Note: Due to a few glitches with the audio, there are no subtitles with this audio story. However, Maya kindly provided her words below, her story and her performance.

“Um I’ve just shaved my hair today, I don’t know how it looks but…um It kind of like signify… (laughs) got some thumbs up uh it kind of signifying  change and letting go um it’s actually been the first day that I’m able to I don’t know, feel kind of happiness because I’ve been grieving, a friend of mine recently ooh trying to keep it together, commit suicide and he was living with me, so… I guess it’s a… I’ve a ….Over the last lockdown, I actually created, I’m a music producer, I make beats and Sony had tried to sign me and so it’s been going back and forth. To this day, I’ve produced over 3,000 beats and sorry…. Thank you so much guys… uhhh…  you know when you’re like amped and ready to like go and you have all these things that you kind of preconceived and suddenly sadness or tears that kind of just uhhh I’ve just been making so many things, as well as a producer, I spit bars and I freestyle quite a bit and I write poetry, and I dance and I just love dancing. I love being able to express myself. So something like grief it’s really hard for it to flow because sometimes it feels like you have to be strong for other people as well and in my group of friends, I’m kind of like the oldest um so it’s kind of like the matriarch and I have a  habit of like giving before I kind of tend it’s like a afterthought tend to my own needs, but I’ve recently I’ve kind of like been a hermit and just producing like honestly toot my own horn but they’re really sick beats. I tend to make like trap beats, like Hip Hop and like I’ve been producing, I’ve been ghostwriting for a while now. So there’s quite a lot of artists that you’ve probably heard of on the radio. Some of my beats are played everywhere but this is something I kind of decided that you know I need, I need to do it for myself. I need you know. It’s the same for dance, it’s like being able to just like, like not specifically say it all out loud but just to like, I don’t know. We were doing an activity earlier which was like experiencing what it feels like to be in the body and where it is um and I suppose with isolation and lockdown especially it makes it harder to, to um connect to community, So this is really amazing to be able to like  connect and in a very like lockdown friendly um but I’ve actually written um a poem as well um you just have to imagine it’s like a 4/4 beat like … like that… that’s what I had in my mind when I started making it. 

My friend was struggling with psychosis and it was really hard to get him help and the major part that was really like painful for me was the fact that I couldn’t help someone that was kind of like it had it in his mind like he couldn’t receive it and as much as we could love people that like are really they find themselves really difficult to love. I still kind of loved him unconditionally anyway. So this is kind of talking about mental health especially during this time and yeah it doesn’t have a name because I wrote it today but um parts today and yesterday but okay….

In one moment, I build the world within one verse, paint a picture with these bars, nourished by these beats, we take, like a dose, we syncopate,  And yet, the darkness feasts a piece of me, deny what truth is left, until what sits dormant within may become revealed. And we run around, fastening our seat belts, weeping, showing how our weakness, reveal our true selves…. in the evening, heaving, wasting time, saving face, a weight  in these lies, deny deny deny, until the paraffin liquidate the sedative, desolate elements evident to my ligaments, excreting any form of excellence, maybe it’s retelin, maybe it’s celexa, maybe it’s psychosis, maybe I’m broken, call it depression,  a host to anxiety, OCD, please let me breathe, feeding my disconnect, I try to collect, meditate, before I medicate. But I can’t swipe these empty feelings away, wishing image could replace my empty feeling inside, I’m just trying to live, I’m just tired to fight, and your affinity to attributes is very reason why I must prove my worth to you for the skin that I live in, ain’t it funny that we’re battling for peace, but we can’t seem to find peace with the things we battling with, because we are all human beings with primitive minds using civilised knowledge, systems down and yet we still won’t acknowledge it, that we all carry baggage, baggage like Frodo Baggins, dragging it until the day we have to go and sacrifice it in Mordor. Because in the end we compete against yourself, because we take what we’re given, but we’re never content always wanting more than the things we’re going to get, we seek for recognition of our blood, sweat and tears, yet this fear grows inside for the unknown, the unknown. 

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