Q&A: MAJILLA REVEALS THE SECRECY TO HER IMAGE BY SPEAKING ON GROWING UP IN AKRON, OHIO, MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS FROM BILLIE EILISH & THE WEEKND, JOYRYDE, AND MORE...
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Who is MAJILLA ? A constant question asked due to her anonymous and undisclosed image. Akron’s very own, MAJILLA gives an insight into her success, growth, and values as an artist as well as a person. With the assumptions, comparisons, and labels that MAJILLA receives, she responds with her own words to those with false and intrusive statements. MAJILLA sits down with author and content creator of Co-Sign Radio , Ethan Ijumba for an exclusive interview, and gives a detailed intel about who she is as an artist with the capability of composing unorthodox genres and as an individual whose only rules she follows are her own.
Growing up in Ohio, artists such as Trippie Redd, Kid Cudi, Machine Gun Kelly, and more have come from the state music-wise. Growing up in Akron, how would you describe your experience and upbringing personally?
Majilla: I was born in Ohio but I didn’t grow up here. I’ve lived all across the United States but it’s cool to see people from my state make something of themselves and I plan on doing the same.
So when & how did you get your start into music, and what made you continue to pursue a career as an artist? And as a self-taught and self-made artist, how have you’ve learned and come up independently.
Majilla: Right after I graduated high school I found out about the underground music scene through SoundCloud and Twitter and wanted to be a part of it. I dropped a mixtape in 2015 and then a few singles afterward and that’s where the fan base started. Plus seeing how well my music was being received made me question myself like “should I be doing this?” and I just kept going because I wanted to make the kind of music I want to listen to and haven’t heard before.
From when you decided to pursue a career in 2015, who inspires you musically, your sound, and persona artists wise? Any specific songs, albums, artists, etc?
Majilla: I’m inspired by different sounds and textures when it comes to music so I’m always experimenting with my voice and how I create songs. Sadé and Eminem are top 2 for inspiration but a few artists who I listen to that I take notes on are The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, and Drake. Whether it’s vocal fluctuations, incorporating vocal synth, or just straight up paying attention to the entire song as a whole and flipping their vocal effects on my own, there is always something catching my ear with their music.
As an artist who listens to and composes songs of various genres, are there artists or genres you listen to heavily or would want to work with in the future?
Majilla: Yeah of course. I want to work with Tame Impala and Timbaland on the production side of things. I think Bad Bunny and Cigarettes After Sex are dope too. There are a lot of people I want to work with and will work with in the future. It’s just a matter of time.
Such as the major label names you mentioned, as an emerging independent artist I’m sure you always have offered to sign and/or collaborate with industry reps. How do you respond when offers are brought up to you and do you feel independent is the route you want to stay in the future, or would consider signing to a major label if so why?
Majilla: I mean people have reached out and people have tried to pitch me but a deal isn’t something I’m desperately searching for. It’s not even on my mind. But being independent it’s not for everyone and can be tough if you don’t have the finances to pay for certain expenses such as beats, artwork, distribution and the list goes on. Labels have become the enemy of artists yet force a percentage of us to need them you know? Something I’ve learned is never to take the first deal no matter how good it may sound/look. You can always negotiate and do better.
For those who don’t know you or haven’t heard your music, how would you describe it, based on the sound, themes, and elements incorporated?
Majilla: I don’t like to play by the rules… ever. That’s how I approach my music as well so that it’s always something different yet still me. I focus on the melodic-Trap and Alternative R&B with emotional or seductive lyrics. Heavily influenced by sub-genres like Grunge and Hip-Hop.
With that being said on how you’ve incorporated various genres in your music. Where do you find inspiration and influence when composing songs? Do you have a process of when writing hooks, verses, choosing beats, etc?
Majilla: It always depends on how I’m feeling or if I’ve experienced anything before a song being made. I used to write before recording and sometimes I still do, but a lot of my best songs come from waiting until I can be in front of the mic so I’m not confined to a written melody vs laying down melodies, hearing what flows best and having options. I also keep a lot of my “accidents and mistakes” because they end up giving the song character.
Individuality is one of your main qualities as an artist that you showcase with your low key image, art, and music. Where do you draw inspiration to separate yourself from being compared to other artists?
Majilla: I think my lack of, is what allows me to stand out from everyone else. Lacking resources, connections, etc. forces you to learn and forces you to want it even more than the person with the things you don’t have. I’m inspired by those who do without fear or questioning anything… I live a “the worst they can do is say no” type of life. I’ve always been misunderstood, the oddball. That’s what attracts people to me. Because I don’t fit in yet have confidence in my self-expression whether it’s music, fashion, or anything that I do.
Regarding to how you mentioned you follow your own rules and not focusing on fitting in. Recently you worked with and featured on English DJ and producer JOYRYDE’s newest song “THRILL” on his album titled “BRAVE”. How was the experience working with him and making a dance genre based song?
Majilla: So Jonney (JOYRYDE) found my song “Harley Quinn“ on SoundCloud like 3 months after I had put it out. He reached out and said he wanted to remix it into a dance version for his album. We worked everything out and a year later “THRILL“ was shared with the world. Including a visual, that’s also out now on YouTube. Shit is a movie dude. Could’ve never imagined hearing “Harley Quinn“ flipped into a dance record. He killed it, dude is a genius.
That’s dope how you’ve connected with artists of other genres through your music. As an upcoming artist in the industry, are there other artists you’ve met or listen to that are on the come up and would recommend those to put others on to?
Majilla: I’ve met a few artists in person but the only one blew me away and that was Beam. This dudes voice and music are so insane on some Cypress Hill shit. Who else.. Ice Cold Bishop. That guy is so disrespectful with his flows and I love that shit. Never met him but heard his “IRATE Freestyle“ on COLORS and had a face of disgust. Have put people onto their music!
For my final question, what’s your proudest achievement you would say about yourself so far career-wise, and what goal do you look to achieve in the future?
Majilla: It would have to be accepting who I am as an individual and the judgment that comes with it. In my opinion, to achieve anything you have to be a fan of yourself. Growing up how and where I did I didn’t see too many people like me. Being an androgynous black woman, and a gay one at that, with this somewhat loud sense of style and attitude, is who I am and something I’m proud to be. Something I’ve just recently let out for myself because you can only hide who you are for so long