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In this episode of The Turn On, Erica and Kenrya talk to singer ArinMaya about abandoning The V Club, making pivots, using the gifts God gives us, being goal-oriented in relationships and the commodification of sex.
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Kenrya: Come here. Get off.
Kenrya: Today, we're talking with ArinMaya, pronouns, she and her. ArinMaya is an inspirational singer, songwriter, sound healer, activist and entrepreneur who's described as having a “unique and ancient sound.” Though she's been called the mayor of Brooklyn, she originally hails from Chicago’s South Side where her artistic training began with studies in West African dance and rhythms and community choirs. Inspired by past studies with Bobby McFerrin and other giants, ArinMaya created Meditation Moments, a community offering meant to help people self-heal and center themselves in the midst of COVID-19.
Kenrya: She’s shared the stage with countless icons and she's also a founding member, arranger, and musical director with the Resistance Revival Chorus. She's performed on The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon, on NBC Saturday Night Live, and for incarcerated youth at Rikers Island. With multiple singles and EPs under her belt, ArinMaya is hard at work on several projects including her second full length album, “I Love My Afro Ratchet Soul.” Thanks for coming on the show, Arin.
ArinMaya: Thank you for having me.
Kenrya: Of course.
Erica: Arin, what did little Arin want to be when she grew up?
ArinMaya: So funny. That's a good question. I think it depends on the age you ask, but at some point, I think I knew I wanted to be a singer. But being from Chicago, that wasn't really a thing. I think I just wanted to be happy which still holds true today, so there's that.
Erica: That's really dope and beautiful, because I think as kids, we're so doctor, lawyer, teacher for you to boil it down to the essence of, "I just want to be happy," that you were thinking much more advanced than most of us as little people, I feel.
Kenrya: Yeah. Than most grown folks out here.
Erica: Yes. Very true.
Kenrya: Yeah. How did you get from, "I want to be happy?" What was the actual path that you took to becoming the singer and entertainer that you are?
ArinMaya: That is also a loaded question.
Kenrya: Why loaded?
ArinMaya: We all went to Howard University and... Let's see.
ArinMaya: Yes. In high school or at whatever point I started getting money enough to go shopping all the time, that's what I did, and my mother told me when I was in high school like, "You need to get a well-paying job because you like to shop a lot." That was what led me to think, "Oh, you need to work in finance," or, "You need to work in business or banks or something," which is boring and stupid. At Howard, I went into the school of business that I didn't find myself there at all really. I got into the school of business, so I felt like I needed to stay there, but from the beginning, I knew that I was writing as well because the high school I went to was like a mini liberal arts college kind of thing.
ArinMaya: I started doing the work of a double major in English at the same time, even though Howard was adamant. They were like, "You can't do a double major in the School of B usiness and the College of Arts and Sciences because that is considered a dual major and it's going to take you five years." I was like, "I don't know you and you don't know me and what you think is going to take five years is probably not going to take me five years because I have a four-year scholarship, so bye, but also, I'm going to do what I want to do."
ArinMaya: I was taking classes as a double major and at a certain point, I was like, "I don't want to do business. F it." My junior year when I went to Stanford, before the year started, I came back to Howard and I was like, "I'm good with you. Let me drop my business degree down to a minor and change my major to English." My mother was not happy because she was like, "If you wanted to major in English, you should have gone to a liberal arts college and specialized in English and na-na-na-na-na." I was like, "That's cool. That's why I didn't call you. I called Dad." Anyway, I changed my major to English. Business was a minor and I thought that I wanted to still be like in business, and so I always liked books, I liked reading.
ArinMaya: I went into book publishing when I graduated at Random House, which was great. In my mind, because people there were happy, it wasn't corporate because I was trying to avoid corporate. Because corporate to me just meant slavery and all that kind of stuff. I was there for about... I graduated 2004 and I was there until spring of 2006. Just under two years because I did the rotational program, but anyway what I realized very quickly was it was absolutely corporate. They did not care if the books were good, they cared if there was money. I was like, "I'm good on you. Bye." Plus there was no girls. I ended up being in publicity. They didn't have Black people and they weren't really trying to let me grow. I was like, "But I already got books on the New York Times. Okay. F you. I'm out."
