23rd June 2017—Summer

A Chat with Maya Jama Ahead of Fresh Island Festival

With just a few days left of our exclusive competition to win your best summer yet with Fresh Island Festival, we thought we'd get you even more hyped by catching up with the host of the event - Maya Jama. Known for her refreshingly honest approach to life on social media, interviewing some of the biggest stars in music and culture and an impeccable dress sense, Maya's one of the fastest rising stars to be coming out of the UK. 

So, we managed to grab 10 minutes out of her busy schedule to talk touring the US, festival survival tips and what you can expect from Fresh Island festival.

First off, how’s your year been so far? Any major highlights?

Yeah I actually just got back from the States. We did a whole tour through route 66 for the new Cars movie which was so fun. I’ve never actually learnt to drive myself, I live in central and there’s nowhere to park around there, but it was still such a good trip. It has definitely made me want to drive myself now though. 

Any favourite spots?

We spent a lot of time in Vegas which was my favourite place, we got to do lots of cool stuff. You can check out some of the antics we got up to on my Instagram. 

You’ve had the chance to meet some big stars in your career, who really sticks out in your mind as a real highlight? Any moments you want to forget along the way?

It would probably be Ronaldinho mainly because he’s the person that everyone really knows! When I tell people who I’ve interviewed they don’t know who they are a lot of the time haha. Luckily I’ve not had any bad experiences like saying something awkward or anything.

Long may it continue! Summer’s fast approaching, where will we find you?

Summer’s always a really busy time of year for me and I’ve got a lot of plans. I’ll be at the MTV Festival, hosting the live stream. I’m also hosting Fresh Island Festival in Croatia next month and I’m heading to Glastonbury this weekend. 

Will you be DJing at all?

No not this year, I played a set last year after Craig David which was wicked but didn’t think I’d be around this year so turned it down, I’m gutted now! 

Oh well, at least you can enjoy it as a punter!

Too true, I’ve got mates playing as well so it will be good to see them. Then I’m going to try to do a London festival at some point, maybe Wireless. I’m heading out to Australia as well in July. 

Very busy then! 

Yeah, well I’m busy all year round but summer it gets crazy and it’s also when I get to travel abroad a bit more, usually for work as well which is even better! 

You’ll be hosting Fresh Island Festival this year. What can we expect and who are you most looking forward to seeing?

I literally can’t wait. I think the best way to describe it is it’s like putting the ultimate hip-hop club on a beach, it’s so much fun. It’s all about the vibe as well, it’s quite a young festival and everyone’s just there to have a  good time. 

You sound really excited yourself! Anyone you’re really looking forward to?

I am, it’s such a fun festival and I’m managing to go out with a lot of my friends which is cool. There’s too many to mention but Sean Paul and French Montana are really sticking out in my mind at the moment. It’s been great watching the festival grow. The first year I went there wasn’t really many Brits but now you get people from all over the world coming, which makes it even better. 

What are your top festival survival tips for a festival like Fresh Island?

Make sure you’ve got a water bottle that you can attach to your waist or something. It’s so hot out there it’s unbelievable and you kind of forget to keep drinking water because you’re drinking alcohol most of the time. It’s so important to keep hydrated though. 

I’d say definitely bring some day-to-night outfits that will carry you from the beach to the parties. I know a lot of people that like to go home and shower and stuff before going out properly but, if you’re dutty like me, it’s definitely worth bringing some outfits that do both jobs haha!

Also, if you can then, definitely stay close to the festival so you can get back and forth easily. One year I was in a really nice place but it was too far away, you want to be able to get back to your place easily. 

What will you be packing? Any summer-time must-haves in your wardrobe?

I need a bum bag or side bag – depending on what I’m wearing. I don’t like taking a handbag out with me so one of them is important. Sunglasses are obviously a must. Flat shoes as well! You’d be surprised how many people try and bring heels with them – they just don’t work when you’re dancing on sand! They’re my essentials I guess, and the stuff I’ve already mentioned. 


What does style mean to you? Any tips for people trying to develop their own look?

Just whatever makes you feel comfortable, I think it’s so important to just feel confident in what you’re wearing. Whether that’s about the colours or fit, just whatever you personally like. I think fashion is about doing your own thing, not following rules or following trends, that’s what I try and do anyway. It’s just about being you. 

What other projects have you got coming up we can know about?

The thing I’m really excited for is a new show starting in September on ITV called Cannonball which will be on Saturday nights. It’s my first prime-time show and I’ll be the poolside presenter. It’s basically like Total Wipeout but even madder, it was so much fun to film. We went out to Malta to film for three weeks and I can’t wait for it to be aired. 

2 summer-time tunes we all need in our playlists?

That DJ Khaled & Rihanna tune ‘Wild Thoughts’ and French Montana ‘Unforgettable’, I’m listening to them all the time at the moment. 


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