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Rome-raised, London-based singer-songwriter Maki Flow has today released the infectious ballad No Time for Love on Casual Jam Records.

Showcasing a new found confidence, No Time for Love is empowering, and so catchy you’ll find yourself singing it in the shower, while your cooking dinner, and even in your sleep. Produced by EDM act Ree, the hook is lyrically catchy, made even more lovable and infectious by Maki’s strong vocals and the groovy piano-driven melody.

This new upbeat tune from Maki is a breath of freah air, bringing us into the warmer months (fingers crossed!) with a smile on our face. The artist’s first solo release since 2018, she is definitely returning with force. Take a listen below…

In the interlude since Maki’s last solo release in 2018, the artist has been busy collaborating with a number of producers, lending vocals and songwriting talent to many successful songs, from Make Me Human We – Architects to Teenage Love – Wallaby. Making it onto seven of Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’ playlists, as well as a plethora of editorial playlists, Maki Flow is rising up the ranks, garnering attention worldwide with over 23,000 monthly listeners on Spotify alone. All I know is these fans have been eager for new music from Maki, and their expectations will be exceeded today with the release of No Time for Love.

We caught up with Maki Flow to discuss our favourite new tune, the artist’s journey through music, and what the future holds…

n-eight: Hey! How’s your year going?

Maki Flow: Oh this is a special year, thanks! So far, one of the best.. and it’s only March (knock on wood)!

n-eight: It’s only going to get better! Congrats on the release of No Time for Love! I have to admit, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head – super catchy, and such a brilliant tune to bring us into Spring! How did this song come about?

Maki Flow: Aww thank you so much! I’m glad you like the song..mission accomplished!

Well, the story behind the song is quite unusual. I was in a writing session with some guys I recently met during a songwriting camp at Tileyard (these guys are Ree, Hannah Boleyn and James Newhook). As soon as we started, Hannah said she’s had this idea stuck in her head for a while but didn’t really know how to develop it and she sang the ‘I ain’t got no time for love’ hook. We were all vibing it, so we started from there and then we wrote the song in a few hours. It’s just insane thinking about the fact that that was literally the second session that we had all together, but we connected immediately on every level. I’m so happy I can call those guys friends today and they’re still my favorite people to write with.

Btw, the song wasn’t meant to be for me at first, but after a while the guys asked me how I felt about releasing it as Maki Flow. It was actually perfect for me, because I was going through a very difficult relationship at that time. I just moved to London on my own and I was trying to focus on my career, whilst trying to make new friends and be happy, whilst trying to make my boyfriend at the time happy (he was in Italy) and he wasn’t really making the job easy. That relationship was draining all the energy out of me in a way. I didn’t have time for love, at least not for that kind of love. So yeah, I loved the song and really felt it mine, so here we go..it’s out today haha

n-eight: Well props to everyone involved in making the song happen, and we are so SO glad you got to sing the song – No Time for Love is full of good energy. It has been produced by Ree – how do you go about finding a producer for your music, and what’s the process like in the studio?

Maki Flow: Ree and James produced the song, with the help of Alessandro Favero as well, who came up with the piano part on the drop. Team work, isn’t it?! I’d say that I’ve never really looked for producers, we kinda always find each other. The producers that I work with on my own music are
generally the ones that I met for other musical reasons (some other projects, or songwriting camps etc) and then we end up having a great musical connection. That’s when I know they are ‘my guys’ and I ask
them to join the team.

The process in the studio changes not only from person to person, but also from day to day. Sometimes I sit at the piano and come up with some chords, and start jamming melodies, sometimes we start by talking for hours and basically the song comes out from a conversation. Some
other times the producer has already a vibe in mind, and we start from there. It really depends..that’s why writing songs is magical and every song is special in its own way.

n-eight: Song writing is definitely magical! Well, we were lucky enough to record a live session of No Time for Love with you, last week and it had us all dancing, so we can’t wait to release that!
This is your first solo release of the new decade, and the first in a couple of years. You’ve been busy collaborating with other artists, such as Wallaby and We Architects. How did you get involved in all of that?

Maki Flow: The pleasure was all mine! Can’t wait for the video to be out 😉

Well, I started releasing music in the dance scene as ‘featuring artist’ in 2016. Back then, I didn’t even know what it meant, but it happened and it literally changed my life. I met this guy at one of my gigs… actually his girlfriend reached out to me, saying that her boyfriend was a producer and he would love my voice. That’s how we started to work together and released our first song, What I Know, through Casual Jam Records. The song had great feedback and a very good response on the web, so
right after that I had a lot people reaching out, asking me to work together. That’s how I met Wallaby.

