We had the good fortune of connecting with Maryam “Mayhrenate” Hassan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maryam “Mayhrenate”, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued an artistic career because there is nothing else I can see myself doing for the rest of my life, HAPPILY. This is true fulfillment being able to walk in my purpose. Although I’ve been blessed to have many other talents, music has always found its way back to me. it’s inevitable at this point and God didn’t give me this gift just so I can let it go to waste. There’s also no limits in this field. It will always require me to reinvent myself, therefore keeping me on my toes. Can’t let yourself get too comfortable in this field because it’s a constant changing industry. I love that for me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Singer-Songwriter-Vocal Arranger & Actress originally from NYC but now in Atlanta. My brand is all about women being multifaceted, unapologetically and I incorporate that in my music as much as possible. What sets me apart from others is that I actually had an early introduction to this industry way before I became known as “Mayhrenate”. Back in 2003, I was blessed to star alongside Jack Black in the Paramount Pictures Movie “The School of Rock” as “Tomika”. This opportunity helped me see that I can take my talents and use them on a much bigger platform than what I was used to. It was almost like God was giving me (at a very young age) a glimpse of what was to come for me in the future and allowed me to be in rooms that I would be back in later in life. Following up after a moment so big like that was quite the journey. I continued to pursue music and acting but was never able to get into any situations that could accelerate my career. For many that could have been a discouraging season but for me I just continued to create, perform, and use my gifts on as many platforms that I could. I continued to put myself out there. That’s honestly how I’ve always moved in life. We are destined to go through ups and downs just like in 2020. That was a career shifting and defining moment for myself. I wasn’t working my (then) ‘9-5’, getting cabin fever, and creatively was at a standstill. Any connects I had musically were obsolete and I didn’t have any place to record (due to the pandemic). With little to no way of knowing how I was going to pay for it, I took a big risk and bought my own studio equipment. THAT changed everything for me. I bet on myself, used my resources and began to make my own music, on my own terms, with no limitations. I linked with a producer (Gourty Maxx) through a popular creators app and the rest is amazing history. What started out as being a way for me to utilize all of my free time, and brush up on my singing/writing, ended up being an entire EP that I had no intentions on putting out in January 2020. Around the same time of me putting out my EP titled “Plush”, one of the scenes I was in from “The School of Rock” began surfacing the web. It created this beautiful full circle moment. Many people who knew I sang, learned about my role back then and for the others who were fans of the movie, discovered that I am still singing and listened to my music.
What I am most proud of Is seeing that my hard work is paying off. Everything that I went through in 2020 is worth it. Two of my singles from my EP (“Crown” & “Takeout”) were added Apple Music “New In R&B” playlist and the EP charted Top 25 on the R&B charts the day of its release. I had one of those “I finally did it” moments and it felt amazing.
On my journey I learned that you just have to invest in yourself, put yourself out there, and sometimes you have to stop second guessing/worrying and get out of your own way. That leap of faith is powerful and you just really have to plant the right seeds, be consistent and watch them grow.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would have to go to Ponce, Botanical Gardens, Little 5 Points, Trap Museum, Piedmont park, Skyline, Sweetwater Park, Gun range and Cascade because it’s a must.
As far as food goes, we’d go to Tom, Dick & Hanks (the rooftop is such a vibe), Slutty Vegan, Vortex, Jinya (best ramen in Atlanta), RA sushi bar, International Roti House (oxtail peas n’ rice /roti is undefeated).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I thank any and everyone who took a shot with me. So many people in the last year alone have supported me, invested in me, and truly have been in my corner so I can win. I’m so thankful for my “Framily” and wouldn’t trade y’all for anything.
The biggest shoutout goes to my mom. You want to talk about a support system? Nothing compares. Any accolades or accomplishments I receive is because of her help in some type of way. Verbally, spiritually, physically. I thank you for EVERYTHING you’ve sacrificed and done to help me get to where I’m at. Your love, support, and encouragement will NEVER go unnoticed.
All Images Taken by Mel B Elder