On Saturday August 27th, I attended Neighborhood Flavor Detroit, Summer Block Party presented by Jack Honey, with a live performance by Detroit native Mayaeni.
Jack Honey has teamed up with Roc Nation and through this partnership Mayaeni has returned to her hometown to celebrate the place where it all began. She gives fans a glimpse of the city that helped influence the artist she is today.
I had a chance to sit down with the singer for a one on one interview, here’s what she had to say:
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Yea, my name is Mayaeni, I’m a singer, songwriter from Detroit and I play rock music and lead guitar. I just put an EP out called Elocution and I’ve been touring this summer with citizen cope. I go back on tour this fall with Corrine Bailey Rae and KT Tunstall.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say if Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix had a child it would probably be me. That’s the best way to describe it. Raise it in Detroit, the Motown city and that would be me.
How long have your been singing?
Since I was a little kid, I started recording at 12 and wrote my first song around that time and started going to the studio.
I see that your album dropped this past July?
Yes, it has 5 songs on there and I’ll be working on my fourth album that will come out next year.
For someone who has never listened to the album, what can they expect from it?
Soul, rock, just some good songs. It’s got attitude, it’s very guitar driven. Just classic songs and rocking out. Nobody rocks out anymore. Rock and roll is not dead!
So how would you describe your sense of style?
I guess I probably dress a little like a bohemian gypsy. I like flowy stuff, but I still like to still be comfortable. I love a high slit on the left leg when I play the guitar because I always have that leg out. I also love patterns and floral things. I love mixing patterns on patterns, like stripes and flowers.
Do you have a favorite designer?
I love spell designs and free people.
So what can people expect next from you?
To keep touring and hopefully the music just keeps spreading. And to keep having the opportunity to do more shows. I really just want to be a touring artist like nonstop, so I just hope to keep booking shows. I got September down, hopefully I’ll get October next.
So do you travel internationally?
Yes, prior to last year I was living in London for three years and that’s where I wrote most of what became this EP. So mainly a lot of time was spent in London.
What is your favorite place to visit or tour?
On the US tour I just did, my favorite city to visit is New Orleans. That was the first time I went and I was just blown away completely. It’s beautiful, I feel like it’s another world and I just love the vibrant colors. I’m trying to go back in the winter to write for a little bit, even if it’s only for a few weeks.
So how did you end up partnering with Jack Daniels?
They did a partnership with Roc Nation, where they partnered up with three artist on Roc; Santigold, DJ Mustard and me. Honey Jack is promoting their neighborhood flavors, where we’re promoting our hometowns and showing pride in where we came from.
So when you leave the city (Detroit) what are some of your favorite things you miss about being here?
I miss my family right off, my friends have all spread out now, so normally when I leave I’m seeing my them in other cities and states. But my family is here, my mom, dad, brother and my dog which has become my parent’s dog. So yea I miss them the most.
Do you miss the Coney islands, faygo pop, vernors etc.?
You know some of it, but I’m pretty boring I’m a vegetarian, but there are some Thai places here that I really love. I really miss my mom’s cooking which is the best.
So do you have any last words, anything you want people to know?
Just check me out, the main thing is how to spell my name M-A-Y-A-E-N-I
Mayaeni’s EP can be purchased on iTunes, Google Play, Tidal, Spotify and Amazon,
Mayaeni playing the guitar during Neighborhood Flavor Detroit
There were also special performances by former Jack’N for Beats national winner and Detroit’s own, Hydro. Detroit hip-hop producer and MC, Black Milk along with local hip-hop and spoken word collective, Cold Men Young.
To find out more about Mayaeni please visit here
For more information on Jack Honey or Neighborhood Flavor Detroit, visit here
Photo Credit: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey