A few years ago, you were just a kid star trying to break into the music scene. Now you are all grown up and you are one of the most sought after star. What has the transition been like?
I think that in my journey in the industry, I am still trying to find out who I am, what I want my image to be and I think that going through that journey has helped me a lot so far. Now, I can say that though I am still young, I am more mature and I know how to deal with things now.
Going into music at such a very young age could be quite a challenge. Did you actually have a normal childhood?
Yeah, I had a normal childhood and I don't think I missed that because I am doing something that I love. I won't say my childhood was not normal because what am doing is what I love and has always loved.
How has it been breaking into the Nigerian music?
It has really been great and I have been able to work along with the industry and the acceptance has been awesome. It is a great privilege to be here. I know that it is quite difficult as the industry is quite big but I must say the way I have been received has been quite awesome. It has been hard work but I am happy that I am here now.
In the South-South part of the country, Mya K is well known and your music is widely accepted. What are the plans to conquer the Nigerian music scene as a whole?
On that aspect, I have been working hard to get in there. By so doing, I have been trying to get more Nigerian flavour into my music. I know that for a song to be accepted in Nigeria, it must be what the people want to hear. I am working to infuse in some pidgin, local languages like Yoruba, Efik and Ibibio and other dialects into my music. I know with that, I will be able to connect with the people.
Do you know how to speak pidgin, Efik or Ibibio languages?
I am on my way; I am learning Ibibio real fast. I can count up to 10 in Ibibio. So if I am doing a countdown in my song, it will be perfect.
When did you realise that you were going to be a musician?
I never really had a particular moment where I said I was going to do music. It is an inborn thing and what I have always wanted to do. Like most people will say, I was already doing music in my mother's womb. She told me that anytime music was played, I would be dancing and kicking in her tummy. As soon as I was born, the talent was discovered early in me and my parents helped in shaping me into what I have become today.
Do you miss playing and mixing up with kids your age?
People always say that I am really matured for my age and coupled with the fact that I am always around adults but I can say that I do love playing kiddie games once in a while. This is my time to build my career and when I am in Nigeria, I take it seriously and the time to do my job. But when I get back to England and to school, that is when I do the kiddie stuff and play with my mates.
Have you ever been intimidated by older and mature artistes?
I don't think I ever get intimidated by them, instead, I look up to them and say to myself that I want to be like them when I am older. I can list so many stars that I love to be like when I am older. I am not scared of them really but I look at them and say when I grow older, I will be a unique and special kind of musician and next to them.
So who are these artistes that you look up to?
If I go out of Nigeria, I will definitely say it is Beyonce. There are lots of artistes out there but for me, it is Beyonce because she has been there the whole time. I love her so much. Locally, I love Tiwa Savage so much and I do look up to her. For the males, I love P-square, Iyanya, Davido, Wizkid and Banky W.
Can you tell us some of your songs?
I have produced and released quite a number of them but the ones readily available are Do It, Let Me Breath featuring Vector the Viper, Go Higher featuring Jaywon, My DJ, I Will Survive and L.O.V.E.
How did you get to do a collaboration with the likes of Jaywon and Vector?
Well, for Jaywon and Vector, I think it was just a matter of having a connection and so since we had a plan in our minds that we wanted to get the Nigerian flavour into our songs, we decided to look at the Nigerian artiste who is well versed in the industry and whose songs have been widely accepted, so we had to settle for them.
How many albums do you have in the market?
We have not released an album yet. We don't want to rush or give a due date but we will do it when the time is right, when we know that we have the right product. There will be albums dropping soon.
How do you feel when you walk or drive around and people just get excited at seeing you?
It has happened a few times when I go shopping, when people recognise me. I don't get carried away but I just feel that I am being acknowledged for my work and the music I produce. I think it is a wonderful feeling after all.
You are on a scholarship in the UK. How do you cope with schooling and doing music?
I will not call it coping but rather I will say how I mix the two together. There are so many things I love about school and there are also so many things I love about music. How I manage them both is just by knowing that there are things I love about both of them and I fix them. My school has a very high standard in performing arts, so we have always been doing music and drama. So I believe that went a long way to influence me.
How has been the influence of your parents in your career, especially your mom who is always with you?
They have really taught me a lot about the business side of music because they are business people. They have worked in the business sectors and they know all about managing a business. Also, I have schooled in Nigeria for a long time and so I know how to do business in the Nigerian way.
We would like to know the real Maya Kinlock apart from Mya K the musician?
My full name is Maya Emem Kinlock. I am Nigerian-British. I am what you will call half-caste because my mom is Nigerian, from Akwa Ibom State while my father is from Britain. I divide my time between UK and Nigeria though I spend more time in Nigeria. I go to England during school session. I am 12 year old artiste and I love Nigeria so much.
How do you relate with Akwa Ibom artistes? Do they see you as a threat?
Well, to be honest, I have not really had a proper insight into how people view me. What I want to do is get out there, do my thing and get the feedback from my fans and the general public and advice. As for seeing me as a threat, I will say no because I feel great coming from Akwa Ibom which is my second home; in fact, it is my first home, so I don't think anyone will see me as a threat.
How long do you plan to do music?
I don't have any plan on how long I am going to do music. Music is a part of me and even if I wasn't famous, music will still be going on till the day I die. So music will always be a part of me.
What will be your last word for your fans?
Like I said in my song Do It, if you can do it once, you can always do it twice; and you can even do it better. I want to say that my fans have been quite amazing. The thing about me is that I started from the bottom and now, I am where I am; so if you think you do not have the ability to start, you can start from the bottom as well and have the believe that you will always make it.
Thank you Mya for speaking with us.
The pleasure was definitely mine.