INTERVIEW: Exploring Identity and Artistry with Yung Maynie

“Growing up in the West of Melbourne has shaped who I am not only as an artist but as a person”

Introducing Yung Maynie, the rising star from the Western Suburbs of Melbourne who’s bringing an authentic and real flavor to the Australian music scene. With a unique blend of hip-hop and R&B, Maynie’s music is a soulful journey that reflects his triumphs and struggles.

Born and raised in Melbourne’s west, Maynie’s lyrics paint a vivid picture of his life, touching on themes of love, loss, and self-discovery. He doesn’t hold back, pouring his raw talent and vulnerability into every beat. This is music that speaks to the heart of his audience, capturing the essence of their experiences and aspirations.

Yung Maynie

But Yung Maynie isn’t just an artist; he’s also a professional rugby league player in the NRL, known for his athleticism and work ethic on the field. Juggling both his passions, he proves that he’s not afraid to push boundaries and excel in multiple arenas.

Maynie’s dedication and perseverance shine through his music, both in the studio and on stage. Sharing the spotlight with heavy hitters like Onefour, Hooligan Hefs, and HP Boyz, he effortlessly holds his own, solidifying his place in the scene as a true artist.

In his track ‘Still Me,’ Maynie delves deep into his personal journey, reminding us to stay true to ourselves no matter the circumstances. With a soul-stirring beat produced by OUHBOY, the song captures the struggles and everyday problems that Maynie faced even amidst the facade of a seemingly glamorous life. The track, mixed and mastered by Kynan at Native HQ on the Gold Coast, encapsulates the duality of his experiences, resonating with listeners who appreciate raw honesty.

‘Still Me’ represents a milestone in Yung Maynie’s musical journey. Released after two years in the vault, the track has garnered praise from fans and critics alike. Even earning a coveted spot on Triple J’s Home and Hosed show, it’s clear that Maynie’s artistry is striking a chord.

With this release, Maynie proves that he’s just getting started. There’s no doubt that he has so much more to offer the music scene, the country, and even the world.

Yung Maynie sat down and dissected his career with us, offering up an insight into the artist behind the flow.

Happy: What are you up to today?

Yung Maynie: Started the day at footy training, grabbed a quick feed on the way home now I’m just in studio trying to write some new lyrics. 

Happy: Tell us about where you live, and what the scene is like in your neck of the woods.

Yung Maynie: Currently I’m living in Townsville, small town in tropical North Queensland. Nice warm weather and some unreal views up these ways. Still fairly new to the area so not entirely familiar with the scene here but I feel like the number 1 genre up this way is country music so it’s been good to change things up and listen to a bit of country haha. 

Happy: Tell us about your average day?

Yung Maynie: Usually up early in the morning start the day with coffee and some breakfast then head to footy training. Once training’s done I’ll head past the shops to get anything I need. Then it’s into my little studio I have set up at home and spend time in there creating music, then dinner and chill, usually a bit of Netflix or something to end the day. 

Happy: Tell us about your creative community. Who are some artists or bands that have inspired you, and how have they influenced your music?

Yung Maynie: I guess from this side of the world I loved listening to Scribe at a young age, being a young Polynesian kid I was inspired by what he was able to do in the scene. I think the song ‘Dreaming’ really resonated with me at a young age and had a heavy influence on how I wanted to write rhymes. 

Happy: What did you read or watch growing up that fuelled your passion for music?

Yung Maynie: 8 Mile was definitely one film I watched at a young age and inspired me to make music. 

Happy: Your new single ‘Still Me’ is described as profoundly authentic. What personal experiences or emotions inspired you to create such a deeply introspective track?

Yung Maynie: I think it was just reflecting on where I was at in life, things were going well for me, I had achieved things I’d always dreamt of and when I look back at my journey so far I’m grateful knowing I’ve always stayed true to who I am as a person and never forget my roots, I think that’s what really inspired my writing for this track. 

