Even talking about the collaboration after the fact, Maia still sounds as though she's in disbelief. "I'm the fresh-faced, tiny teen who accidentally wandered into the music industry and got lucky!" she says with a laugh. "Carly is so established, and such a confident artist, and I was just so nervous to talk to her because I feel like I look up to her a lot. I remember FaceTiming her and trying not to sweat profusely since I had Carly Rae Jepsen on my phone screen literally talking to me about my song that I wrote."
The single's release immediately sent fans into a frenzy, particularly because the singer had posted just a few days prior that "I want to collab with @CarlyRaeJepsen" on her Twitter. In a matter of days, the song racked up millions of streams, with the accompanying quarantine-inspired video garnering hundreds of thousands of views.
That moment only further speaks to Mxmtoon's undeniable presence as one of the savviest artists on social media today -- the singer boasts a whopping 2.2 million followers on TikTok, followed closely by her 779,000 fans on Instagram, 411,000 on Twitter, and 97,000 on Twitch, where the star streams herself playing video games, singing karaoke, and even writing songs live.
"I grew up in the age of the internet, and it's been something that has just naturally been in my life and incorporated into my career," she explains. "It doesn't feel like I'm going out of my way to do all of these different things. I just feel like I'm doing what any other person is doing."
Before her rise to fame, the star had her YouTube channel, where she would regularly post recordings of herself singing and playing original songs, while also performing ukulele and piano covers of tracks by artists such as Post Malone, Khalid and more.
It was with "Prom Dress," her undeniably congenial anthem of teenage loneliness, that Mxmtoon saw her status change from a talented teen making ukulele tutorials for fun, to a bonafide star on the rise. The song spread like wildfire over TikTok, and Maia watched her follower count skyrocket.
Maia sees a valuable lesson in her sudden rise to fame -- "Prom Dress" was a genuine account of her senior prom experience, and it's that kind of messaging that immediately clicked with her audience. "I've found way more success just being genuine, rather than trying to being anything other than I am," she explains. "Just be a person, explore your interests and explain those interests to your audience, rather than being like, 'I have to promote this one thing all of the time!'"