After the release of her stunning new alt-pop single ‘XO Girl’, we thought it was a great time to catch up with iyah may.
While studying to become a doctor, iyah may – formerly known as Mayah – decided to take a bold leap and pursue her musical dreams. She moved to New York City on just her student loan and met a community that inspired her and made her realise that her decision was correct.
Then COVID-19 happened: the global pandemic necessitated a return to medicine, her planned music releases put on hold for a better cause.
It was actually during her first year as a registered medical doctor that iyah started writing ‘XO Girl’, her new track about, unsurprisingly, sticking to your convictions. It’s an anthem for everyone who refuses to be a pleaser and appeaser.
“‘XO Girl’ is drawn from being pulled in different directions and having trust in yourself,” iyah said. “Sometimes that’s all that can get you through a year like the one we’ve just been through.”
The track also features Saint Lane, who brings their trademark R&B and hip-hop style to iyah’s gorgeous alt-pop.
We caught up with iyah as part of our popular Get To Know series to find out more about just what makes her tick.
Check out ‘XO Girl’ by iyah may ft. Saint Lane:
How did your artist name come about?
I actually changed my artist name to iyah may in 2020. I put my music releases on pause and returned to medicine to fill in during the pandemic as kind of like a ‘relief’ doctor in hospitals / virus clinics. The name ‘iyah’ is close to my heart and came about after this year of reflecting, writing and collaborating with some really rad people.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Nan let’s get loose.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
‘XO Girl’ is about sticking to your convictions and empowering yourself, it’s definitely one of my favs. My other track ‘Pray’ is about some of the feels of social media and its curated realities.
What do you love about your hometown?
It’s a little hippy rainforest village in Far North Queensland called Kuranda and there’s the best water holes and Nutella crepes ever.
Career highlight so far?
Moving to New York City for a year with no money and no connections and meeting an incredible network of musicians and creatives. Then returning to Australia to sign a record deal and release tunes!
Check out ‘Tied You Up’ by iyah may:
Fave non-music hobby?
Does eating count? Also tequila.
What’s on your dream rider?
Yo…hummus and unlimited sushi.
Dream music collaboration?
So tough but Coldplay, Lizzo, and Tame Impala.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully traveling the globe with some fat tunes.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
‘High For This’ by The Weeknd or ‘At Last’ by Etta James.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
If there’s something you really want in life go after it savagely. Also don’t question your Nan’s scones.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Well I like hummus a lot. It’s getting a bit out of hand tbh.