Mae N. Maejor might not be a household name in Zambian Music , but the Lusaka based producer is about to be Zambia’s biggest export producer on the continental scene. Mae N. Maejor has produced for a number of established African music Stars particularly from South African Africa Such as Da L.E.S, Shekhinah, Yanga Chief, Nadia Nakai, Jidenna among others. He was recently rewarded a Gold Award by “Sony Music Africa” for producing the Smash hit “Different” by Shekhinah”.
We recently caught up with the record producer for an exclusive Interview. Check it out below!
Zed Hype Mag: Tell us a bit about your Self?
Mae N. Maejor: My name is Amon Chibiya aka Mae N. Maejor, I was born in Lusaka, Zambia. I partly did my primary education up and till the 3th grade, then eventually moved to Harare, Zimbabwe and continued school from the 4th grade until I finished my high school. I moved back to Zambia in 2014 and went to university and graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
Zed Hype Mag: When did you start producing music and what inspired you?
Mae N. Maejor: I started producing music back in 2008 when I was in high school. A friend of mine one day came to school and during break time he played a track he had recorded and everybody went insanely crazy, it was like the coolest thing ever at that time [Laughs]. I remember not showing any emotion towards it because I low key was hating because I felt like it was something easy and I could probably do too, but deep down it was cool [Laughs]. So eventually got FL Studio and went home to make a track. It wasn’t easy, I failed [Laughs]. So I eventually invited my friend over to show me the basics. From that point I practiced every day and then eventually got better at producing. Besides that my mum used to play a lot of music around me, from Anita Baker, Franky Beverly, Luther V, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Bob Marley just to mention a few. So I studied and heard the sounds and elements in the music they made and got inspiration to create my own sounds from what I had heard.
Zed Hype Mag: How many International African Artiste have you worked with so far?
Mae N. Major: I have currently produced for Tinashe from the United States, I produced a song titled “Dreams Are Real” with my producer friend Smash David. I have also produced for Chinx from the United States, a record titled “Yeah I do” with my brothers/producer friends Lee On The Beats & Smash David . I have produced for Da L.E.S from South Africa, Dj milkshake, Shekhinah, Rouge, Yanga Chief, Nadia Nakai, Jidenna. I produced a record for DJ Khaled in 2014. However, for reasons beyond my control, the record never got released. The list of artists I have worked with is long. I’m constantly working and connecting with artist’s every day.
Zed Hype Mag: How have you managed to produce for SA artistes and what has linked you to them?
Mae N. Maejor: Basically just hustling shopping my beats around, meeting and connecting with different people in the music industry worldwide. Most important creating quality and unique music that attracts artists to my work.
Zed Hype Mag: Are there any notable local Artists you have worked with? If not why?
Mae N. Major: Currently, I have produced a record for an upcoming artist from Zambia, he goes by the name of Jerome Arab. I produced a record titled “My World” in 2018. I have not produced anything for the mainstream artists yet.
Zed Hype Mag: What do you think are the challenges hindering Zambian artistes from breaking through the International audience?
Mae N. Maejor: The music industry is a very technical place. Its how people Perceive it to be. There are a lot channels and barriers that one would have to go through in order to be on that global stage. From distribution, linking with key players like top promoters, PR agencies, to management firms, record labels and so forth. So in respect to the Zambia industry, I personally feel there is still some loose ends that need to be tightened in order for the music to reach that global stage. However, in the recent past we have seen Artists Like Slapdee try to break those boundaries, hence the collaboration with Patoranking. So that’s a good sign that we’re headed in the right direction. The music industry definitely needs more support from major corporations, brands, the media and most importantly the fan’s support and eventually the Zambia industry will get to that global stage. It’s only a matter of time.
Zed Hype Mag: What is your advice to Zambian produce both aspiring and established.
Mae N. Maejor: My advice to upcoming producers, is be consistent, have the passion, have faith, pray and work smart. We live in a generation where everything is literally at our finger tips. Research a lot about the music industry and be strategic. Mostly importantly make quality music. Nothing worth having comes easy. The music industry is for the strong hearted. Trials and tribulations are part of the journey. Keep your head up and stay focused.
Zed Hype Mag: What are you Major plans for 2019 music wise as a producer??
Mae N. Maejor: I’m currently executive producing Rouge (@Rouge_rapper)’s second album and working with other African and American artists. Besides that, I’m hoping to have a producer workshop for upcoming music producers to showcase their talent & works.