Malaya Mai grew up on Chicago's Southside. She lived on an unpaved street in the middle of gang-graffitied factories where stolen cars would be stripped and burned. Her mom kept her out of trouble by fostering her lifelong love of dance and music. She began studying many styles of dance at 8 years old under the instruction of Madame Elizabeth Boitsov, former Master Teacher at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. Inspired by Janet and Paula music videos, she formed many dance groups, winning competitions in high school and college. She was an avid participant theatre and received high praise for her vocal performances. Malaya was a late bloomer in the music industry despite having danced professionally right out of college as a hip-hop dancer for The Chicago Honey Bears (formerly the NFL Bears cheerleaders) and NBCs The Jenny Jones Show. An undiscovered songwriter since her teens, Malaya made her way to LA then the SF Bay Area where she met music producer Clayton William McChesney of Trinity Music Group. Shortly after returning home in the wee hours of the morning from one of Claytons shows, she wrote the song that he would eventually produce as her debut single, Flip The Coin.