Jayney Maïya is a Berlin-based DJ from the UK. She plays a relaxed, poetic and sensual style of chill with elements of playful charm and world fusion blended through in varying quantities. Her style possesses a versatile, soothing yet energizing sound for both chilling or dancing to.
Jayney has been DJing for 18 months mostly playing around England with residency in Soma Sonic, Liverpool. The door to Europe opened when she was invited to bring her beats to Freqs of Nature last year. Since then she has played at Odysee and November Ritual in Berlin (both connected to Freq’s production). This year she signed to Looney Moon Experiment and is off to play on the Groove Secret Chamber stage at Lost Theory in Croatia this August.
Jayney has been involved in the Freqs festival production last year and arrived with myself and Amy Jyoti (who will be instructing yoga in the healing zone) this year to create installations and perform on the Rela(x)perimental stage. She is also a seamstress for Maïya-Jyotï Creation.
(Above: Amy Jyoti and Jayney Maiya busy capturing dreams and being eaten by bloodthirsty insects)
I invited Jayney to talk about her progress as a DJ, her involvement with Freqs and what inspires her:
I feel a particular sound has developed over the past few years in the chill-out that has more movement and physical connection than airy or spacey. I felt there was a gap there previously. At Transylvania Calling Festival in 2011 my friend Nolan (Kained and Able) was DJing a chill set. I was hearing a lot of chill out in there but the sound he was mixing was different- it had so much energy whilst still being relaxing. He played the Kalya Cyntilla remix of ‘Feeling Good’ and I remember thinking how nice it was. I connected with that just as much as I would on the main stage (as were many others) and felt this should more frequently happen.
The quality of my tracks are; earthy, grounding, full and generating lot energy into movement through the bass and I tend to connect with mostly organic sounds. This past year I was learning how to just feel instead of analyse and articulate everything; allowing feelings to be more of a communication than language and not limiting incredible sensations and emotions into a word. As everyone has their own idea of what a word means, accurately articulating how tracks make me feel is difficult but generally I feel; free, warm, energised and sense a familiarity in the sound. It’s not very ‘out-there,’ it’s more natural and helps you re-learn and reconnect with something you already know like certain feelings that may have been be forgotten (anamnesis). The psy-bass brings grounding which people want/need during psychedelic experiences, or people having a difficult time can use it like a therapy to bring them back to center. A lot Psytrance I enjoy tends to serve for the opposite to me. I feel base-chakra in my style and can explore depths but on the psytrance floor it will be much higher and projected.
Originally I played tracks that inspire me in a feminine way and one of my first biggest sets was at Soma Sonic chill out. I was so happy looking up to see so many women dancing and smiling (some men too) and really knowing how to move to this sound. I’m not saying it’s just for women but I just particularly know that a lot of my female friends are really connecting with this kind of sound.
A lot of tunes I like to play have a very feminine vibe to them. I wonder: is it female vocals or is just an energy or is because I am a woman? If a guy played this would it still be seen as girly? Some guys might play one or two tracks that I play but the overall composition of the set has a very different feel. Maybe men or women generally feel and hear sounds differently. However, there is one guy, called LightChild (Merkaba/Looney Moon Experiment) who plays similar stuff and I listen to them and think how I would not do anything differently because I resonate with it so well. His sets are all about light and the sound really connects with the heart.
I definitely think the music I play is about bringing out the light and I appreciate music that allows you to explore and accept the dark, I feel just as much of a necessity for music that helps you connect with love and light. A lot of people on the label I am on aren’t playing the same sound and are a lot more glitch which may have more to do with the playful aspect of the down-tempo than the grounding aspect.
I been getting gigs quite swiftly since I started which I have been amazed and grateful for- it just flowed and fell into place. I didn’t push it at all. My boyfriend at the time had a great influence on me musically and guided me with the technical aspect, we shared similar taste but I went and explored artists I wanted to push through more and evolved into my own place. Some have said that they think this is happening because men want to see a young girl playing beautiful music and of course, there’s nothing wrong with that if they appreciate it but that’s also a strange and disempowering thing to say. I wasn’t thinking about it like that- I simply enjoyed the music I was listening to and wanted to share it at parties because I felt others would enjoy it. I wasn’t set out on this feminist mission, it was just happened this way and it has been perceived in different ways. Some people see it as a great feminist action to be a female DJ and I don’t really like the term DJane to set women apart for this reason. I began seeing this feminist connection as a positive thing because there are not many women on line-ups and also the kind of style of music strongly connected with Shakti.
As for my involvement with Freqs, I met Ankur (organiser) through playing at Soma Sonic. I sent him a recording/demo and the guy who was running the down-tempo area last year, ‘Or,’ (the same guy who asked me to join Looney Moon Experiment) who got my demo possibly through Ankur, then got in touch over Soundcloud to offer me a space to play last year. I was also working on the land art team and I love the vision of the festival, the organisation and organisers. It’s really down to the earth and transparent. I like the free-flowing an unpretentious platform they have created for artists to express themselves by presenting incredible creativity and talent in a really unusual setting and doing a great job. Freqs simply presents incredible art and music, without trying to sell it as anything that is going to immediately change your life or propel you spiritually. All this really drew me in and I am happy to be part of it again this year which was perfect as I have started living in Berlin.