Maya Vik Releases New Single “Body Language” (Interview)

Vik began her career as a bassist in several different bands before embarking on a successful solo career internationally

Maya Vik Releases New Single “Body Language” (Interview)

Vik began her career as a bassist in several different bands before embarking on a successful solo career internationally

Maya Vik is sharing her newest release, “Body Language” (feat. Bernhoft) todayThis is the fourth track she’s sharing from her newest LP, Hustlebot, her first album since 2015.

Talking about the track, Maya says “”Body Language” is a good old baby-making song from the album. The song takes listeners back to the smooth rhythm of 1989, a golden era where sensuality was at its peak. Inspired by the seductive songs of Janet Jackson, the song is a tribute to timeless love ballads.

We caught up with Maya and asked her a few questions about her bass playing and the release.

Having started out playing bass, how did you use bass to steer the direction of your music? It’s very central in these songs.

I’ve always considered myself a bass player first, even after going solo, writing my own songs, and adding vocals to my repertoire. When I first started making my own music, it was crucial to keep the bass at the forefront, both in my sound and image. My bass playing is stronger than my vocals, which I view as just another instrument in the mix. The bass will always be central to my music because it’s my main instrument. Sometimes, I miss focusing solely on bass—getting the right strings, effects, and perfecting the pocket groove, and to hide in the back with the drummer —without worrying about vocals or stage banter, haha.

“Body Language” has a great pocket groove. Where did writing the bass line come in during the process?

For “Body Language,” I recorded my vocals first, so that kinda set the vibe for the song, and we built the track around them. My keyboard player, Haakon Marius Pettersen, added his touch with a synth bass, complementing the existing bass line. The small licks and runs came from his work and really enhanced the overall feel of the track. 

The album features heavy synth work that honors the great music of the 80s. What was your process for writing it?

The idea was to pay homage to that era with its distinctive synths, bass runs, drum fills, and passionate vocals. I have an amazing live band, and they bring so much dynamics to my music, taking it to another level. So when my producer and I started these songs, we knew we needed to capture some of that live show energy. To get that vibe my keyboard player Haakon used the DX7 and Oberheim synths to nail the sounds of that time, along with the amazing production from my producer, Thomas Pettersen. And what makes it good, Is not just about technical skill; it’s about capturing the feel of that specific period, and you need to have that in you and know the references to make it sound authentic. It was a team effort, and I think we managed to achieve that on this album. 

What was the inspiration behind writing “Body Language”?

The whole album, of which “Body Language” is a part, is heavily influenced by the late ’80s, specifically 1989. That year was a melting pot of genres and produced some of the best love songs and passionate slow jams. I grew up listening to artists like Janet Jackson, and some of her best songs are her legendary slow jams with Jam & Lewis. Their work from the late ’80s profoundly influences my music. Also, “Takin’ it Back” by Toto served as a little reference for the guitar part.

What was the collaborative process with Bernhoft like? What other artists would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Bernhoft and I go way back to when we were in different bands. For “Body Language,” I wanted someone who could maintain the song’s vibe and had a voice reminiscent of that era. He complemented the song perfectly. I sent it to Jarle, and a few weeks later he came into the studio. He had written his parts and tracked the whole thing in about an hour—I knew he would kill it, but not as hard as he did.

I’m a big fan of collaborations and would love to do more! I brought in some really talented friends for the Hustlebot album—jazz saxophone player Haakon Kornstad, my longtime friend and co-writer Morgan Phalen, my live musicians Haakon Marius Pettersen and Marius Simonsen, and more. The album also includes a remix by the legendary Initial Talk. As for future collaborations, Jam & Lewis, of course!

Are there exciting projects that you’re working on right now?

The Hustlebot album, which drops the same day as “Body Language,” has taken some time to finish up. It’s been some years since I last released a full album, so it feels really good to be releasing music again. I’ve connected with producers and artists across the scene in this specific genre and hope to work with some of them in the future. The support from legends in the genre has been beautiful so far—it means so much and gives me the drive to keep going and see where this funky journey takes me. 

Featuring the velvety vocals of Bernhoft, it elevates the song to new heights. The song is produced by Thomas Pettersen and the track radiates sensuality, topped off by a beautiful guitar solo.

Bernhoft’s voice made the song complete, and I couldn’t have chosen a better singer and collaborator for this song. I aimed to create a song that set the mood right and having Bernhoft on board was a dream come true. Thomas’s production magic truly brought this baby-making anthem to life – Perfect for a romantic rendezvous.”

The track comes as a part of Vik’s newest LP, Hustlebot, that releases today. It’s an album full of dance hits, positive lyrics, and a coolness that reminds listeners of Kylie Minogue or Janet Jackson. Hustlebot is an energizer album, a piece of work that makes working hard feel effortless because of its infectious beats. 

Maya Vik Bio:

Vik began her career as a bassist in several different bands (Furia, Montée, Savoy, among others), before embarking on a successful solo career internationally, as both a vocalist and bassist. Her blend of funk and R&B has been featured in media such as the New York Times, Vibe, Complex, and Vice. She has toured the world and warmed up for artists like Lenny Kravitz and Dâm-Funk. Through her unique sense of style and fashion, she has been widely covered in Norwegian and international press, and was on Vogue World 100’s list of the world’s top 100 “street style” personalities. The Dawn Richard song “Not Above That” was co-written with Maya and was named the third best song of the year by TIME Magazine.

Maya Vik LINKS
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Jon D'Auria   By: Jon D'Auria