song was written last year, Maya said there were many setbacks and lots of hard work involved but she remain committed. “This song came out even better than I expected. It’s very authentic, it portrays me as an artist and I love the melody, the feel of the song. It was worth the wait,” she said.
Adding that chemistry was very important, she said: “I had to find the right match for me in terms of a producer and finding the right team who were were willing to put in the work and be professional about it.”
In the future, we can expect much more from Maya despite not having a plan set in stone. “I see myself doing what I love – art. You can find me in the entertainment industry writing music not just for myself but other artistes and just being my authentic self and sharing that with the world through my music, through my art,” she said.