MXMTOON debuts three new songs


Jordan Johnson, Reporter

MXMTOON, which is pronounced em-ex-em-toon, is a stage name for Maia, who lives in Oakland California. She is Chinese American; her dad is from Hong Kong and her mother from America. She is a singer, songwriter and ukulele player. Her career started in 2013 when her YouTube channel took off. MXMTOON took lessons in violin, cello, trumpet and guitar before ever even picking up a ukulele in middle school, or even before thinking of singing. She gained fame for her original music, travel and lifestyle vlogs.

“I picked it up by learning four really basic chords and playing Riptideby Vance Joy, a quintessential ukulele song, over and over again cuz I thought it was really cool,” MXMTOON said.

She first realized she wanted to be a singer when one of her friends told her she has a good voice and began making a career out of it. She first started writing beat music, but later realized she wanted to write about the struggles she faces. Most of which almost every teenager goes through at least once.  She put her feelings out there with a demo called Somethingbut it later became Something fatal. She soon realized that if she wrote just about anything, people would listen.

“I’ve gone through all types of things. I can be as ridiculous as I want but I can also be an emo teenager and people like both sides,” MXMTOON said.

Since then, she has written within a wide range of subjects, from being a burden to her friends, to love and even to where her family came from. MXMTOON said that the main aim of her work is to let people know that they are not going through things alone, even if it feels like they are, other people are going through it too.

In August, MXMTOON got to meet her fans for the first time when she played her first ever show at LA’s Moroccan Lounge.

“It was great and such a weird experience to be sitting on a stool and then somebody shouts, ‘queen!’” MXMTOON said.

Her global audience has rack up over 75 million aggregate streams across all platforms. She went from being a normal teenager who started a YouTube channel to an internet star.

She has connected with her fans by writing songs that they could relate to very easily, such as “Feelings are Fatal.” She has collaborated with the like of peachy!and took the lead on his biggest song so far, the breezy, jazz-tinged Falling for U, which hit over 15 million streams. Her album on Spotify has over 4 million streams monthly and the top song Falling for Uhas almost 60 thousand streams.

“Seeing that people gravitated towards me helped me feel a lot more confident in my ability to be genuine with other individuals. On a superficial level, it’s definitely helped me to see that, if people like what I’m doing, I must be doing something right, or my face must not be thatbad if people like these selfies,” MXMTOON said.

The song, Plum Blossom, shares MXMTOON’s perspective with the friends and fans she has built around her. The current times are focused on body image. Her song is about having body confidence, with one track detailing her own experience with it. When she was writing she said, “it’s such a universal thing but I don’t know a whole lot of songs that just flat-out say ‘here’s what’s happening and I’m not happy, what can I do about it?’” She goes on to say that this was a main reason for her writing this song.

MXMTOON now has tour dates from September 19 through December 12. Locations ranging from Portland, Oregon to Dublin Pike and Ireland. She even has merch coming out. Her merchandise has ranged from vinyl disks as well as cassette tapes to t-shirts.