Maya Balkaran

ER: What’s your title and what do you do?

Maya: Creative Director, General Manager and founding member of In Real Life Music. I oversee all projects (label, pub, mgmt) / A+R / creative direct / produce all creative for every artist on the label including Luna Li, Liv.e, Peggy Gou, Special Interest, JWords, Body Meat, Nathan Bajar, Meth Math, CLIP and more.

ER: How old are you?:

Maya: 25 

ER: Where are you from, where are you living now?:

Maya: New York originally and Los Angeles now.

ER: What is the thing that keeps you so drawn towards music?:

Maya: I started off by playing violin piano and viola — jazz and classical at conservatory at the age of 10 which deepened my understanding of the art form itself. But – It doesn’t feel like a choice, listening, dancing, singing, playing music is the way I feel most connected to something greater.

ER: What are you working on now?:

Maya: Finalizing the last touches on the amazing Luna Li debut album coming soon, with some extremely exciting collaborations on there. Also working on helping direct the last couple videos for her project. Releasing new music from my newest signing CLIP and a couple other artists on the label, + directing/producing a couple things for John Carroll Kirby on the side. also trying to DJ more !! it’s so fun haha 

ER: What project are you most proud of working on/ was most memorable?:

Maya: Formulating a creative marketing plan to transfer internet buzz to real fans by releasing a “Jams EP” of Luna Li’s viral 30 second beats from instagram/twitter during covid to DSP’s now streaming over 7mil+ 
A+Ring/marketing/ helping with creative on Liv.e’s “Couldn’t Wait To Tell You” critically acclaimed album and garnering attention from artists like Tyler The Creator, Andre 3000, Missy Elliot and more. 
Producing / helping direct Liv.e’s album (live stream) x Erykah Badu release party was exciting for me since they’re both legends. Playing violin in with Riyuichi Sakamoto 

ER: What is your mantra? What guides you?:

Maya: Flow don’t force, is one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately that a friend taught me. Doing quality work and having a strong idea of who I am, sticking to my taste whole heartedly and knowing the moral standard I have for my industry peers. I strongly believe in karma and the power of good will.

ER: What is your favorite part about music/working in the music industry?:

Maya: Right now it is artist development — creating a world that feels true to the artists music while reaching a wider audience, and helping align that world with the way the music feels. 

ER: What is the lasting impression that you want to leave?:

Maya: I want to be remembered for my quality of work, not quantity & for opening doors and being an advocate for artists, particularly WOC that live to create within their own paths even if they aren’t understood right off the bat.


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