A singer, an emcee and an artist, Maui ARN makes rap and R&B with a range of styles only possible because of his unique upbringing.

Born Kent James to a Trinidadian family of five in Long Island, the 25-year-old artist credits his current tenacity as an artist to his birthplace. Being so close to the spotlight and resources of New York City but still so far, he says, gives you a chip on your shoulder. You know you’re great at what you do, you just want the opportunity to take it further, so you make it for yourself by competing but also building with the people around you.

At the same time, Maui also had a second home growing up—the world over. From ages eight to twenty-one, Maui' family took bi-annual trips to Israel, which included long layovers in places like Rome, Moscow and Cairo. In constantly shifting environments, he embraced music for stability and found genres like Afrobeats, UK Grime and house music in the process.

OTHEPRO, a producer friend and current collaborator, helped Maui sharpen his sound and to join a collective called Maui Nation, Maui had the kind of musical education people would pay thousands for. Combined with his Long Island rearing, it laid the blueprints for an artist who has practically already seen it all but yet is always hungry for more.

Working two jobs in 2015, music was a hobby for him at first. But the positive feedback he received even from just singing at work, pushed him to start taking it seriously in 2016. Slowly but surely he began to release music publicly, only releasing scattered singles because he wanted each song to shine on its own.

His tracks range from the soulful and introspective jam "Creep" to triumphant and elated anthem "Dom Perignon (Golden State)." Creep is a song that rips the band-aid off, diving into the depths of dysfunctional relationships from multiple viewpoints. “Dom Perignon,” however, is about taking the time to celebrate brief moments of success wherever you can find them.

A lot of his songs come from the moments of life he captures or the experiences he is told, then he expresses them. The beat provides a lot of emotional information, but he also draws a lot from the present moment and from his past experiences. "Creep" came through car cyphing and talking through life's questions with his friends. "Dom Perignon," on the other hand, came about while clubbing in NYC

The latter is the lead single off of an upcoming debut EP called Don't Sleep On Me, which he says will see his range of styles expand even further and hopes will springboard him into other art forms altogether, such as fashion and acting. And though his styles and even artistic outlets may vary greatly, his motivation for everything he does remains the same.

Maui ARN’s music sets a vibe in any setting. He makes it for everyone with chips on their shoulders who always have to beat the odds. And sometimes, it's for cherishing those brief moments when you do.



Donald Richardson



Created By
Kia Shawnise