Catching up with British Indian Rock Artist Maya Lakhani
If you’re a fan of PJ Harvey, Garbage and Lana Del Rey, I’ve found your new favourite artist. British Indian Rock Artist Maya Lakhani has released her new track, Nightfall.
Lockdown led you to try your hand at producing. What resources did you use to learn?
As I learnt how to do this in lockdown, I used lots of online resources. I did the Tom Morello online masterclass, which I found super inspirational. I have played guitar for a long time, but never really considered myself to be a “guitarist”. I didn’t think I was good enough. But doing Tom Morello’s masterclass really was a game changer for me. He broke things down in a simple way and made me so much more confident in my creativity and abilities.
In terms of recording and producing, I use Logic Pro. I have dabbled in the past with using Logic, but never really finished anything. So I did a Logic Pro course on a website called Skillshare, to refine my skills. This taught me so much about the software and really opened things up for me.
What has learning to produce done for you?
Learning to produce myself has given me so much ownership of my own music. I can make songs exactly how I want to, without interference or judgment from anyone else. It’s also given me a lot of freedom to create whenever I want to. If I feel like recording something at 3AM, when inspiration strikes, I totally can!
This is the 3rd single you have written, recorded and produced yourself. What have you learnt from recording your first track to now?
I have definitely become more knowledgeable about releasing music in general. I used to think you needed someone to do your PR etc, but I’m doing that all myself and feel super happy about that. With each release, I have learned more and made more connections and contacts. I’ve also gained so much confidence. My songs have all been received really well, which is such a boost for me.
Can you talk us through the writing process for Nightfall?
Nightfall was a song that I sort of improvised, which is how most of my songs come together. I was just playing a chord progression on guitar, and the melody and lyrics just came to me. I spent a lot of time writing different guitar parts and producing. This is definitely my most “full” track in terms of instrumentation.
What equipment did you use to record Nightfall?
For recording guitar, I have a Vox amp that I’m able to plug directly into my laptop. For bass guitar and vocals, I have an external audio interface (a Focusrite Scarlett) which I plug into. The mic I use is a Rode NT1-A.
You are multi-talented, from recording and producing your music yourself to learning photography to create your artwork. Do you collaborate with others, or is your music very much a solo venture?
It is pretty much a solo venture. The only other people involved in the process are the drummer, mixing engineer and mastering engineer. Everything else, including promotion & releasing, I do myself. I find it really empowering and fulfilling.
What skill are you looking at learning next?
I would love to learn how to play keyboard! I’m currently learning casually using an app, but would like to really spend time getting good at it. I think it could help with songwriting and expand my knowledge of music theory.
I’m a passionate rock fan myself, compared to other mainstream genres, ours has a significant lack of women. Why do you think that is?
I don’t think enough women in rock are being spotlighted. Representation in music is really important, so that kids now can see women on big stages and achieve their dreams. If you can see it, you can be it.
How would you like to see the music industry change?
It would be awesome to see more opportunities for unsigned, independent artists. More bands looking for unsigned acts for tour support, more festivals actively seeking independent artists. There’s so much amazing music out there that needs to be heard on a larger scale.
What female rock artists/bands are you listening to now?
I’ve recently discovered a band called Softcult. I really love their sound, especially the song “Gaslight”. I’m really enjoying AlienBlaze’s music. I’m also really loving Avril Lavigne’s recent music!
What advice would you give to women who want to enter the music industry?
Believe in yourself and create the music you love. Trust that you have the ability to learn new skills and have the confidence to put yourself out there. As long as you are creating the music you love, that is all that matters.
Stream Nightfall here: