Ohio’s rapper-singer/songwriter MAJILLA, brings forward an enigmatic aura across her music and social media. With her “fuck it” attitude and explicitly poetic lyrics, the talented artist gained recognition from songs like “Change,” “Believe Me,” and "Down For You."
With The 9th Instalment Of #thhguruinterviews , We Had The Chance To Ask MAJILLA a Few Questions:
Where does the name MAJILLA come from? What’s your background?
You know the song by Kanye & Jay -Z "N*ggas In Paris" where Kanye goes "whats that jacket Margiela?" I liked the way it sounded so I changed it to MAJILLA. I probably should've reconsidered that because majority of people can't pronounce it. And I'm mixed with African American, Native American, Haitian, French, Dominican & Puerto Rican. I just say West Indian/Caribbean though when people ask.
Where are you from & where are you currently living?
From Akron, Ohio currently living here as well.
What’s your process?
When it comes to creating my music I take what I'm going through and incorporate that into a mixture between R&B/Rap laced with pain, pleasure, and love. Just allowing myself to be vulnerable and say the things I may not be able to say in person through my music. Basically giving myself a voice for myself if that makes sense. Majority of my songs are written while smoking a cigarette before even finding the beat then I tweak the lyrics to fit the beat and the song is either a hit or miss. Either I feel its worth dropping or not at all which also plays a part in why many people see me as inconsistent. I see it as the wait being worth it.
You've begun your career with an incognito persona, an approach that has yet to be seen and have been extremely successful with. What influenced you to take this route and how long do you plan to stick with it?
Honestly, I just wanted it to be about the music. We listen with our ears not our eyes and thats how I want my music to be taken in. To not give people the opportunity to judge me for my looks but my talent. I do plan to stick with it until its the right time to 'reveal' myself or at least let my appearance be known to the world.
Who influenced your style? How do you separate yourself from other artists?
Honestly, no one influenced my style as of me singing AND rapping. When I was solely rapping The Fugees, Eminem, Sade, and Erykah Badu played a part but as of right now doing both, no one has an influence on what I do because everyone does the same thing. I just do me and focus on staying true to myself when it comes to the music. I make music that doesn't fit on certain blogs or Youtube Channels which is frustrating but then I realize I'm standing out so its a blessing in disguise.
Do you prefer a particular art form – emceeing or producing?
I prefer the vocal aspect. I started off rapping and my first mixtape is still on my Soundcloud just private. So I incorporated both singing and rapping over a year ago and just stuck with it.
Have you ever performed publicly?
Nah I've never done a show. I'd like to I just need to make sure its the right time and setting. Plus I have terrible stage fright but I'll get over it.
What are new challenges when you step into the studio?
I've never recorded in a studio before and I don't plan on it unless its my own home studio. I like being in control of my creativity and owning my own finals/masters.
You stated that you have never recorded in a studio. What equipment do you use and how long do you typically work on a track before you deem it complete?
Well, I just use a Macbook and a USB Mic. So many people are going to drag me for using a USB mic but it gets the job done you know? Honestly, it just depends on the length of the song, how complex it is, background vocals and the whole nine. I like adding extra vocals to my songs so sometimes I have to take a step back and be like "is this too much? should I add more?" and I pretty much just listen to the song over and over until I hear something that needs to either be revised or removed/added into the song. Once everything has been mixed I send it off to get mastered and thats when the song is complete.
Top three music influencers?
The Fugees, Eminem, Sade
Can you describe your music in five words?
I'll leave that to those who listen to it.
What encouraged you to start making music? At what point in your life did you decide that music was your passion?
I just saw people my age (19 at the time) creating and doing what they love. I never really had an interest in music as far as wanting to pursue it but I thought I was good with words and so I tried it out. People fucked with what I was putting out and so I just kept growing and got better with each song. I mean when my song Change hit 10k in a month with NO type of promotion whatsoever besides and Instagram post that was the quickest I had ever gotten on a song so I think thats maybe when I was like "Okay I can make something of this."
Damn, just one? I have so many: Sade is number one but as far as male, probably Drake but only if he sits next to me while he writes his verse because I'm not splitting shit with a bunch of writers when it comes to my songs.
How do you feel about the Internet in the music business?
The internet in the music business is both a downfall and a rise. Thats all I have to say.
You have the chance to be anybody for a day. Who would you be and what would you do?
I don't want to be anyone but myself. Everyone has their own problems and I wouldn't want someone to go through mine while I go through theres.
What was your inspiration behind the track “DOWN FOR YOU”? It may be a song based on a love story, but how significant is this person in your life?
A woman who I'm still currently involved with inspired that song. The song is a love story but its both the highs and lows between us. She's extremely significant in my life. Without her I wouldn't have any of the songs on my Soundcloud so I thank her for being my muse and supporting me through everything.
Something that fans wouldn’t know about you?
Something the people who listen to my music wouldn't know is my gender. Unless they've paid attention, I mean it bothers me sometimes but I can do a lot with the "is this a man or woman?" question.
If you had to listen to one album & one mixtape for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Album: The Marshall Mathers LP or The Score by The Fugees
Everyone has a goal when they first start making music, whether it be making a million dollars or to become one of the greatest. What’s yours?
To create that "how did MAJILLA do that?" type sound. The type of music that only I can create and inspire others who listen to me to want to do create. Leaving my music in the world to be heard for what I'm saying because I want my music to mean something to someone. I want to be able to support myself, family, and those close to me. If I 'make it' we all make it.
Outside of music what hobby do you turn to in order to rejuvenate your creativity? What is a typical day/week like for you?
Shit.. Lmao I don't do anything but music in all honesty. Although if I feel as if I'm starting to force things, then I'll take a break and come back to it. Usually just text my ting, watch Netflix or something, and try to take inspiration again from everything going on. I don't really know anyone since I moved from Oklahoma back home to Ohio so I just keep to myself and focus on bettering my future with my music.
Cigs & Silence hit a bit of a delay in terms of the release date. What caused the setback and how will you improve the project with the extra time?
Haha you telling me, I mean the delay was due to not being happy with the songs chosen for the project. They weren't positive nor negative. They were just songs that I had heard too many times to want to even release. So I had to step back because I knew I could make something better than the songs chosen at the time. I'm just going to stay focused on bringing content that everyone can relate to but more so just writing these songs to myself to reassure myself that shit is all good regardless of the situation.
What should we expect next?
My EP: Cigs & Silence is in the works and my next single "Hit & Run" will be released in the next few weeks.