ArinMaya: I left there. I went into nonprofit because I was like, "Oh, this is great. I used to do some nonprofit stuff in high school and I thought I was getting in the right side. I went in the wrong side so instead of being a foundation, I was at a nonprofit begging for money which was not horrible. It just wasn't great. Then, I was bored out of my mind because there was no growth there. I was like, "I'm good. Actually, I really like singing and doing art stuff so I'm just going to go to Paris for a little while," and I did that.
ArinMaya: I was just exploring the life of being an artist and I did not know what I was doing. I was poor in Paris, but I was able to survive on petit pains and mustard and bananas and couscous for a while. I was staying with a friend who was also an artist. He's an artist, [inaudible 00:06:39]. I'm not famous, but he was famous, but anyway, the point is that's where the transition happened. I had started taking voice lessons in New York, maybe in 2005 or 2006 because I thought that God was going to take away my singing voice. I was scared and so I just decided I should do something about it. When I started taking voice lessons and still didn't know what I was going to do, but I was like, "I should do this so God doesn't take away my voice because I love singing." Then, when I ended up being bored with my jobs, I was like, "Let met just leave and be out."
ArinMaya: Art makes me happy. I still don't know what I'm doing with my life, but since then, that was 2007 that I left my job and went to Paris in 2008. Since then, I feel like God's been pretty good. He's been providing. Opportunities have come and when I follow my heart and follow my inspiration, good things happen. That's good. Money is good too, but it comes. It comes, and money's not everything, it turns out. It balances out.
Kenrya: God provides.
Erica: Yes. Yes. Question, you said that you were taking voice lessons because you didn't want God to take away your voice. Explain that a little more. Was it because you weren't using it and so you were like, "Let me keep doing it," or just give me some thoughts.
ArinMaya: Earlier, I said because I'm from Chicago, I didn't really feel like singing was a career option. I remember explicitly thinking in high school that when I get older, I will be a singer and I will sing in jazz clubs at night after I get off work. I remember thinking that and planning for that. From age five until now, I'm still singing in a choir. But from age five all throughout my childhood and high school, I was in several multiple choirs. I was used to singing... Even if I was soloing, I was used to singing in groups. When I went to Howard, you all remember, you all didn't see me singing at Howard. There was no, "Oh, look Arin is..." Nope. I got there and the thing is... Okay. What happened was I went to a predominately white rich as fuck. Can I say fuck? Okay.
Kenrya: Girl, do you know how often we say fuck on this show?
ArinMaya: I just wanted to make sure. [inaudible 00:09:29]. I went to a predominately white rich as fuck white high school, right? I sang there and I was comfortable singing there because I was Black and they were white and I somehow understood even though I still sang in my church choir, which was very Black, Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright all of it. Okay? Pre-Barack but anyway, I was around Black people all the time and I was singing around Black people but Howard, I don't know. Just Howard was a whole different level of Blackness. I was like, "You all not about to try to play me with your super amazing special solo singing Blackness and I'm not good enough." Something stopped me from feeling like I could not even compete, but be accepted fully by the Blackness that was Howard's singing community. I actually didn't sing at Howard until senior year because Richard Smallwood had a choir and I was like, "I don't care whose competing against me at this point. It's Richard Smallwood, I'm doing it."
Erica: This is going to happen.
ArinMaya: It's happening, but I sang at Stanford. I didn't sing freshman and sophomore year, and I sang at Stanford in the acapella group. I soloed all over the place. Then, I sang at Richard Smallwood's choir but it was a small thing and it might have been like a one- or two-time thing. Again, you all didn't know. When I graduate from Howard and went to New York, it's New York, so I was like, "I don't know. Maybe I'll just sit back here." I think I found a choir or two to sing with here and there, but I just really didn't know how to find my own voice. I didn't know what to do if I wanted to be a singer because I was never a solo artist.
