Coming straight out of St. Petersburg’s underground scene with a variety of powerful techno heaters, Maia Meia is making a devastating impression on dancefloors across the globe.
Like so many before her, the Russian techno producers musical imagination was captured by the sounds of global techno heroes, Detroit techno and rave music. After discovering music software in 2016, she was hooked, experimenting with analogue machines before eventually focusing solely on digital production.
December 2018 was a turning point in her career with Maia her debut EP ‘Herz’ coming out on Induxtriall Records. The release was also the first female output on the label and achieved acclaim from the likes of Abstract Division, Amelie Lens, Dax J, Rebekah, Richie Hawtin as well as Truncate and many more.
As Maia Meia effortlessly navigates the world of Techno we managed to pick her brains about the mind behind the headphones.
You are of Russia origin. What was it like growing up in Russia & what were your early musical influences?
My childhood was a really exciting time. My parents were pretty strict but even so, it’s never stopped me to find a lot of opportunities to go to different parties, clubs. It was never interesting for me to sit with the books. My music preferences were changing rapidly. Initially, it was pop music before changing to Detroit techno and 90’s rave music which was the gateway to techno itself.
A lot of our readers, myself included have very little knowledge of the Russian electronic scene. Can you describe the scene in St Petersburg, are the government supportive or is it more illegal parties within small tight-knit community?
Yeah, I heard that a lot of people think that we have illegal parties and we are under government pressure. However, it’s not really in that way. It is true that in Moscow there were some unpleasant situations, such as the closing of the Arma parties for instance. Nevertheless, I think it was caused by different reasons that are not relevant to the club scene itself.
In Saint-Petersburg, it was always calmer than in Moscow. As far as I remember we never had police attacks. We don’t have a wide choice of techno parties and obviously our club scene cannot be compared with Europe or the UK. Regardless it still feels underground, which still has a certain magic.
We have heard of a club in your home city of St Petersburg called, ‘Kisloty’ which has been compared to Berghain. Apparently very few non-locals are aware. Is it worth checking out & can you tell us anywhere (music or cultural) we should be exploring in the city?
Recently I haven’t gone to many parties, I have been maybe once or twice. My first impressions are that it is the real underground. If you look around, it is an absolutely ruined room with paintings on the walls, dancing people with strange looks making a strong impression. But it was closed in May with no official reason.
I would like to point out another club called RAF25 which opened in November last year. Its located in old Soviet bunker, they have a great sound system, the main dancefloor reminds me of Tresor. At RAF25 you can expect to see well-known techno artists. I also had an opportunity to play there at the party with Sigha. So far they have had Hector Oaks, Parallx, Myler, VTSS and SPFDJ play.
Your most recent release via your self-titled label is a rugged, destructive piece. Talk us through your production process. Do you prefer analogue or digital methods in the studio?
Thank you! Early on in my career I had the experiments with analogue but didn’t find the connection, it wasn’t exciting for me. So, in the end, I chose the digital way and use only Ableton instruments, also some VST.
How important do you think it is for artists to express themselves in their music? Is this essential to being successful?
If you express someone that isn’t truly you, then you making music for the business. It depends on the artist. Being successful means not only being able to produce music and express your feelings but it is how effortless it becomes making the music because it is so natural. I feel it’s important for me to share something personal through my music. That is why it took me 2 years to release my first track.
What has been the most important lesson in your career so far?
I think that would be: know your worth, don’t rely on people or at least make sure it’s right people for you. At the same time don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it could turn out to be the better decisions. Be self-confident and be bold to follow your own path, eventually, you will find it.
Finally, if you could play b2b with any artist in the world past or present who would it be and why?
Kobosil is one of the most exciting artists at the moment. I think he is nice in person as well and I love his energy. Our set would be a destroying attack. However, Dax J with his seductive smile could change that decision!