Happy: Can you give us a glimpse into your songwriting process?

Yung Maynie: I like to listen to the beat first and brainstorm topics or what to write about then start thinking of how to structure my verses/choruses. I then start playing around with different melodies/flows and add in words as I go. 

Happy: What about the recording process, can you share some insights into the process?

Yung Maynie: Yeah so this was recorded at NativeHQ on the Gold Coast worked with the engineer there Kynan. The verses were recorded pretty quick as I knew what I wanted and didn’t have too many takes but with the hook I originally sang it in that lower range and it sounded a bit bland by itself so went over it with a higher pitch and that made it pop more. Followed it up with some dubs and ad-libs and it was good to go. 

Happy: Melbourne’s Western Suburbs have nurtured some incredible musical talent over the years. How has growing up in this vibrant music community influenced your own sound and artistic journey?

Yung Maynie: Growing up in the West of Melbourne has shaped who I am not only as an artist but as a person. I feel like we’re almost overlooked in some ways and have to work twice as hard for everything. Can be quite rough at times but there’s so much talent and diversity in the area and also very multicultural which I think shows in my music especially the diversity. 

Happy: Your music seamlessly blends hip-hop and R&B, creating a unique sonic experience. Can you tell us more about your creative process when it comes to fusing these genres together?

Yung Maynie: I love the hard hitting raps and flows of hip hop but then the smooth melodic sounds of R&B. I think growing up listening to a lot of both has helped me to blend the two sounds together. 


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Happy: ‘Still Me’ showcases your evolution as an artist. How do you feel your sound has progressed since you first started making music, and what elements do you believe have contributed to this growth?

Yung Maynie: It’s progressed a lot, in the beginning it was really basic just find a beat and write whatever I could, but now I’m putting a lot more thought into my lyrics, the beat selection, the way I want things recorded and structured etc. I’ve become more comfortable with myself as an artist and how I want things to sound. 

Happy: The lyrics in your songs often touch on themes of triumph and tribulation. Can you share some specific life experiences that have shaped your perspective and find their way into your music?

Yung Maynie: As a young Indigenous/Polynesian kid chasing my footy and music dream was important for me as it kept me out of trouble and gave me a chance to break some of those negative cycles that tend to follow my people.

In 2019 I was living away from home chasing my footy dream but found myself becoming broke and unemployed. I was barely scraping by and was close to giving up on it all but I stayed persistent and kept working hard.

The next year I achieved my childhood dream by getting a contract and playing in the NRL. I feel like that’s just one of many different stories on my journey but quite a significant one. 

Happy: Many artists struggle to maintain authenticity as they navigate the music industry. How do you ensure that your artistic integrity remains intact while pursuing success and recognition?

Yung Maynie: I think it’s all about not being afraid to be yourself and to not worry about what others might think. The thing that helps me is knowing that it’s my own story I’m trying to tell through my music and no one else can tell my own story like me. 

Happy: As a rising star in the Australian music scene, what are your goals and aspirations for the future? Are there any collaborations or projects you have in mind that you’d love to pursue?

Yung Maynie: I want to keep diving deeper with this music thing and see how far I can take it. Within the next year I want to be dropping on a more consistent basis building the fan base up and eventually playing some big shows. Keen to collab with as many artists and producers in the Aus music scene as possible. I feel like it’s thriving right now, especially the Hip-hop and R&B scene. 

Happy: What message or emotions do you hope listeners take away from your music, particularly ‘Still Me’? Is there a specific impact you want to make on your audience through your art?

Yung Maynie: I think just that anything’s possible really no matter what your circumstances and what you’re going through you can make it out the other side. With ‘Still Me’ it’s about never forgetting your roots and the people that helped you get to where you are. 

Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?

Yung Maynie: Time with family & friends, good food and good music.

Check out Still Me and keep your eyes peeled for more from Yung Maynie.