At 21, singer-songwriter mxmtoon (aka Maia) stands tall as one of the brightest and most engaging voices of her generation. Known for her dreamy pop and introspective lyricism, the Oakland-raised, Brooklyn-based artist is also a gamer, podcaster, and activist, who has built a deep, symbiotic connection with millions of fans through a steady stream of content on TikTok, Twitch, Instagram, YouTube, and Discord.
2021 was another busy year for mxmtoon, with Maia providing the musical voice of Alex Chen, the protagonist of Life is Strange: True Colors. Here we saw Maia combine two of her greatest passions: music and gaming. A longtime fan of the popular narrative adventure franchise which boasts over 20 Million unique players across its lifetime. The soundtrack marked the latest in a steady stream of mxmtoon projects—including a full-length album, one graphic novel, and a pair of EPs that bookended 2020. The acclaimed dawn and dusk (Maia’s second and third EPs, respectively) found the artist broadening the scope of her work—exploring new sounds and fuller production, as well as partnering with outside writers, including Carly Rae Jepsen and Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus. Maia has also become a sought-after collaborator, appearing on projects by Ricky Montgomery, G-Flip, and Noah Kahan, among others.
As her platform continues to grow, Maia frequently speaks to an array of issues that are close to her heart, including Black Lives Matter, mental health awareness, the environment, and LGBTQ+ rights. In recent months, amid the alarming rise in violence against Asian Americans, Maia has also become an outspoken advocate for the AAPI community including being a part of a Twitch panel with the platform’s founders. “I think it’s a huge privilege that I’m able to talk about these issues,” she says. “Hopefully I can inspire others to think more critically and stand up for what they believe in.”
Maia’s fan base is certainly passionate, as evidenced by her streaming and social numbers—both of which are staggering when one takes into account her DIY approach. mxmtoon’s self-released music averages 1.5 million streams daily across all DSPs, while her songs have amassed an astonishing 930 million cumulative streams on Spotify. Across her social media platforms, Maia engages with more than eight million combined followers, including 2.7 million fans on TikTok. Her Instagram profile is close to surpassing one million followers, while her YouTube channel boasts over 875,000 subscribers.
In news that is sure to excite fans around the world, mxmtoon has been working on new music which will be released in 2022. “I hope to keep pushing myself and make something that feels really different,” explains Maia. “I want mxmtoon to be a diverse sonic playground.” She adds, “Everything is open-ended for me right now, but I see that as being incredibly liberating and exciting.”