Self confessed tomboy and Rinse FM host Maya Jama has had roots in broadcasting since her teens. Hosting shows on Jump Off TV and travelling the globe for Copa 90’s World Cup show with her colourful and carefree attitude, she’s of a new generation of females looking to conquer not only the airwaves but TV as well. Trawling through the highlights of Maya’s Instagram, she’s a woman who knows how to speak to her audience and is comfortable enough to show her humorous side.
We caught up with her to talk outfit planning, her favourite tracks of 2015 and find out what it was like to go Christmas shopping with Craig David.
So what’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I can’t actually see myself doing anything else and all I really do is just talk! I also have fun which just feels amazing that it is even a job. I used to want to act but as soon as I started presenting I thought, this is so much easier because I am actually being myself. Whereas with acting I was only ever playing characters who were like me anyway. So it wasn’t even really me being an actor – it was just me being an extreme version of myself.
What’s the hardest thing?
The hardest thing is script learning. My short term memory is ridiculous! I don’t even know my boyfriend or mum’s birthdays! They’re gonna hate me for saying that! I know what month it is, I just always forget the day! So when I have a script I go into a bit of panic mode. I’ve mastered recording myself and listening back but for a lot of it it’s not too much scripted stuff.
Have you ever made any mistakes on air?
Loads! My producer on the radio will probably tell you I am the scattiest presenter ever! I sing all the songs you’re not supposed to sing and on my first ever radio show I did on Boxing Day two years ago I said “pissed up” because I was talking about Christmas and the producer was like, “No!”. There’s been little words like that or if I’d play the wrong song or press the wrong exit button. Little things, nothing too bad. Nothing controversial.
What’s your worst habit?
Someone who worked with me at Rinse said to me at the Christmas party, “Yeah we used to fancy you until we actually knew you!”. I was like, “What does that mean?!”. They said, “You’re just like blokey and bleurgh!”. I thought, “Ah, that’s nice!” to have a compliment and an insult. So I think being so manly maybe… ha ha.
What were your favourite three tracks of 2015?
Catz n Dogz ft.Tanika- “Get it right,” that’s one. Do they all have to be from 2015?
No could be favourite tracks of all time if that’s easier!
Ok, Kiiara – “Gold”, and Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself”. God that makes me sound weird. I really like his new album – I’m a proper Justin Beiber fan.
I read an interview on ASOS and apparently it said planning your outfit kept you up at night so what is your go-to look?
It keeps me up at night because I’m such a bad sleeper anyway, and I’ll wrack through every thought in the world before I go to bed. But I’m really bad at dressing myself! Most of the time, and this is sad as well, I’ll see outfits on mannequins or in pictures and I’ll try and recreate them myself! My favourite look is something plain like jeans, jumper, and then do my hair and makeup as nice as possible so it looks a bit snazzier. And trainers!
Recently you went shopping with Craig David! What did you buy?
I bought a Vybz Kartel vinyl! We basically had £100 to spend and he chose to go to a record shop to spend it and it was so nuts! It was so mad being with him. He’s so lovely and so down to earth and just normal! He genuinely seemed happy to be out, whereas you can meet celebrities and they can be like, “muhh, it’s another job” but he seemed genuinely happy to be there. Quite surreal. He was gonna do a live little DJ set as well but then we didn’t have time.
Did you learn anything surprising about Craig David, hanging out with him?
No, but in the space of about 5 minutes he listed off about 4 motivational quotes, just during conversation, like “you’ve got to find what makes you happy” and “you got to be true to yourself” and all of this stuff, which was nice; a nice little uplift! Yeah, he’s cool he’s a nice guy.
You’ve said Brazil was one of your favourite places to travel, why and what was your favourite part?
During the world cup when they have street parties, so every night during the games there’s be a party in the streets of Sao Paulo called Vila Madalena – it was like Notting Hill Carnival every single night and cars with speakers on the back, people dancing on cars. I danced on a couple of cars! Those nights were my favourite.
And where are you hoping to go next?
I want to go to Tokyo or somewhere like that. I don’t know what job would bring me there, but I’ll put it out into the universe!
Finally what are your biggest ambitions for 2016?
I guess just to do more! I want to do as much as possible and my own personal goal is I want a job on telly, prime time, on one of the main channels. But yeah, that takes a while…
Interview: Gemma Lacey
Photography: Jack R Johnstone
Stylist: Lucy Upton-Prowse
Look 1: Coat: Stylist’s Own, Top: Rokit, Dungarees: OBEY Women’s, Boots: Grenson
Look 2: Jacket: Martine Rose, Top: UNIF, Trousers: GANNI
Look 3: Jumper: Wåven, Trousers: American Apparel, Boots: Dr Martens
Makeup: Mary-Jane Gotidoc using M.A.C Cosmetics
Hair: Joel Benjamin using Unite