ArinMaya: It was never something that I really had context for, and so what happened was I went home for Christmas one year like I always did, previous to COVID, and we would always go to church for the New Year's Eve service and we would pray the new year in. We were at the watch service and praying the new year in and all I know is I felt like God was like, "So you're not going to use that gift that I gave you, right? That's cool. I'm just going to redistribute it." I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey, hold on. It's cool. I got you. I got you. Amen." Okay.
ArinMaya: Then, I went to this woman who was one of the soloists at the church whose voice I just love. She's effing amazing. I went up to her literally, like finished the prayer, went to her in the sanctuary and I was like, "Hey, hey, hey. Hey, Angela. I feel like God is going to take away my voice. I don't want that to happen so here's what I need you to do. What do I do in New York to be a singer or something? What do I do? How do I let God know that I don't want Him to take this away from me?" She's like "I guess you can try to find a voice coach or something." I was like "Cool, cool, cool. Okay. Okay."
ArinMaya: That's what I looked for. I think I asked a friend and her friend's brother was at Julliard for voice. He became my first voice teacher and it turns out that it was his younger brother who I became friends with who I lived with in Paris, Terence Nance, the video guy who made all of the things that... Just everything, everybody who is famous. One day, I'll be famous. It's fine.
Kenrya: Yeah. “Random Acts of Flyness” was his latest thing. Yeah.
ArinMaya: Yeah. He's like [inaudible]-ish. Yeah. His brother was my first voice teacher and then I moved around to a couple other voice teachers because I think he left and went back to Texas for a little while. Yeah. It just felt like a promise. It just felt like God made a promise in that moment and I was like, "No, it's okay. I got it. Thank you, God. I love my voice. Thank you." Yeah.
Erica: I'm going to keep using it.
ArinMaya: [inaudible 00:13:56]. Yeah.
Erica: Okay. As you know, here at The Turn On, we talk about sex or fucking as some people call it.
Kenrya: Some people are us.
Erica: We like to ask...
Erica: Some people are us, because we like to curse. What was the prevailing attitude about sex in your home growing up?
ArinMaya: It's interesting and I guess it's probably funny too. I don't know that there was a prevailing attitude, but my mother was a social worker and she worked mainly with foster kids. I think she had a certain awareness about things. She never wanted to make us feel bad and I'm sure she wanted us to be able to come to her, but did we come to her? I don't know, probably not. But for whatever reason, I don't know where I got the idea, but somehow I got the idea that I think I must have, at church, at some point, read the word fornication. I was like, "I don't want to do that. That's bad." Me and my friends in junior high or high school, or maybe it was me and I went to them and I was like, "This is what we're going to do." They were like, "Okay," but I was like...
Erica: Knowing you, it sounds like it was a, "This is what we're going to do," but continue.
ArinMaya: I probably came up with the idea on my own, but whatever the case, I was like, "No sex before marriage. That's fornication. That's not good. We shouldn't do that. That was what I chose. It was like when I was in elementary school, I knew that I was going to go to Whitney Young High School and I knew I was going to go to Spellman because that was just what I understood." It was a choice and I decided it and that was what it was going to be. Obviously, not what happened. It didn't happen. I'm glad that I went to Howard, so glad. But anyway, Spellman is great too. The point is I decided, at some point, that I was going to be a virgin until I got married and my mom would make fun of me because she's like, "Who told you that?" She was like, "Don't you try shoes on before you take them home?"
Erica: Yes, mama.
Kenrya: Right? Look at her talking sense.
ArinMaya: Yeah. I was like, "Well, mom, that's fine, but I know what I'm going to do, so whatever, sinner.” Yeah. I don't know. It's what I decided and that was my story and I was sticking to it. That was what it was until it wasn't that anymore. Yeah.
