Women all have their girly chats, says Maya Jama - and that is exactly what she wants her podcast, When Live Gives You Melons, to replicate.
“It’s so nice and refreshing to hear other women’s opinions on topics,” she told indy100 about her all-female podcast. “Just to be open and transparent about things we that we all know go on, but you don’t hear talked about.”
There’s certainly plenty of topics in the first series of the podcast, made with Freya Lingerie, that other shows wouldn’t touch: it’s a “stripped-back chat” said Maya, that you could have in your living room.
And the second series - which launched this week - hopes to offer far more: periods, smear tests and poo (“I’m super open about that kind of stuff!” said Maya. “But some people are super shy”) alongside everything from first relationships to loss of love. In other words, sums up Maya, “all the stuff you would secretly Google".
For many fans, the podcast is an oasis of unique, inspirational female voices, all of whom are “super women” to Maya with contrasting outlooks on life. “I didn’t just want to be sat there agreeing with everything.” said Maya.
From fashionista Tia Ward and former Miss England Georgia Jones to TV presenter Cherry Healey and author Katherine Ormerod gracing the microphone in series two, such fresh guests and free conversation means Maya is always learning as well.
For example, Maya has never had to ask for a pay rise thanks to her manager, but she was reminded of the “awkward conversation” of asking for more money. The pay rise episode - called 'Put Your Hands Up and Give Me A Pay Rise' - is one she hopes will be “super insightful for people” to find the “power and the confidence” needed.
Likewise, Maya has brought her own life experiences to the table, such as being a well-known woman. “I do think women are sometimes treated differently to men in the media,” said Maya - who in the past has said she is sick of being referred to as nothing more than 'Stormzy’s girlfriend' - adding:
You could an actress or an artists have an achievement, but the papers will cover it based on her outfit or her relationship, and that doesn’t really happen to men.
I do think we’ve got it a bit harder and that’s why we’ve got to stick together and shout about it, and just say ‘hey, we’re not dealing with your shit’.
With her Pretty Little Thing collection just launched (“with a TV advert and everything!), more work with Maybelline coming out and her new Radio 1 show just starting, Maya certainly isn’t staying quiet.
It’s mental! I do feel I worked really hard last year and the year before and grafted my bum off - and this year is the year where all the big achievements are coming in.