Sometimes I research about producers I’d love to work with and sent over my top-lines, and the writers I work with usually do the same. That’s what happened with We Architects.

n-eight: Amazing that your journey has taken you down these paths – goes to show how important collaboration is in the industry. So you grew up in Rome – how did you get started in music there?

Maki Flow: I started studying music at a very young age. I was around 8 when my mom basically forced me and my sister to pick an instrument and started musical lessons. I picked the piano and my sister the violin. She quit (thank god – sorry sis if you’re reading this) after a couple of years and I stuck with it.

My grandad was a musician as well, a saxophonist, so I guess I took the ‘music thing’ from him. I’ve always wanted to sing more than playing any instrument though, so then I started to take singing lessons as well. I’ve been doing music since then. I really cannot see myself doing anything else other than this.

n-eight: And how does working in music there compare to London?

Maki Flow: I’ve never been a huge fan of the musical scene in Italy, especially because I’ve always sang and written in English, so I’ve never really been interested in ‘making it’ there. What I know is that it’s really hard to make a living out of music in Italy…like, you constantly have to convince people that being a musician is actually a job. Like a proper one.

n-eight: For other people looking to make the move to London for music, how easy did you find it to integrate yourself in the scene here? Any words of advice for younger musicians?

Maki Flow: Well, I’ve been quite lucky because I moved to London to attend an MA in music, so I basically met musical people from the very beginning of my London adventure. My advice would be to go out as much as you can, to open mics and events. Most important, to be always open to collaborate
with other people. That is key and literally can change your life.

n-eight: 100%! Any plans for the upcoming months? More releases soon, or gigs?

Maki Flow: I have a super cool gig on the 24th of March at Salon Noir in Soho. I will share the stage with the amazing Tom Bright and also, the place is very cool. You should come! When it comes to releases, I’m only telling you that this is the year when I put out A LOT of new music. Just you guys wait.

n-eight: Ooooh I’m there! And wow – we can’t wait to see what’s to come! Changing tack, what was the inspiration behind your name Maki Flow?

Maki Flow: This is actually super fun. So, it was ages ago and I was obsessively trying to find my stage name. I had a boyfriend at the time, Claudio. He is a musician himself so he knows the struggle and he
was trying to help me, giving me ideas and stuff like that. So one night we went out for dinner and I remember I had my hair up and, as soon as he saw me, he said “you look like a Japanese girl with your hair like that! You should definitely put some Japanese vibe in your stage name..I don’t know,
something like Maki..you also love Avocado Maki”. At first we started laughing, but it sounded so cool I decided to actually use it. ‘Flow’ is my favorite word. I am a serial over-thinker, so quite often I need to remind myself to go with the flow and just enjoy the moment. I also tattooed this word on my arm as a ‘nice reminder’.

n-eight: Brilliant story! And going with the flow is always the best way! And who would you say are your musical influences, from artists you’re loving now to old-school inspiration?

Maki Flow: First of all I need to say that I love music. Any genre, as long as it sounds honest and genuine to me. I’ve always been attracted by powerful, strong and technical voices such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys. I grew up listening and studying soul music and r’nb. I’ve had my Lorde, MØ and Banks phase, I’ve had my The Chainsmokers phase (that I’m probably still into). I love Flume.

On the songwriting side, I’d say that my biggest inspiration is definitely Julia Michaels, she is actually my hero.

n-eight: Such a great selection. And we stan Julia Michaels’ songwriting here too! Before we have to say goodbye, a few quick questions… What’s your dream venue to play? Big, small, anywhere in between!

Maki Flow: Oh it’s definitely the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, for so many reasons. First of all because Rome is my hometown and I feel obviously very close to it. Second, because I have so many beautiful memories linked to that place, especially of shows I’ve been to with my friends when I was a teenager.

Also, I am a huge ASRoma fan..performing there, in Francesco Totti’s temple, would really be a dream (and would make my dad proud hahah).

n-eight: Well, one day it could happen – you never know! A la Desert Island Disc, which book, piece of music and luxury item would you have with you on a deserted island?

Maki Flow: ’12 Rules for Life’ by John Peterson, ‘Prelude in E Minor’ By Chopin and my I-phone 8.

n-eight: It has been great chatting to you. Any final words of wisdom for our readers?

Maki Flow: Stay true to yourself. Even better, don’t be scared of being who you really are.

n-eight: Brilliant note to close on! Thanks for taking some time to talk to us, we can’t wait to share our live session of No Time for Love with the world, but until then, bye for now x

Maki Flow: Thank you so much for this guys! Bye for now 😉

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Photo credit: Chiara Ceccaioni

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