If I am not for myself who will be?

ONLē Talks with Mikki Ma'at (@Mikki_maat) by Jas Wilson

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Mikki Ma'at is a singer and songwriter hailing from Queens, New York. She graces the Onle Vibez Stage dressed in all black from head to toe, long locs and curly blue hair flowing as she performs. Her vintage 70’s and emo aesthetic is accompanied by a deeply soulful sound. Her performance of Pseudonym is eerie and emotional with powerful notes that reverberate throughout the room and echo in our ears long after her set is complete. Mikki Ma'at draws your attention not only with her unique style, but also with her eclectic sound. She gathers her inspiration from artists across all genres, from Micheal Jackson to Trippie Redd. The culmination of her diverse sense of music appreciation is evident in her own musical and artistic expression. To pin Mikki Ma'at’s music to one genre would be doing it a disservice, as it traverses through the peaks of the Psychedelic Rock era as well as the valleys of Blues. Growing up in Queens has had a heavy influence on her style and musical expression. From being raised in a musically inclined household, to being immersed in the heavy metal sound found on the streets of the skate parks in her neighborhood, Mikki Ma'at has always been surrounded by different forms of music on all sides. From her complex fusion of genre and sound, a one-of a-kind melody is born that cannot be ignored by listeners everywhere. 

What's your name and where are you from?

My name is Mikki Ma'at. I'm from Queens, New York. 

How did you start music?

I grew up in a very musically diverse household. I have a lot of different influences from my mother, my grandparents, and my sister. They all listen to different music and I would just spend all my time listening to mixtapes. How I started singing and getting into music is definitely because of them.

And who would you say are some of your biggest creative inspirations?

It's really expansive, but I will say, Mariah Carey, Micheal Jackson, the Fugees, Lauryn Hill, the Beatles. They're all really strong foundations. Then I really started getting into metal. All kinds of alternative stuff. And now I would say I listen to Trippie Redd, Sza, Jhene Aiko, and Willow.

It sounds like your music taste is really genre expansive. So if you had to put your music in a genre, what would it be? Or how would you describe your music?

I feel like all the modern artists I just listed are kind of in the genre of creating their own kind of music. And I don't know what It's called but it's like alternative, psychedelic, blues. It's a lot of Jazz in there. It's really mixy! It's just really new and contains everything, but for some reason, it keeps falling under neo-soul but I just think that's cause we’re black [she laughs].

What message are you hoping to put out into the world with your music?

I really want to inspire people to get off their asses and do what it takes to get what they want! And that like, there's no person or place that's going to give you the opportunity. You are the opportunity! You put the people and the places in front of you.

How does the city you’re from impact your music?

I would say that I had a lot of time to skate. And a lot of places to go so all I did, and the kids in my neighborhood, we would just skate. And we would listen to a lot of heavier music that definitely influences my style.

How would you describe the music scene in Queens or in New York? Like what is it that draws you in?

It's just so intermixed and has a lot of cultures. There is so many different hands. And it helps bring out a lot of the differences that I like.

Your style is so unique! How do you incorporate it into your artistry?

It's spontaneous! It's psychedelic, but it's also got like that edginess. Like deep down, I'm still just an emo kid! And it contains all of those aspects.

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