Erica: Until it wasn't. That's a good way to put it.
Kenrya: That actually leads to our next question, right? We asked you to come on because the last book that we read on the show, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” featured a woman who waited to have sex. She waited a long time and ended up marrying the first person she ever had sex to and then, things didn't go that well, but it made us curious about what was your journey to partnered sex. How did you get from, "No. I got to be in the V club forever," to, "I'm going to go on and do this right quick."
ArinMaya: I'm not ashamed of this. Okay? This is just my truth.
Kenrya: You should never be ashamed and this is not the show for shame, so you're good.
ArinMaya: No, no, no. It's silly though. I think about it and I know what happened and I know the decision that I made and it's funny. Welcome, here's the story. I was a virgin and I don't remember... Let me think. It had to be somewhere between 2006 and 2007, a girl who I had become friends with through another friend, sent me a link for Craigslist because the Tyra Show was like, "We want people who have never seen pornography before."
Erica: I remember this.
ArinMaya: Of course, my luck, wonderful, it aired Columbus Day weekend. I was getting calls from like...
Erica: Everybody was at home.
ArinMaya: Everybody was at home and I'm like, "Oh, great." The thing is like I don't care, even though it's so funny because I remember my senior year, there was like this group of dudes and they were like... It was like the end of senior year, "Arin, we can't tell if you're a virgin, a ho, or just a tease." In my head, I was like, "Good. I don't care." But anyway, I digress.
Kenrya: Why are you trying to figure it out? Mind your business.
ArinMaya: They was like, "How come none of this has fucked you? I don't understand." I'm pretty sure that was the reasoning. But the point was, I was a really good flirt. I was a really good... Anyway, okay. I wasn't fucking at Howard and I wasn't fucking after Howard for a while. I was on the Tyra Show, which I guess everybody saw and then they realized, "Oh, she was actually a virgin. That's why we hadn't fucked her." I went on there as not only the person who had never seen pornography who was over 25, but the virgin who had never seen pornography who was over 25. They loved that because they were like, "Great. Do you get paid for talk shows? No, you don't." "Why did I do this? I don't know, I was bored." It was months before I left for Paris.
Kenrya: You know everybody want to be on TV.
ArinMaya: I don't even think I wanted... I just was like, "Okay." Literally, I was on a break down. I cut my locks off and I was going to Paris soon after. That was when I was 25 because I turned 26 that year. I went to Paris. I didn't fuck in Paris. I came back when I was still 26. What happened was I moved to Brooklyn and at that point, I was writing songs. I was writing songs and I was becoming an artist. I started working at a wine shop. I think I was working back at a nonprofit part-time. I was creating my life and I was creating my voice as an artist. In the midst of writing these songs, I just feel like there is a corner of life that's untapped in here. I feel like I'm missing out on something like a chapter that I'm not writing because I have experienced...
Kenrya: You needed to do some research.
ArinMaya: That thing. Literally, I was like, "You're going to have to fuck." You're going to [inaudible 00:21:18].
Erica: You're going to have to fuck.
ArinMaya: You're going to have to be fucking because how are you going to write about deep, deep love if you're not even fucking?
Kenrya: Oh, my God.
ArinMaya: Literally, that's what led me to the first dick that I ever encountered in an intercoursal type of relationship, and it wasn't great. He was way too young. He did not know how to keep it up, and I probably didn't see him much after that at all because I was like, "I don't understand what just happened." That happened. Then, the next person... Because at that point, I was like, "Get on the horse and ride."
Female: Make up for lost time.
ArinMaya: This guy who I had been friends with and we had been kicking it and I was like, "Great. Let's do this." He was like, "Okay." I don't know if he thought that... He probably didn't know I was a virgin, right? The fact is he was a very... It's fine. He was in conversation earlier. I was talking about him earlier with my now life partner because we both know him and of course, I told my life partner that I fucked him, but the point is this guy is very tall, very well-endowed. Would I choose him again? No. Why? Because it wasn't great. Why? Because bitch, this is your second time fucking. What are you thinking? It was literally...
