MAYA B – B[1] REVIEW

Maya B is an up-and-coming R&B and Pop artist that I have been a big fan of for a long time. I started listening to her very early in her career; in fact, the first song I heard by Maya was the second song she ever had available to listen to on streaming services. As soon as I heard this track, which is called ‘Selenas,’ I was hooked on it and I needed to hear more from her. Maya B has a voice that is so recognizable and very nice to listen to, and the sound of her instrumentals is so eclectic and unique and unlike any other R&B artist. In 2019, she released her song ‘Dollar To A Diamond,’ which is probably my favorite song of hers to date(before listening to her new EP, of course). This track has such an interesting sound. The electronic music quality and feel of the instrumental are unlike most other R&B music you will hear today. Maya started to pop off in a big way during 2020. It is when she released her single ‘Sink,’ which features SAINt JHN. This track became pretty big on Tik Tok, gaining Maya a level of traction that had evaded her to that point. Knowing she had to capitalize on the success she had in 2020, she gave us two singles earlier this year before announcing she was dropping a full 8 song EP for listeners to enjoy. Just as expected, these singles are so different from any other R&B artist you will hear today, and they both made me so excited to hear this EP as a whole. With that being said, here is my opinion of Maya B’s debut EP B[1]. Please let me know in the comments below how you feel about this project, and also let me know in the comments what your favorite songs are from this EP.

Maya starts off her debut EP with the song ‘Real Life,’ which is also the first single she released in 2021. It has a very otherworldly sound to it; when I hear this instrumental, it makes me feel like I am a spaceship to the moon. The melody is so atmospheric and dreamy, and it highlights the soft and dark qualities of Maya’s voice very well. The beat on this track reminds me a lot of dance music and underground house music. Overall, the instrumental of this track sound like Frank Ocean meets Snakehips to me. In ‘Real Life,’ Maya is singing about the fake nature of living in Hollywood and trying to fit in with the other “celebrities.” Since everyone is trying to one-up each other and prove they are the most important, it is hard to tell what and who is real and what and who are fake. Half of the people you meet at these Hollywood parties are as fake as their supposed “gold” chain is. Even though Maya knows most of this world is fake, it is tough to not get sucked into the bullshit because she wants to make it to the top of her industry just like everyone else does and it is necessary to interact with these people to get there. The next song, ‘Running,’ was the other single released in anticipation of this record. ‘Running’ is a way slower and calm song than the track which precedes it. It also has a very atmospheric and out-of-this-world feeling to it. Once again, the instrumental for this song transports the listener to another galaxy, and it fits the tone of Maya B’s voice almost perfectly. I love the lyrical feeling of this song. In ‘Running,’ Maya is talking about how she is feeling herself fall in love with someone, but her instincts on love and relationships will not let her fully commit. Even though she did have a lot of great moments with this person, the creeping thoughts of doubt in the back of her head emphasize the bad moments they had, making it impossible for her to fully love her former partner. Now she feels stuck because she does not want to be with this person but can not let them go. Following this is the song ‘Next Life,’ which has a bit more of a traditional R&B feeling to it. This song has a sweet and soft R&B style melody to it provided by a piano; it does have some sound effects that make it feel a bit atmospheric, but the melody does bring it back down to earth. Maya B’s vocals are so soothing on this track. Her voice has this soft and emotional tone that makes the listener feel the lyrical meaning and tone of the song so well. Lyrically, this track has a very sad tone that matches up with the instrumental very well. On ‘Next Life,’ Maya seems to be singing about the one that got away. She sees the person she used to love taking their new significant other on trips overseas, and she knows that they connected so well and should still be together. She wants this person to see that she is better for them than the other person is, but she knows that they just will not be together. ‘Don’t Wanna Be Invited’ has a sound that sort of combines all of the best elements of the first three tracks from the project. I enjoy ‘Don’t Wanna Be Invited’ because it shows off and combines every sound that has made this EP great so far in one song. The instrumental has a Pop-Trap sort of beat combined with a melody that is equally atmospheric and spacey as it is traditional R&B. The piano riff starts with a similar old school R&B sound to the song that precedes it, but as the song progresses the melody synthesizes and starts to feel otherworldly. This instrumental even has a bit of a funky French Touch sound to it that reminds me a bit of Daft Punk at some points in the song. Maya B shows off her vocal range on this song, with her hitting lower, softer notes and higher, stronger notes with ease. In ‘Don’t Wanna Be Invited,’ Maya B is rejecting the superficial nature of Hollywood and expressing that she just wants to continue to be herself in a world where everyone tries to be like each other. Instead of following all of the trends you are supposed to follow if you are a part of the entertainment industry, Maya B wants to continue to stand out and show that you do not need to adhere to every trend to make it and be a successful artist.

‘Eyes Closed’ is a song that is completely unlike anything that precedes in it on this record. Out of everything on B[1], I would say this is the most modern and traditional sounding song so far. It still does have some atmospheric and spacey qualities to it provided extreme reverb and weird sound effects scattered throughout the song, though. I really appreciate this fact, because even on the song that is most similar to modern Pop-Trap and Hip Hop, Maya B’s special flare she always has in her music is still added. When ‘Eyes Closed’ does have a bit of a modern Emo-Trap sound that fits in very well with what is popular in modern Hip Hop. This is the song that would probably resonate the most with casual Hip Hop listeners in 2021. I love Maya B’s falsettos on this track. On ‘Eyes Closed,’ her voice is so soothing and it draws the listener in. The next track, ‘Don’t Think About It,’ sort of has a sound that combines early 2000s R&B with modern Pop Trap music. The melody is very reminiscent of music by artists like Alicia Keys, Rihanna, and Christina Aguilera early in their careers, but it has a beat that reminds me of artists like Ariana Grande and Fifth Harmony. ‘Don’t Think About It’ is about pursuing your dream and not letting any of the negative stuff around you get you down. Even when the circumstances around you make it seem like you can not achieve your goals and they make you feel stuck in place, you have to keep persevering and believing in yourself. The album closes out with the song ‘Balloon Bitch,’ which is a dreamy and psychedelic Pop-Trap track that will transport the listener to a beach somewhere far away. This song reminds me of vacation and partying it up somewhere tropical. The instrumental for this track has a very warm and exotic feeling to it and it will make anyone want to party. Maya B’s vocals on this song are so smooth and hypnotic. Her voice on this song is very soothing and it matches up with the instrumental so well. On ‘Balloon Bitch,’ Maya B is definitely feeling herself. She is stating that she knows all the guys want her and all the girls want to be her. I love her attitude on this track, as it makes the listener feel like they are on her level as well. ‘Balloon Bitch’ is such a great way to end this project because it is such a fun song lyrically and instrumentally.

Maya B has been one of my favorite rising artists ever since I started listening to her. She has such an eclectic and unique sound. It is impossible to put Maya B’s music into a box, as it draws from a massive variety of influences and kinds of music. Her debut EP, B[1], is such an excellent example of this. This project exhibits Maya B’s extreme talents as a vocalist and lyricist and shows her ability to combine so many different kinds of music so seamlessly. Whether you are mainly a fan of Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, and even Electronic music, I truly believe there is something for most music listeners on this project. B[1], is one of my favorite projects of the year so far, and it makes me so excited to see what Maya B does next. I honestly believe that the sky is the limit for Maya B.

FAVORITE TRACKS – REAL LIFE, NEXT LIFE, DON”T WANNA BE INVITED, EYES CLOSED, BALLOON BITCH

8.7/10

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