Meet 10 young game-changers who are united by the same mindset: it’s your path, you can create it. They are singers, songwriters, artists and presenters; graphic designers, rappers, fashion designers and gig promoters. You haven’t heard of them yet, but you will. They are the future. Here’s 4Music, Copa90 and Rinse radio presenter Maya Jama.
FROM: Ladbroke Grove, via Bristol.
IS: TV, radio and YouTube presenter.
HER STORY: Maya moved to London from her hometown of Bristol at 16 to follow her dream of working in TV. She started out by making YouTube videos – hidden camera pranks, fake make-up tutorials – and landed a job as Copa90’s Football Virgin, in which she was taught all about the beautiful game in the run-up to the new season. “I was making videos about stuff I enjoyed and I realised, ‘Shit, this could actually be a job’,” she says. Quickly, it led to work with Sky and MTV and now she’s added 4Music and Rinse FM to her CV. She was last seen chatting to her idols at the BRIT Awards.
WHY SHE’S INSPIRING: Maya might have dropped out of college to go to London, but she always knew that if things didn’t happen for her, she’d be alright. “Thank God for my mum’s support,” she says. “She made me realise that it wasn’t the be all and end all if it didn’t work out.” Happily for Maya, it did and her tongue-in-cheek style is part of what made viewers stand up and take notice. “I looked at the other people on TV and thought, ‘I’m not like them’,” she explains. “I try not to focus too much on looks and make it about personality – because it’s easy to get sucked into wanting to look nice and be perfect, but I remind myself that it’s not all about looking nice. People don’t look immaculate all the time – you can be silly and still be taken seriously.”
HER FUTURE IS: “Full of love and laughter and opportunities and learning.”