Erica: You just don't jump to the Olympics.
ArinMaya: It was. It was like, "What are you doing?" I didn't know. I was just like, "Fuck it. It's fine. Here we are. You trust him. He's not going to take a video. It's fine." Then, I think it was either afterwards, he was like, "Why didn't you tell me that this was just your second time?" I was like, "I didn't know I needed to tell you that. I just was trying..." Anyway, that wasn't great. Then, the third time was actually with a friend of my... We don't need to talk about who it was. Anyway, the third time was actually decent even though I probably [inaudible 00:23:56], but it was a reasonable sized endeavor and for whatever reason, I kind of felt like I liked him a little.
ArinMaya: There was some slight emotional thing, but really not. It was like we drank a lot one night and then tried, couldn't get it up because he had been drinking then the next morning, it just felt like more endearing and because it was a reasonably sized endeavor, that... But eventually, I did find a couple of really great scenarios that worked out and I felt like it went much better, but that's how we got there. That's how we got there. I needed to write songs that were about something and I was like, "Fuck it. Let's fuck," basically.
Kenrya: The logistics of song writing.
Erica: Fuck it. Let's fuck.
ArinMaya: I think that it probably didn't make a difference if I'm honest.
Erica: Okay. This is a thing about us Howard girls, not even Howard girls. We want to research. We want to feel like we have all the parts and the bits that we need to know in order to properly express ourselves about X, Y and Z. It's like, "Girl, honey, you ain't need to do all that. Just fucking feel"
Kenrya: Also, there's nothing wrong with research.
Erica: Okay. The book that we talked about “Ho! Ho! Ho!” it features this woman. She ended up marrying the first person she had sex with and you talked about your steps to enlightenment, endeavors, endeavorships. My question for you is what was your experience like interacting my potential partners once you started to have sex, and so you were looking at them as potential fuckers.
ArinMaya: Yeah. I think that... This may sound weird, but when I would meet a guy who I actually liked, I wasn't about to fuck him. I was like, "No. I actually like you, so you can't have it because I want to get to know you and I don't want sex to be something that you feel is a milestone you've reached and now you don't need to go deeper into the understanding of who I am and all that kind of stuff." It wasn't something that I was using as a trick or anything. It's just when I realized that I actually liked a guy, I just knew I wasn't really trying to fuck him right off. I lived in a studio apartment in Brooklyn for a long time and what that meant was that my furniture was a bed. There just wasn't a lot to do in my house if you came in my house other than cook and pee and sleep. I was like, "Well, you just can't come into my house."
ArinMaya: I remember in church being told like, "Don't put yourself in any situation that you feel like is not a good situation or you feel like it's a dangerous... Or if you don't feel good, then don't go there." Right? I think that I probably had maybe one situation where I let somebody come to my house and I was like, "This is just stupid. Why did you do this? Send him home. Don't even finish fucking. Just send him home." If you've ever seen one, you pretend like it never happened.
Kenrya: Been there.
ArinMaya: That happened, but it only happened like once. The thing is and it kind of sounds unrelated, but ultimately when I was younger, much younger, when I was in elementary or junior high, I remember explicitly... I remember a conversation with one of my best male friends, who I totally had a crush on, but eventually kind of got over it, but not really until college because I [inaudible 00:28:34] even though he was engaged. I just still you know. I was the kind of girl who was always looking for my husband.
ArinMaya: When he and I were on the phone one day, we were talking about girlfriend, boyfriends and I was like, "What is a boyfriend anyway like a boy who is your friend? Then, you're my boyfriend, right? This is stupid." I don't want a boyfriend because boyfriend has this understand that it's temporary. It's like, "Oh, let's be girlfriend and boyfriend for two, three weeks and then let's stop being boyfriend and girlfriend and let's go do something else." I was like, "I'm not looking for that." I was like, "I really just want a husband. I don't even understand what all this is for. Just give me a husband." Then, when “Brown Sugar” came out, I was like, "That's what I'm talking about, a best friend who becomes your husband. This is what I want."
