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Maya lane 1

On the Rise
Maya Lane

27 February 2024, 09:00

London-based singer-songwriter Maya Lane is walking her own path with tenacity, self-belief and a well-practised talent for addictive country-pop.

On Maya Lane’s fourth Christmas, her dad gifted her a tennis racket. “My parents are both very sporty and my dad grew up tennis-coaching, so he thought, ‘Great, this is something we can do together,’” laughs Lane from across a pristine Zoom connection.

Fresh from playing to 3000-strong crowds on tour with Far From Saints, and picking up spins on BBC Radio 1, Lane’s brand of hook-fuelled pop with a country tilt is delivering aces of a different kind.

The best laid plans of mums and dads often go awry, and Lane had a better use in mind for her Christmas gift, turning it into a make-shift axe. “I was convinced that I was going to be Maria in The Sound of Music when I got that - I really thought it was a guitar and I think it was a really exciting moment for me,” she smiles. Thankfully, a couple of years later her parents finally caved. “I got a mini, pink, baby guitar and since then haven't really stopped playing it,” she says.

While neither of her parents were explicitly musical, her dad was a true fan, exposing Lane and her sister to an educational array of genres on long car journeys. “He’d get us in the car and we'd be like, ‘Play Taylor Swift!’ Or, ‘Play Avril Lavigne!’ And he would sometimes, but he'd lock us in and would just play loads of different things,” she says.


It was through her dad that she discovered the music of Joni Mitchell. “I was just completely mind-blown and I was desperately trying to sing along to ‘California,’ but my voice just couldn't quite do it at age seven,” she laughs.

Lane’s parents were also supportive of her own developing tastes, taking her to see Swift’s The Red Tour, an experience she believes was pivotal in her own desire to pursue a career in music. “I put on my full Red Tour outfit, had the hat on, my red DMs, praying that I was gonna get picked by her mum to go meet her backstage, which didn't happen, but it was still one of the best nights ever,” she laughs. “Looking around seeing how many people were affected by the music, whether they were crying, laughing, screaming, that was the first moment I realised music's impact on people and that you could do it as a job.”

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With a terrifyingly fierce determination, Lane set about paving her own way. At the time she was taking classical guitar lessons. “I went back to my guitar teacher and was like, I don't want to do this anymore. I just want to learn Taylor Swift songs and Ed Sheeran songs, and that's what I'm going to do,” she laughs.

She began to email hundreds of festivals, playing whatever stage would have her, usually somewhere in the South of England not too far from her South London home. “I think it really showed me and proved to me that if you put in the work, you're gonna get stuff back from it,” she says. “You have to be the main driving force for your project. You're the leading member of your team.”


She began to write and record with a musician she met while performing at a festival in Portsmouth, and at the age of fourteen, reached out to her now managers. “They met me and they always say that I just had this determination that they were so shocked by and they could really see I was just super hungry for it and I wanted it,” she says. “I was so passionate about music and I had so much to learn, but they really helped.”

At the age of fourteen, Lane began her journey into co-writing sessions, an experience that would prove invaluable during her final years of school. Studying Music Performance at The BRIT School, her studies were interrupted by the pandemic. Across a two year course, she estimates that she only spent around four months in class. “It was definitely a strange adjustment period, and I think a really pivotal point in time as well for my age group,” she says. “We went in at seventeen and I feel like I came out at twenty. I feel like it's affected us quite a lot.”

While the enforced time out put halt to her plans of releases and shows, it did give her the opportunity to continue to grow as a writer, collaborating with other artists from around the world via Zoom. “On one side it was really, really frustrating and really hard because I felt like I was just getting ready to start releasing and playing more shows. But then it also gave me this amazing amount of time to really reflect and get better, which I feel like I wouldn't have had if we hadn't all basically stopped for two years,” she says.

During her final year, Lane signed a publishing deal with Stellar Songs and released her debut EP Childish Games in 2022. A bright but delicate collection of diaristic stories, all built around Lane’s direct and striking delivery, they showcased the burning promise of a talented new voice.

However, for Lane the process between writing the tracks and sharing them with the world felt like an endless period of waiting. It’s only since playing them live that she feels they’ve been given a new lease of life. “I think that keeps them feeling new and fresh in your mind, when you hear how other people are relating to them or the impact they've had on other people,” she smiles.

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As live music returned, Lane worked hard to build her live show back, playing as much as she could and practising relentlessly. Her effort paid off when she was asked at the last minute to open for country supergroup Far From Saints, playing to between two and three-thousand people a night. “I still can't believe that really happened. It feels like a bit of a fever dream, but it was just the most incredible experience,” she says. “If that had happened straight after lockdown, I don't think I could have done it. I guess sometimes the world works in crazy ways where things fall into place at the right time.”

Returning this year with new single “Bump Into Me”, it’s an instant rush of infectious melody, crisp, modern production and classic storytelling. Co-written with producers Rich Cooper and Jonny Lattimer, it marked the start of a prolific relationship. “Sometimes when you go into sessions, you never know how the first one's gonna go, you don't know the people. But they instantly were just both so open and very warm and it was a really lovely experience to be able to go in and just write exactly what I was feeling that day,” she smiles. “Sometimes you kind of strike gold.”

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