MAY-A performs at Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival.
In her 2021 debut EP 'Don't Kiss Ur Friends', MAY-A – the stage moniker of Maya Cumming – tackled some poignant subject matters, particularly ones (such as grappling with queer identity, and experiences transitioning from youth to adulthood) that resonated deeply with the LGBTQI+ community.
The response was, Maya says, surprising. "These songs have become a part of people's lives in really touching ways," Maya says.
"People have told me stories of getting together with their significant other by bonding over a song, or finding the courage to come out; a couple even chose 'Time I Love To Waste' as their wedding song.
"It's blown me away the way people have bonded with the music."
Based on those responses alongside her own experiences of writing the EP, Maya says she's not necessarily finished with incorporating those thematic elements into future material.
"I think elements of queer discovery will appear again as my relationship with my own sexuality grows and changes," Maya explains.
"The music is determined by my own emotions and experiences, so I'll never know what themes I am truly done with."
Maya's success has come quickly. She sold out her recent Australian tour, one of those 'what the f...?' moments Maya says she tries to encourage regularly in her career.
"There is so much prep that goes into working towards the live shows that you can get really caught up in the stresses of it," she says.
"It's really not that serious, we're doing what we love with people we love, so I have the 'I am so grateful that this is my life and I get to do this' moments at least once a day."
A large part of Maya's recognition has come from the release of 2022 single 'Say Nothing', a collaborative song with Flume that features on his new record, 'Palaces'.
Maya sees so much depth left to explore in that song she recently released a new take, 'Say Nothing (MAY-A’s Version)'.
"The lyrics are pretty sombre," Maya explains, "[and] I wanted to give them a space to feel as sad as they sound when they're isolated from Harley's [Flume] production. It was fun tapping into a different vocal performance to bring alternate tones to the words."
As well as Flume, Maya has collaborated with some incredible artists since 2019, and there are several still on her bucket list she’d love to work with. "Dominic Fike, Remi Wolf, Mura Masa, Gus Dapperton, KAMAL, I could go on for days," she says.
With festival season earnestly marked on all our calendars, it's an opportunity for Maya, who will perform at this year's Fall Festival, to take to bigger stages where she can reach the masses and rub shoulders with artists she admires.
Of the Falls Festival line-up, Maya has several artists she's keen to see. "I've been dying to see the Arctic Monkeys for years. A lot of performance research I've done has been videos of Alex Turner, honestly.
"You'll hopefully see me in the crowd for Jean Dawson, 1300, Amine and Lil Nas X [as well]."
MAY-A plays the Colac, Byron Bay and Fremantle legs of Falls Festival. MAY-A also plays the sold-out Splendour In The Grass 22-24 July as well as supporting Flume and 5 Seconds Of Summer on their respective 2022 Australian tours.
Falls Festival 2022-2023 Dates
29-31 Dec - Pennyroyal Plains (Colac) 31 Dec to 2 Jan - North Byron Parklands (Byron Bay) 7-8 Jan - Fremantle Park (Fremantle)
Falls Festival 2022-2023 Line-up
Arctic Monkeys Lil Nas X Peggy Gou Chvrches Jamie xx Aminé Ocean Alley CamelPhat Spacey Jane DMA'S G Flip PinkPantheress Rico Nasty Amyl And The Sniffers Mall Grab Ben Böhmer (LIVE) DJ Seinfeld Genesis Owusu TSHA CC:Disco! Young Franco Anna Lunoe Luude Lastlings May-A Choomba The Vanns King Stingray Peach PRC Beddy Rays Jean Dawson Telenova Biscits Barry Can't Swim Floodlights Elkka Wongo Yng Martyr 1300 Moktar Magdalena Bay Dameeeela Ebony Boadu Elsy Wameyo Rona. Juno Mamba