If you’re sitting right now, you won’t be for long because you’re about to be introduced to Maya Killtron. Movement is what her music’s all about, especially her latest single “Whiplash.” Inspired by the late Michael Jackson, we talked about her influence on her style, what’s to come with her music and a lot more like what it’s like being not only a singer but a DJ and a violinist.
Kendra: Was music something you always knew you wanted to pursue?
Maya Killtron: It was more of a dream. A kid I always wanted to be Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston. I would sing in school talent shows and in choirs but it never became a reality until I went to College to study music full time. There it went from dream to reality or more a possibility. I think in college I also was able to develop into the pineapple ham I am now.
Kendra: Did Michael Jackson play a part in your love of music?
Maya: Yes. “PYT” was the catalyst to discovering his music outside of Thriller & Billie Jean. My dad would play “PYT” back to back with the theme to the Neverending Story & we would dance in the kitchen. That theme is a jam too.
Kendra: What song of his do you feel you could take and really make your own?
Maya: I sang in cover bands in college & ALWAYS tried to get them to play “PYT” It’s been my absolute favourite since I first heard it. That and “I Can’t Help It” – One of the greatest songs of all time! They’re both so perfect. You don’t have to play around with the melodies or sing runs or licks over anything. Just sing the songs as is & it comes out right.
Kendra: Being a singer, DJ and violinist…I’m sure you could do a great version of any of his songs, but out of those three talents, which came first?
Maya: I started violin at age five. Formal classical training. I was put on the road to becoming a professional Classical violinist from a young age but I just didn’t have it in me to pursue that life. I love to play but to get to that level you need to be obsessed with playing. I started singing in high school and was like THIS IS SO MUCH EASIER THAN VIOLIN! DJ happened much later. Despite not having pursued a classical career violin has given me the discipline and work ethic to maintain three career streams.
Kendra: Switching gears really quick, what’s one Canadian stereotype that the rest of the world has all wrong?
Maya: That’s it’s freezing cold here all the time and that we all live in Igloos. Guys, open a book! Toronto has almost the same weather as NYC.
Kendra: Back to the music. Your latest single “Whiplash” comes from your Never Dance Alone project. With that, who is your go to dance partner for life?
Maya: Mmmm, that’s a hard question. I’m currently single BUT I have a lovely group of friendly dance partners in my life. Right now I would have to say my tour and DJ partner DJ Frederick the Great. We go to a lot of concerts together and dance it up pretty hard. He’s got those awkward white boy dad swag kind moves. It’s incredible. Life dance partner for sure.
Kendra: Speaking of “Whiplash,” was there a particular dance move that inspired you when creating this one?
Maya: Ha! WELL, you’ll see it in the video! It was more the feeling of being “whipped” around by love or what you think is love.
Kendra: What’s going on with you and your music in the coming months?
Maya: Right now I’m working on the full album (out in early 2018!!!) as well as a tour of Europe (Germany, France, UK etc) in Nov/Dec. Outside of that, I’ve got a ‘zine in the works as well as a web series about me, my crew, snacks and what it’s like to be an artist in Toronto. Always keeping busy.
Kendra: Say your friends just put you in charge of making the ultimate dance mixtape. What five songs just have to be on it?
Maya: Ok here we go.
“Moonlight Desires” – Gowan – Featured in EVERY school dance scene in classic 1980’s Degrassi; big jam. Also, if you haven’t seen the video, please watch. It’s spectacular.
“If (Kaytranada Janet Remix)” – Montreal
“A Love Bizarre” – Sheila E. – Classic
“You Make My Dreams Come True” – Hall & Oates
“Heartbreaker” – Mariah Carey feat. Jay Z and the remix feat. Da Brat & Missy – I feel like they are both incredible and count as one song.