Laurentis X Maijah – MIND [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

LAURENTIS : Cinematic, Electronic, Rhythmic

MAIJAH: My sound in three words would probably be dynamic, lyrical, and sparkly.

Mental health and overthinking. Tell us a few things about your new song MIND

LAURENTIS : I struggle with bad anxiety myself, which is what I had originally gotten into performing and music to help get over. We hadn’t really discussed themes for the song but when Maijah sent her hook and it had a similar vibe to talking about anxiety I knew we had something in common there. I think that negative self-talk is something a lot of us do and it can really bring you down, it always felt like there was almost another person doing that negative talking to me all the time and I think we thought this track was a good way to personify that struggle and tell that story.

MAIJAH: I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember, so mental health is always something on my mind when I create. I think many artists are that way. When Laurentis first sent me the beat I felt this eerie depth to it and immediately connected to the complexity of the track. I was also going through a time in my life where I was having a lot of self doubt specifically toward my music career, and kept getting the message over and over again that the main block was the fact that I wasn’t believing in myself enough… that’s where the idea of being my own worst enemy came in, and the secondary layer of needing to keep myself even closer to watch and beware of those self destructive tendencies and mindsets.

Your pop vocals fit perfectly with Laurentis rap. How did that collaboration happen?

LAURENTIS : A friend of mine had Mentioned Maijah and sent me her Instagram, I was impressed by her stuff so I dm-ed her and whipped up a couple of super simple beats and we started working on them together. I don’t think either of us really expected the track to be this cinematic and intricate when I had originally sent her the base of the beat it was literally just the guitar, that vocal sample in the intro, and some drums that didn’t make it into the final cut. I was so impressed and inspired by the hook she sent back, and from that hook, the track just grew and grew. I rewrote and re-recorded my verse 3 different times trying to get that full cinematic feel we ended with. She re-recorded her hook a few times but to be honest we could have had something awesome with just that very first voice memo she sent, Maijah’s a really talented artist.

MAIJAH: A mutual friend saw that both of us were looking to collab with new musicians, and Laurentis ended up reaching out to see if I was still looking to work with someone who produced beats. I could tell by looking at his album “Liquor, Love & Lost Thoughts” that he was clearly multi-talented and had the ability to experiment with a wide variety of sounds. After he sent the first demo to me, though, I could tell that he not only had an understanding of my current sound but had some really fresh ideas for what we could make together. We sent recordings back and forth and I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting our two sounds blended together, because I feel like it’s not something that you hear too often.

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

LAURENTIS : For me I wrote the first verse so it’s kind of the negative antagonist of the track and that second verse/bridge is really the more thoughtful person we all try to be. There’s this line in the bridge “I just need the 808s to drown em out” and I thought that was something that I feel all the time that music and especially hip-hop, RnB, heavy bass stuff was always there for me to try and forget about my worries for a while and just let the 808s drown the negativity out.

MAIJAH: I mean in this song I only wrote the hook, so for sure the standout lyric of mine is “I keep my enemies close so I keep myself the closest.” I mentioned it a bit before, but there’s a lot of different layers to that line, and it resonates with me to this day! When you get really into spirituality you’ll learn that the biggest block of manifesting your dreams is your own limiting beliefs…. To me, that self doubt is what I believe to be my greatest challenge, and, in a way, my biggest “enemy.” However, the way to fix self doubt is with confidence and self love, so I need to keep myself close. There’s double meaning there in the general phrase “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” and the fact that my biggest enemy is me, and the way to befriend my enemy is becoming closer to myself. I don’t even know if it makes sense all written out though!

Favourite album of the past year?

LAURENTIS : I’m going to say preemptively “Donda” (Kanye West) or “Silk sonic” (Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars), whenever those damn things drop. But of the albums that have dropped already this year, I was rockin with “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” (Tyler the Creator) and “Faith” (Pop Smoke) mostly.

MAIJAH: My favorite album of 2021 so far has definitely been “Be Right Back” by Jorja Smith! Honorable mention to Bia’s “For Certain” though, since it was technically dropped at the very end of 2020 and was all I was listening to at the beginning of this year.

What is the most useless talent you have?

LAURENTIS : The most useless talent I have is I’m double-jointed all over my body, it used to be a lot more drastic when I was a kid but I can pretty much touch the back of my hand with my pinky.

MAIJAH: Outside of music and art stuff I’m not really sure if I have anything I would consider a special “talent” but I do have a pretty good memory specifically in regards to people. Like I remember birthdays and random facts about acquaintances I had in elementary school and stuff (though that also might just be because I remember everyone’s astrological signs so who knows).

One last thing we should know about you?

LAURENTIS : The last thing you should know about me is I love to experiment, try out new music gear, new instruments, new sounds. I love trying on new genres and seeing what I can bring to my sound from them. Always excited to try out something I haven’t heard before

MAIJAH: I guess the last thing I’ll say is: I have a lot of big dreams and am definitely only getting started in this industry, but music has always been my life and I feel really dedicated to using any sort of platform I end up with to make the world a better place. I want anyone who listens to my music to know they’re not alone and their existence matters. Never give up!!!

Thank you!

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