Stormi Maya, a woman from Bronx, New York, can do it all. A hip-hop artist who also acts, directs, writes, organizes events, there’s no challenge she won’t rise to. “Basically, I’m a business person,” she says. Maya describes herself as someone who likes “dabbling in everything.” She says that she does “anything that brings in money, any type of revenue.” Maya also describes herself as a “lover of life and bringing people together,” hence why she is always organizing things like shoots and videos.
Currently, Maya lives in Montreal, Canada, where she has been working on projects since before quarantine. She is staying in Montreal because she knows that if she leaves, she won’t be able to come back. Luckily, Maya has a lot of opportunities and people up in Canada.
Maya has experience in directing not only film (such as music videos and short films), but also live theatre. Her big goal, which she says feels like a big accomplishment, is to finish a feature film. Even if she isn’t directing; she wants to just “start making movies.” Unfortunately, she had a bad experience in the movie industry a few years ago with a director who seemed great at first but decided he didn’t want to finish the film. Maya, who had been producing and acting for this movie, wasn’t happy with the product. It became important to her to finish it on her own, as she didn’t have complete control.
Maya directed, screen wrote, and produced a hip-hop feature film called Shark. It features a cast of people from Virginia, Miami, Atlanta, New York, and Montreal, including herself. The film is about eighty minutes long and has elements of both drama and comedy, while also being a hip-hop movie. Maya says post-production was a big deal for her because of how much she had to go through to be able to get to the point where she is finishing a film, which included a lot of editing. While she had professionals come in, all of the initial editing and special effects were done by her. “So, I did like basically everything,” she says.
With all her talents, Maya says that she’s going more into music. She has no plans to abandon her work in directing, producing, and acting, “but music’s going to most likely be about priority.” Maya feels that music is empowering because she has control; she gets to “control what I’m putting out. I get to control my voice.” When acting, she’s putting on a face and being someone else. With music, it’s her voice.
Maya has been doing music since she was a teenager, maybe even before, but wasn’t pursuing it at first. She took some music classes in high school, seeing it as more of a hobby. It wasn’t until 2018 that she began learning how to be a music artist professionally; two years later, she feels like she’s “done a lot of great things in that small amount of time.” Her current favorite song that she’s released is Black Man Magic, which she said she was “really pushing that song a lot.”
Of course, Maya doesn’t just make music- she listens to it, too. She mostly listens to hip-hop and old-school rap music, as well as older music- rock and metal came to mind. Artists like Queen Latifa and Missy Elliot are not only people Maya likes to listen to, she also takes inspiration from them; for Maya, it’s all about the vibes. Specifically, when you listen to a song and feel like you want to dance.
The person who has had the biggest impact on Maya’s life is her grandmother. Her grandmother raised her and taught her values of life, how to take care of herself, and how to proudly present herself. Her grandmother is still out there “doing what she has to do… running around and traveling and living her life.”
Maya spent more time than she knows being told “you can’t.” She was always told she could never be an actress, or a model, or anything. Today, Maya has proved the haters wrong. A successful singer, actress, director, and producer, Maya has proved that you can be more than anyone says you can be.
Stormi can be reached on IG: @stormimaya or her website: www.stormihub.com