Musicians: What Does Creativity Mean To You?

mayamada December 8, 2014 No Comments

After the great response we got from illustrators about what creativity means to them, we’re continuing our series with a different group of creative people.

This time around we spoke with musicians to ask what creativity means to them and get an insight into their creative process:


chromatone on creativityWho are you and what do you do?

I’m trying to figure that out, often by writing music, playing guitar, singing or break dancing.

What does creativity mean to you?

It means fulfilling our human potential. Creativity is what sets us apart from other animals; it’s our greatest asset. Growth only ever flows from creativity

Describe your creative process.

There isn’t really a fixed process as such, as no day equals another. However, in terms of songwriting, most ideas do start as a hummed vocal melody on my phone recorder and are then developed into full songs on the guitar.

Arranging is usually done on Sibelius and recording, mixing and mastering follows in various studios.

When are you at your most creative?

Late at night or early morning hours. Not very convenient. Sometimes also after eating vindaloo curries, I swear they put LSD in that stuff.

Who is the most creative person to you and why?

Difficult question, but if I had to choose only one person, it would be Quincy Jones. As a songwriter, arranger and producer, he masterminded a very influential musical legacy, covering a very wide range of genres.

Twitter: @chromatone

Soundcloud: Chromatone

Youtube: Chromatone


MegaRan on CreativityWho are you and what do you do?

I am Raheem Jarbo, aka Mega Ran, a former teacher turned hip-hop artist and speaker.

What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity means the ability to create, but also the vision to see something amazing before it’s even formed.

Describe your creative process

My process, as weird as it sounds, is to let life take me in a new direction…

I like to try to sit in a quiet place and meditate, but I get so much more out of being out and doing fun or new things.

I have to keep a notepad on me though, because these ideas come so fast.

When are you at your most creative?

In the shower, or while I’m driving or riding a bus or train. Sometimes just being in a creative space, like the studio, will bring out songs and ideas that weren’t there.

Who is the most creative person to you and why?

My friends. I have some of the most awesome musicians, artists and game developers as friends, and I look up to them and draw so much inspiration from what they do. That just makes me want to work harder and do better every day.

Twitter: @megaran



Okiem on CreativityWho are you and what do you do?

I’m Okiem, or Oak for short.

I’m a professional musician and composer. As well as playing the piano/keyboards for artists including Tinie Tempah, Leona Lewis, Delilah (and others), I also write and produce my own music.

What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity to me, is an opportunity. An opportunity to express who you really are. After spending years developing your craft and your technique, creativity is that place that allows it all to come together and create something that can then affect other people.

I like to approach it as a big experiment, which takes away any sort of pressure from the process, and when you get it right it’s a great feeling to sit back, listen and enjoy your creation, and share it.

Describe your creative process

It does vary from project to project and depending on who else I’m working with.

Currently I’m composing a solo piano album so I like to just sit at the piano, press record and start playing.

On occasion, an entire song comes out. Exactly as I’d like it. I may then go back and re-record it but for the creative part of the process, I try to just let it happen.

Other times I may record 6 or 7 minutes of music and then go back through the takes. From that, there may be a melody or a section that inspires a whole song.

When are you at your most creative?

I’m most creative as soon as I wake up (that includes after my daytime naps!)

Who is the most creative person to you and why?

My answer to this question probably changes from week to week but right now a Producer/Artist called ‘Sohn’ is blowing my mind!

He has created an amazing sound; really soulful vocals, live instruments fused with electro synths. Amazingly tight productions. Love it.

Twitter: @OakTV

Instagram: @OakTV

YouTube: WannaPlayPiano

Rich Stephenson

Rich Stephenson on CreativityWho are you and what do you do?

I am Rich. I’m a singer-songwriter, performer and composer for TV and film. In the past I’ve penned tracks for E4 Skins, supported The XX.

My new EP ‘I AM RICH’ has just been launched on iTunes and Spotify.

What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity is what drives me. From writing songs, to cooking food, to arranging the books on my shelves, I always aim to express in a way that is ‘me’. I don’t know what I’d do without it!

Describe your creative process

It’s a little chaotic! I very rarely write a song in one go. I’m constantly writing snippets of ideas (lyrical hooks, guitar riffs, choruses) and record/jot them down on whatever is to hand when inspiration strikes (on my phone, computer, notepad, back of envelopes, beer mats!).

It makes for a jumble of formats, but suddenly out of the disorder, these snippets start sitting together and become the songs that I release and play live.

It’s always a comfort to have an arsenal of ideas waiting in the wings. Some ideas can be dormant for months – or years! – before they make it into a song.

When are you at your most creative?

When I am at my most relaxed. I’ve tried giving myself an allotted time to sit and be creative, but it never works!

This does mean that inspiration can strike at the most inconvenient moments: there have been times when I’m at a gig or club and had to rush to the toilets or outdoor smoking area to record an idea on my phone. I’ve started to ignore the strange looks of those around me.

Who is the most creative person to you and why?

I’d struggle to name one! I admire artists who never give in and keep on expressing themselves in their own unique way, regardless of trends, styles and the ‘norm’. Tom Waits, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Ryan Adams are all up there.

The band Future Islands are really floating my boat right now too – the singer is so passionate and heartfelt on record and in performance.

Twitter: @stephensonrich

Facebook: stephensonrich

Tony Goff

Tony Goff on CreativityWho are you and what do you do?

