The music of Malik Mays, who performs as Mahawam, is “about resilience, it's about power, it's about beauty, it's about sex,” they told Out in the Bay.
Mays grew up between Arizona and Texas with a single mother. In their early twenties they settled in Oakland, where they’ve lived since 2013. Like many in the Bay, Mays shares living space with six other people, including their partner.
There’s a chicken coop in the backyard and a garden where Mays grows mugwort. “I got it because I wanted to try to be a psychonaut and kick up my dreamspace,” they said.