In the early aughts, there was a surge of talented R&B artists that left us with beloved memories of classic anthems (think Ne-Yo, Destiny's Child, Usher, etc). While the genre has evolved, and integrated with more modern productions for a cross-over sound (Ariana Grande, Frank Ocean), that first love of smooth, soulful R&B remains. Which brings us to 19-year-old Maeta from Indianapolis. While her Spotify bio consists of only those facts, EARMILK got to learn a little bit more about this aspiring artist, alongside the video of "Babygirl", the first single off her forthcoming debut EP.
"I'm always pretty moody," she admits. "It's my personality. I like to sing about my emotions because I relate to emotional music. I'm really honest about how I feel. I guess I've got an attitude."
"Babygirl" is a sedated trap beat that submits to Maeta's sultry vocals, emitting bountiful confidence and yes-even a little attitude. "This song definitely started out as a self-boost, I was in a darker place when it was written (by Livvi Franc) and I needed it as a boost for sure. I never saw it as an anthem but I think it's turned into that for other women. I get videos of women singing it, they tell me they play it when they're doing their makeup or getting ready to go out, so it feels good to know it's more than just a song for me." The visuals build on this theme of abundant self-confidence, debuting Maeta as a self-reliant woman who, like the indulgent babygirl, "been workin'" and "deserves this".
Not entirely new to the music scene, she has been steadily releasing cover videos and implementing a "#MaetaMondays" series on her Soundcloud profile, whereby she releases a new tune every week in a therapeutic attempt to adjust to the big move to L.A. "I've gone through a lot of changes," she shares. "My life completely flipped. I moved to a new state where I didn't know anybody. I learned how to let go of worrying and let things figure themselves out. I've learned a lot about music. I've learned a lot about myself. I'm toughening up. Being alone forced me to sit and think about who I am." Inspired by the legends of her childhood (mostly Beyoncé), she's fearlessly pursued this almost elusive quality of authenticity that today's music is desperately trying to bring back. "I think I want people to see me as real. Not even with my music but as a person. So many people try to act cool all the time and I think it's refreshing when people are just genuine and themselves. I respect when other artists are so true to who they are and honest about their experiences."
Channeling this self-aware artistry into her debut EP Do Not Disturb (scheduled for release on November 4th), Maeta begins the journey of becoming the same childhood inspiration she looked up to her whole life. Teaching young girls to pursue their passions, and never waver from what they know they want because babygirl truly does deserve this.