ArinMaya: I was always very goal-oriented. I was always looking for the husband. I really never dated seriously. I didn't date seriously because I could meet a dude and within like two weeks, I'm like, "Well, no. No, this is not it. We can kick it like you can buy me food, we can hang out, like maybe we're sharing some level of intimacy, but you're not it, so I'm not going to pretend you're something that you're not." I think I really kind of compartmentalized my sexual brain or that connectivity with people because I knew that if he was going to be something important, sex wasn't even going to be something that we were talking about until it was time. That was just how I dealt with it.
ArinMaya: That doesn't mean I wasn't fucking. I was fucking, but I was mainly fucking casual because I was like, "Well..." It was guy who I don't consider as having dated, but he wanted to be titled. We just started talking. Then, I was like, "The sex is really good. I really wish you would just let it be that." It was just a whole complicated thing, but I know he wasn't it because he was tying to make something into something it wasn't early on. I was like, "Okay. Whatever." I think there were very, very few people who I really thought were going to be my husband. There was this one guy and he had gone to med school in Cuba, and I was like, "This is my husband." We hung out, I think. Maybe we didn't hangout immediately after I started fucking, but soon enough and I did eventually have sex with him and it was great but then I found out that he doesn't give head and I was like, so I cried.
Erica: Why would you send him to me, Lord?"
Kenrya: If ever you needed a clear signal that somebody wasn't the one...
ArinMaya: I cried in bed with him that night. Then, the next day, I let him go. I was like...
ArinMaya: "Well, this was fun while it lasted."
Kenrya: I'm proud of you for choosing you.
Erica: Yeah. I choose me.
ArinMaya: "But not going to work out, so go find what you need. I'm going to do that too. Thank you for playing."
Erica: Thank you for joining.
ArinMaya: But there were very few people who I really felt fucking strongly enough about that I was even relating them. It was really like, "Oh, there's this guy. We're kissing and he's not it, but we're kissing. That's cool." Then, there's this other guy like, "We're fucking, but he's not it. That's cool." Then, to be like, "Oh, there's this guy. I really like him." Then, we kiss, but I'm not going to fuck him because I like him and I want him to get to know me and I want us to do that. It worked out pretty well because I just don't like fuckery like, "Oh, let's pretend like this is something..." I'm like, "No." Like I said, I'm still looking for a husband.
Erica: Let's keep it a buck. How do you feel about the way like having sex for the first time is portrayed in the media?
ArinMaya: I just feel like I have said the word fuck so many times.
Erica: It's okay. We say it a lot on this show.
Kenrya: A lot.
Erica: This is actually a low fuck kind of episode.
Kenrya: Episode. Yeah. Seriously, you're good.
ArinMaya: Yeah. I think it's really fucked up, because I was thinking about it obviously earlier today and I was thinking... The terms that we use are, Oh, I lost my virginity." It's like, "I didn't lose my virginity. It didn't slip out of me one day. It didn't walk on a street and it fell out of my pocket." I didn't lose anything. I think that it actively takes away not only the onus, but the... What is it that I'm thinking, the autonomy of a woman. Right? It's like I'm a woman. I made decisions for my body, for myself and if I just choose to share my body with someone else, then that is what happens with my permission. Granted, that's not everybody's story, unfortunately, but I just think because we live in the fucked up fucktivity of America that is so patriarchal and also capitalism, it all plays together, but because of that, so much of what is communicated to us about our bodies, about sexual activity is...
ArinMaya: I remember when I went to Ghana and I was confused. I was in a cab going to where I was staying. I saw a billboard and I think it was about Sprite and there was a guy drinking a Sprite. I was like, "That's so interesting. There's no sex in that ad." There's so much of what we... Why is my brain not working very well? Because they pervert everything.