I’m Tony Goff, front man of the trio act ‘Tony Goff’. I also play rhythm guitar in the band.

We write, upbeat catchy indie/pop tracks, with life lessons and adventures in the lyrics, revolving round my ‘Tony Goff’s life.

My new EP ‘Butterflies and Compromises’ has just been launched on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

What does creativity mean to you?

It’s a vast word, cause its used for a lot of things, I personally think its coming up with anything your proud of. Bad or good.

But then there’s inspirational creativity which is what moves and inspires people through the ages. That is not the norm.

Describe your creative process

I write from the heart, so what you hearing from the band is my pain and happiness, will for this EP anyway.

I will have to go through something quite emotional to write something I feel has any worth, but then again it does differ sometimes. I’ve written snakes and ladders in a pub in 20 minutes, now its our most played and viewed track.

When are you at your most creative?

Goes back to previous question in times of happiness or sadness. sometimes a few bevys can loosen me up to making it easier for me to divulge my feelings to paper.

Who is the most creative person to you and why?

Never thought of this until now, I don’t have a most creative person, as everyone is different and I admire that.

Twitter: @TonyGoff1

Soundcloud: Tonygoffmusic

YouTube: Tonygoffmusic

Pharrell “It Girl” Video

Nigel October 17, 2014 No Comments

Running mayamada has given us plenty of opportunity to see all kinds of reactions to the phrase “anime and manga”. There have been some interesting reactions over time, luckily most of them positive.

Although we know anime and manga does have a strong following, it has lived largely outside of the mainstream since the days of regularly watching Dragon Ball Z and Naruto on TV. This despite the massive growth of events like London Comic Con and Hyper Japan.

That’s why it was great to see Pharrell, arguably the biggest music star on the planet right now (sorry Kanye), release a new video for his single “It Girl”. It’s a great visual mix of anime and old school video games, and fun to watch.

Seeing such a big artist delve into our world was a pleasant surprise. But the video wasn’t without controversy and several major websites have highlighted the “Lolita Complex” theme running through the video.

Admittedly, there are parts of Lolita fascination that can be considered creepy to people already familiar various anime and manga subcultures, so it’s easy to see how a mainstream audience would find it so troubling.

But beyond that is the wider implication of anime and manga being discussed in the mainstream at all which shouldn’t be ignored either.

We started mayamada to help increase the awareness of anime and manga, our goal is to show that it’s not a collection of weird stereotypes, but another valid form of entertainment and storytelling. Our line of clothing and comics go some way towards changing perceptions, and we’re always excited to see other people use the style in creative ways.

Between Pharrell’s “It Girl” video and the new Jordan Brand Slam Dunk Collection, the awareness of this part of Japanese culture will only continue to grow and that’s a good thing.

But maybe try using some older characters in your next anime video Pharrell? Just to be safe.

Mega Ran @ Brixton Hootenanny

mayamada September 15, 2014 No Comments

After missing him at Alcon we finally caught up with video game inspired hip-hop artist Mega Ran at the last stop of his UK / Europe tour.

It was great to hear more of his story. From how he started using video game influences in his music and caught the attention of Capcom, to how he used to be a school teacher in Philadelphia before his music took off!






The highlight of the show was the freestyle Mega Ran did on stage, taking random objects from the crowd and coming up with lyrics off the top of his head. Amazing!

Meeting Mega Ran

Nigel September 10, 2014 No Comments

While at Alcon this weekend I ran into hip-hop artist Mega Ran…though I have to admit I didn’t know who he was when he picked up a Samurai beanie hat from us!

Combining video games, hip-hop, soul and jazz is cool enough but even more interesting, he used to be a middle school teacher in Philadelphia. Being an engineer turned clothing brand owner I can appreciate the sudden turn in career path.

Check out his post-Alcon video to initiate yourself, and see if you can spot our Samurai beanie along the way.



Antix On Balcony TV

mayamada September 25, 2013 No Comments

Balcony TV is an online music show featuring new and established musicians doing acoustic sets on balconies around the world.

This summer we got to see Antix perform a stripped down version of “You’re Crazy”.  Check out the video below and see if you can spot the mayamada t-shirt 😉


Jaunty Performing at Frozen Yogurt Party

mayamada April 1, 2013 No Comments

We’re now just a couple of weeks away from the Frozen Yogurt Party and so far, you’ve heard about the frozen yogurt.  You’ve heard about the pop up shop.  You’ve heard about the video game tournaments and even the Giant Jenga.

What else is there to talk about right?

Wrong.  We’re proud to reveal that London hip-hop artist Jaunty will be performing live at the Frozen Yogurt Party!


Jaunty has been an early supporter of mayamada and can be seen sporting their Samurai Chef tee in a recent video.


You can also pick up his EP on the night.  All this is on top of  a live DJ at the event, who will be providing a great music all throughout the event.

Jaunty will be performing from 9pm so make sure you grab a seat or any space going in what is sure to be a packed Saturday evening at Tutti Frutti.


Open Mic Night At The Ritzy

Nigel September 19, 2012 No Comments

Last week I was invited to the Ritzy open mic night to see a few new acts live.  I’ve got great respect for anyone able to perform in front of a crowd of any size and there were a line of very talented guys and girls over the night.


Also on showcasing was LP of StarlightPhonics performing two of his songs at the end of the night.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming collaboration with LP in the near future.