Mxmtoon Talks New EP “Dusk”

Kat Harlton

Oakland-raised, Brooklyn-based artist Maia, known as Mxmtoon, recently released her EP “Dusk“. You may have heard the latest single from the EP, “Ok On Your Own” a gorgeous collaboration with the revered and critically acclaimed Canadian artist Carly Rae Jepsen.

“Dusk” is the second EP of 2020 for Mxmtoon, following the success of “Dawn” earlier this year. With half a billion career streams & a Gold-certified single (Falling For You) under her belt, Mxmtoon is delivering even more with the release of “Dusk”. If “Dawn” drew from the gentle optimism and hope found in a sunrise, “Dusk” is a beautiful exploration of the emotional duality of the human experience. At once recalling Mxmtoon’s earlier work while also expanding her sonic horizons more than ever before, “Dusk” is an exciting new direction suggesting that the sky is truly the limit for Maia’s artistry.

We had the opportunity to chat with Mxmtoon about her new EP, working with Carly Rae Jepsen, and what’s next.

Kat: For those who are just being introduced to your music, how would you describe it? Is there anything you’d want them to know before listening to it?

Mxmtoon: I always describe them as musical diary entries! A lot of my music is just how I process the things that have happened to me, and so I try to make my songwriting feel very personal. Production is more varied in my opinion, but usually, there’s a tie into my origins with the ukulele.

Kat: You’ve recently released a new EP “Dusk”, can you talk about the inspiration behind it, and if there was a particular sound or style you were hoping to achieve?

Mxmtoon: I was really hoping to make the EP sound like the sadder sonic sister of my earlier EP from this year, dawn. Compared to dawn, which was really about looking forward to the future with optimism, dusk is really about sitting with our sadder feelings and reflecting upon them as we experience them. Sound-wise, I wanted to match this temperament with more classical instrumentation like strings and piano, and slow things down a bit too!

Kat: You’ve amassed more than 4 million followers across your social media, and recently, launched your new daily podcast titled 365 days with Mxmtoon where each day for an entire year you take fans through the most interesting, weird, and funny events of that day in history. What has been a career highlight for you so far? And what type of project would you like to work on next?

Mxmtoon: Oh my goodness, I feel like everything that’s happened to me is a highlight, but I think the most surreal thing to happen has been collaborating with Carly Rae Jepsen. Coming from the bedroom pop world, I think it takes a longer time to understand that you’ve ventured into the music industry, but getting to work with the queen of pop music has definitely been a reminder of where I am! In terms of what projects I’d like to work on, I feel pretty open to anything. The wonderful part of my music project thus far has that it hasn’t felt limiting. I could approach anything and I think it’d feel natural.

Kat: Do you have any advice for emerging artists? Or have you ever been given any advice that really stuck with you or made an impact?

Mxmtoon: Be comfortable with saying “no.” I think as a young person who had a very fast progression into the world of music, I definitely had the habit of taking every single tiny thing personally. There are benefits to being excited and ambitious over the goals you have or the offers made to you, but one of the best things I’ve reminded myself to do is say “no.” If you’re a young artist whose job is built around their identity, make sure you take care of yourself at the end of the day!

Kat: How has Covid-19 and the world in general impacted your music and songwriting? And has it inspired you to find other ways of reaching out and creating?

Mxmtoon: I’ve gone back to my roots in a sense with starting to write in my bedroom by myself again. I haven’t done any co-writing sessions over facetime and zoom purely because I don’t think there’s anything that can replace the feeling of physically sitting in a room with other people to make something! So, I’ve taken the route of trying to go back to solo writing, which has been daunting but rewarding in its own way.

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