ArinMaya: They pervert everything. I remember there was this ad on the back of a truck. I think it was a moving truck and this guy and this girl were fucking on the back of the truck and it was like, "Move with us." I'm like, "What does this have to do with moving? I don't understand."
ArinMaya: This is how ads are constructed in America. At the same time, they're like, "Don't you have sex before you get married." Then, they're also like, "Here are the condoms you need if you're going to have sex." I'm like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa." There is a lot of confusion happening here. There's all like the church and religion and you're a ho or you're a slut and also why are you wearing those clear heals. Also, "It's okay if you're a rapist. We'll forgive you in about a year because she was wearing something that made you do that." Just all these things, it's fucked up. As far as sex and virginity, how can you not be confused?
ArinMaya: Now, there seems to be... I can't speak on it because I don't really pay a lot of attention to pop culture, but it seems like there's a movement in pop culture of women taking back their power and their autonomy and using their bodies the way they want to and not being told what they should and shouldn't do. It's funny because I think that because I grew up in the time where that wasn't the case, I remember the Janet Jackson album cover with the guy holding her breast from behind. That was a scandal. That was it. That was really it. It feels like...
Erica: You see this stuff now and you're like, "Oh, the young girls are going to be okay." They own it. They recognize the bullshit that their parents are being fed or that their parents are trying to feed them, and they own it. That part, it's not all perfect, but I feel like, "Okay. They're going to be okay."
ArinMaya: I was just saying I'm not really worried because I don't really have a stake in it, and I also feel like, "Everybody, do what you do and everything should be fine." I don't have time to judge other people for working or shaking their asses.
Kenrya: Just all mind our business.
ArinMaya: It doesn't have anything to do with me. I just want people to be safe and happy.
Erica: That's a novel idea.
Kenrya: Yeah. Unfortunately, it is because there's too many motherfuckers out here minding everybody else's business. But then, we also do shows like this in hopes of helping folks to be able to better express themselves and feel more comfortable and to be able to live into who they really are. I'm wondering speaking of the things that we do on this show, what you are reading right now?
ArinMaya: Was I dreading this question? Possibly. Am I reading anything?
Erica: That's okay, boo, if you're not reading. That's just okay.
Kenrya: You got stuff going on.
ArinMaya: I just finished reading a couple of books, which my mother suggested to me. One of them... See, I'm forgetting the author's name, but “The Supremes at Earl's All You Can Eat.” It's like fiction. It's kind of easy, chick lit summer reading whatever. I read that and then the follow up book and they were fun. I'm currently digging into Glennon Doyle's “Untamed” and I paused for a little bit, but I'm going to get back to it because I've heard that it's really amazing.
Erica: Okay. What is turning you on today?
ArinMaya: What's turning me on today? What's turning me on today is that my partner just got back from out of town and he's totally been all like, "Oh, I have to go to the gym every day and do that and do this," but he's super cute and he cut his hair and he actually looks great and I'm like, "Oh hey, boo."
Erica: Hey, boy.
ArinMaya: That's one of the things that is turning me on today.
Erica: Okay. We're going to do a quick rapid fire in which I will say a word and you tell me your favorite, so let's go. It's quick. Well, we try to make it quick.
ArinMaya: I'm not scared. I'm not scared.
Kenrya: Don't be scared.
Erica: Don't be. Don't be.
Kenrya: It's okay.
Erica: Don't be scared. Okay. Favorite drink?
Erica: Oh, I love margarita. Favorite person?
ArinMaya: My partner, Edson Sean.
Erica: Aww. Favorite place?
ArinMaya: Buckingham Fountain, Chicago, Illinois.
Erica: Oh, home. Favorite word?
Erica: Okay. I love it.
ArinMaya: I was going to say fuck, but we've said enough fucking on this show.
Kenrya: We can never have too much fucking.
Erica: Never too much fucking.
