Woman On A Mission...
Maya Days says that in five years she wants her career to take her
"everywhere," you believe her. In addition to being an
accomplished theatre actress with credits in "Rent" and
"Jesus Christ Superstar," her collaborations with dance
music sensation The Tamperer ruled dance floors around the world as
recently as last year. Days is young, beautiful, motivated, and on
the move. Fortunately for YourMVP readers, Editor-in-Chief
Paul E. Pratt caught up with the budding diva during her run on
"Superstar"--while she was on the road after a grueling day
under the lights of Broadway.
she says, laughing into the phone.
past 8 p.m. Pacific time, but pushing midnight in New York City.
Maya Days has just spent several hours in front of Broadway audiences
playing Mary Magdalene, the fallen woman in Andrew Lloyd Webber's
"Jesus Christ Superstar." And she's hungry.
the background she can be heard directing someone--an unknown
driver--to pull over at the first opportunity. She apologizes, the
sincerity obvious in her voice, then explains. "I want Burger
singing her ballad "I Don't Know How to Love Him" in the
Broadway revival of Jesus
laugh is sultry and somewhat dark, yet full of life--which is easily
the way the stunning brunette could be described. Her sexy, caramel
appearance, the result of a mixed Portuguese and African-American
background, curvaceous body, and incredible voice have landed her
roles as "bad girls with a heart of gold" in two of the
most critically acclaimed Broadway musicals of all time. Now she is
preparing for a little time out of the limelight.
going to have two days off--I might have a Whopper," Days
shares, saying that, with her schedule, two days off is a luxury. One
might not expect such dietary indulgences from someone whose career
calls for her to be in the spotlight--literally and
figuratively--six days a week. But Days is far from typical, as her
appearance--and, soon enough, her demeanor--would attest.
is focused and ambitious, honest and straight-forward. And she makes
no bones about her career agenda. "I see myself going
everywhere," she says with confidence. "I am ready to make
a big impression on the world in terms of music."
realizes that it's going to take hard work, but that is something
her stage career has prepared her for, she says. "Being on stage
eight times a week--especially as Mimi (from "Rent")--is no
joke! That's hard work." Playing an HIV-positive, drug-addicted
dancer would wear anyone out, and Days played the character on the
show's "Angel" national tour, in London, and for a stint on
Broadway. It's easy to imagine that Days' recent Broadway run as Mary
Magdalene is an equal challenge physically and mentally. It is, she
says, but confesses her heart belongs to Mimi. "[Mimi is] hands-down
the most amazing role I've ever played. I get off on that
Days is ready to "make an impression" on music, she
appears to be on the right track. After all, she's already made one
on the world's dance floors with dance music mavens The Tamperer.
After hearing "Drop a House," Days' attitude-filled
collaboration with the techno outfit Urban Discharge, European group
The Tamperer contacted the young vocalist. They decided to rework the
piece, add a sample from the Jackson song "Can You Feel It,"
and have Maya rerecord the vocals. The result: "Feel It."
a track that launched "The Tamperer featuring Maya" to the
top of dance charts and the "Billboard" magazine EuroCharts.
those [songs] is like an aphrodisiac to me," Days says,
laughing again. She has enjoyed the international success, the travel
and the opportunity to entertain people in so many countries. "It
was really wonderful. You travel all over the continent [Europe].
The bottom line is a smile and a gesture of being pleased the same
who you want to express yourself with, the rest just happens."
doubt, "Feel It" and the follow-up "If You Bought
This Record Your Life Would Be Better," which heavily sampled
Madonna's "Material Girl," were pleasers. "When people
would hear those songs--especially 'Feel It'--they would lose their
minds," Days says, "It was very gratifying."
listen to Days, moving beyond club and international success will be
incredibly easy. "Vibing with people and knowing what it is you
want to sing is the biggest part of the deal," Days says.
apparently, Days found that "vibe" with the people at Jive
Records. She is signed with music's hottest label, the same company
that represents pop uberstars The Backstreet Boys, *N Sync and
Britney Spears. At a glance, Days could not have a better machine to
support her. She does admit, however, that she might fall outside the
spectrum of music her label embraces most readily. "[Jive] is
very hot right now. They're a great label, but they're very into pop
music. Period," Days says--and that's a genre of music she isn't
certain she'll fall into.
to Days, there's more dance-oriented music, in her future. "I
think [my album] will be dance music, but more groove-based,"
she says. "Mostly I just look for good songs. I love dance-based
music, though. I like dance stuff with hip-hop grooves." And she
plans to work with The Tamperer again, too, though not likely in the
same capacity. "They're great producers," she says--but
this time <i>she</i> won't be the supporting cast!
"It is going to be more of a 'Maya Days produced by' type of
thing," Days explains. "It's going to be much more of a
solo effort on my part, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't work with
feels that dance music is the trend of the future--and uses her
chart success with The Tamperer to support that. "Everybody
wants to dance, to celebrate and to have a good time," she says.
Though she refuses to state that dance is her favorite type of music
("There are so many acts out there that are amazing, and they
are so diverse . . . ") she will commit to, "Music that
makes you move is a good thing."
it becomes abundantly clear from her ambition of being
"everywhere" that Days has more in mind than simply
continuing on her current musical path. With the early-September
close of "Superstar," she now has more time to dedicate to
both her recording career and other media-- television, movies.
"I am an entertainer," she asserts. "Not just a
vocalist; not just an actor. There are so many incredible projects
out there, incredible roles. Whatever I see as 'passionate,' that's
what I want to do. That's where it all stems from for me: being
that. "There are some things that are so special . . . that
have that 'X-Factor' . . . " she says, elaborating on what it is
that she is seeking in her own career. "There are some songs
that are so special--and not just to one person, but to everybody.
They're just special." That's what Days says she's
looking for in her career and in life. "That passion . . . I
passion is something that Days, who describes herself as "crazy,
demanding, and genuinely good--like a genuinely good heart,"
sees to have an abundance of--grounded in strength and sensibility.
She realizes that her desire to be "everywhere" is going to
take its toll.
everywhere and being able to enjoy being everywhere are two
very different things," she confesses. However, she's driven to
now, though, she's looking for a Burger King--and meeting with not
much success. "They're closed!" she moans, "Can you
believe that? They're closed!" No worries--there's an open
Days is a woman on a mission--and one suspects she most often gets
exactly what she wants.
to visit Maya Days homepage