Soundtrack Of My Life: Maya Jama

The presenter, radio host and MOBOs presenter on the songs that changed her life

The first song I remember hearing

EastEnders theme

Maya: “I remember telling my mum I wanted to be in EastEnders when I grew up. My mum’s always watched it. I also spent a lot of time in Sweden and my nan always played ABBA. I love every single ABBA – being Swedish it comes by default.”



The first song I fell in love with

P Diddy and Usher – ‘I Need A Girl’

“It was the first single I bought. I just loved Usher, I think I fancied him back then. It was a song about a girl and you could imagine it was you, at that age – I was in Year 7. Before then I used to love Avril Lavigne in primary school, to the extent that I bought the flared trousers with the pink strands that hang off them and a skateboard – but never learnt how to ride it!”


The first album I bought

Whitney Houston – ‘Whitney: The Greatest Hits’


“My auntie loved Whitney Houston and we’d go on a lot of day trips out and they’d put her album on in the car. I love it and I still love it now.”


The first gig I went to

Devlin and Ed Sheeran

“I actually went to my first concert quite late. I went to see Devlin and Ed Sheeran was supporting at the O2 Islington. I came all the way up to London with my friend and it was great. I didn’t know what to expect – Ed just came out with his little guitar, which is crazy because of how big he is now. We had our own little corner – we were underage so we couldn’t drink. We just stared adoringly into whoever was onstage’s eyes! Loved it though, sung every word. I play it cool in front of Ed now, but one day it’ll come out in conversation!”


The song I do at karaoke

Arctic Monkeys – ‘Mardy Bum’

“I do ‘Mardy Bum’ or Whitney Houston’s ‘I Who Have Nothing’ – it just depends on how my voice is, if it’s fully there I’ll go for Whitney, if not I go for something a bit more chilled. Most of my karaoke performances aren’t official karaoke performances – it’s just me really drunk in my friend’s house. All my old school friends will say that Whitney song reminds them of me, because at every party I’d be like ‘look I can sing the high notes!’ I can’t anymore.”


The song that makes me dance

Fish Go Deep – ‘The Cure and the Cause’

“It’s been a tune for so long – I don’t even know when it came out but whenever I hear it now I love it. It hasn’t got old for me. It’s just a vibe. I’m quite a two-stepper – depending on my level of excitement, I might throw in some other moves in there. There might be some little hand gestures – it can get full routine-y.”


The song I can no longer listen to

Rihanna – ‘Umbrella’

“I love everything Rihanna does, so I feel bad even saying this, but I hate that song. I’ve just heard it way too many times.”


The song I can’t get out of my head

Raye – ‘Decline’

“It samples Ashanti and J Rule’s old song (‘Always On Time’) and whenever I hear it it stays in my head for two weeks.”


The song that reminds me of home

Von D feat Phephe – ‘Show Me’

“Everyone in Bristol loved that song when I was growing up. It was a song that we would pre-drink to. I was so gross, I couldn’t do it now, but me and my friend would get a bottle of sambucca and shot it between the two of us. Now it makes me feel a bit sick. I’ll still have a shot or two, but not a whole bottle.”


The song I want played at my funeral

2Pac – ‘Do For Love’

“It’s a nice vibey song – it’ll make people cry, but I kind of want people to cry. It’s not a sad song, it’s a love song, but people that know me will know I love the song.”

Maya Jama will appear at Beautycon Festival London 2017 on Saturday December 2