Kenrya: As long as it's consensual.
ArinMaya: After that, it's called pulchritudinous because it means beautiful and it's ugly as shit.
Erica: I love it. Okay. Because we talk about this, you're always telling me you buy too much stuff. What is your favorite thing to buy?
ArinMaya: I have everything and I love buying it all. I want to say shoes.
Kenrya: You can say shoes.
ArinMaya: I don't know. Clothes and shoes. You got to have one to wear the other, not really, but... Yeah. Yeah. Shoes, clothes. Yeah.
Erica: Okay. I like it. Your favorite smell?
ArinMaya: That's so interesting, right? What kind of question is that? I like grapefruit candles.
Erica: That's a good one.
Female: I like that.
ArinMaya: All right.
Kenrya: That's dope. Okay. What's next for you? What do you got in the works? What's coming up that you can share?
Erica: We know there's a big project, but....
ArinMaya: Huge project. Huge project. The next thing needs to be “I Love My Afro Ratchet Soul” because once I finish the project that I'm working on right now, I'm going to hop right back on that pony and get that done which is my second full length album that will be done at some point in the future. I was looking forward to finishing it and then COVID was like, "No, you won't." I was like, "Great." I'm just looking forward to being in the studio with the artists, with the instrumentalists, actually sharing ideas, collaborating and all that and then getting it together and having video of that whole process. Yeah.
Kenrya: That's going to be dope. Yeah. You all can find out more about that and keep track by going to arinmaya.com. It's A-R-I-N-M-A-Y-A.com. They can also follow you on Twitter and IG. What's your handle, dear?
ArinMaya: ArinMaya. Same, A-R-I-N-M-A-Y-A.
Kenrya: It's the same on Facebook? It's no spaces in between, right?
ArinMaya: No spaces. If you ever want to write my name, it's capitalized A, lower case R-I-N, capital M, no space, A-Y-A. It's ArinMaya, just one word.
Kenrya: Yes. Even though we're horrible about saying it, because we just call you Arin. Sorry.
ArinMaya: That's all right.
ArinMaya: It's okay. It can be confusing for people. Some people accidentally... Accidentally? I don't know. Some people, sometimes they're like, "Maya," and I'm like...
Kenrya: No. Who's that?
Erica: You don't know me.
Kenrya: But see, that's how you know they don't actually know you.
ArinMaya: My name is Arin and if you want to do ArinMaya, just make sure I hear the Arin first, but yeah.
Kenrya: That's so us. Well, thank you so much for coming on. We had a ball.
ArinMaya: Thank you for having me and thank you for doing this amazingness that you are putting out into the world, so effortlessly.
Erica: Thank you.
Kenrya: Yay. We're trying
ArinMaya: Not try, you are doing.
Kenrya: Thank you for that reminder. We all need that. Yes. Thanks to everyone who is listening and watching. That is it for this week's episode of The Turn On and we'll be back next week. Take care.
Kenrya: This episode was produced by us, Kenrya and Erica and edited by B'Lystic. The theme music is from Brazy. Hit subscribe right now on your favorite podcast app and at youtube.com/TheTurnOnPodcast, so that you'll never miss an episode.
Erica: Then, follow us on Twitter, @TheTurnOnPod and Instagram, @TheTurnOnPodcast, and you can find links to books, transcripts, guest info, what's turning us on, and other fun stuff at TheTurnOnPodcast.com.
Kenrya: And don't forget to email us at TheTurnOnPodcast@gmail.com with your book recommendations and your pressing sex and related questions.
Erica: You can support the show by leaving us a five star review, buying some merch or becoming a patron of the show. Just head to TheTurnOnPodcast.com to make that happen.
Kenrya: Thanks for listening and we will see you soon. Holla.
The Turn On
The Turn On is a podcast for Black people who want to get off. To open their minds. To learn. To be part of a community. To show that we love and fuck too, and it doesn't have to be political or scandalous or dirty. Unless we want it to be.