Hi Maji! Give us all the ultimate intro to who you are – not an easy task, but I’d like to hear exactly how you define / explain / deep-dive into who you are and what it is you put out in the world ?
My name is Maji. I’m a multidisciplinary artist originally from Copenhagen but currently floating between countries.I am a trained dancer and have worked as a dancer, actress & choreographer for many years. Now I mostly spend my time making music. I am a part of the international ballroom scene, and played a part in bringing the ballroom scene to Copenhagen. My house is the iconic house of miyake mugler, which I have been a part of since 2017. My status in the scene is statement and I mostly walk Sex Siren in the major scene. I am also the Danish Mother of the Kiki house of Louboutin.
How did you end up in Copenhagen? Considering all that you do, it doesn’t strike me as the most obvious choice to land?
I never really landed there… I grew up in a small town called Slagelse an hour away from Copenhagen. When I was 16 I ran away from home and got placed in care of the state, which is where I got the opportunity to take dance classes regularly. At 19 I moved to LA to study dance more intensely and spent a year there, followed by years of back and forth between LA, Copenhagen & New York – where I was introduced to the ballroom scene. I then moved to Paris to dig deeper into the European scene, and moved to London afterwards.
Then Covid-19 came, and I had gotten super sick of working as a dancer. I had fallen in love with making music in lockdown, and taught myself to play guitar. I moved back to Copenhagen in 2021 to have a more simple and quiet life and focus on music. But Copenhagen is a tiny city, and the constant pressure to fit into a set social dynamic and I guess just the ‘community’ there eventually compromised my mental health, like, so much that I had to leave. I have been spending the past couple of months in Portugal, Turkey, Belgium but mostly Georgia (the country) and I haven’t really landed anywhere yet. Kind of never really landed anywhere since I ran away from home in my teenage years haha.
–You’ve talked about feeling alien, other, mystifying where you are right now. Can you go into the details of this – do you think this is something that is possibly just an innate quality in being a creative, no matter where you are ?
I feel very fluid as an artist, and I have a tendency to really easily feel trapped. That goes for my creative process but also my life – which I feel like is kind of the same thing. Being perceived as one thing gives me extreme anxiety because I feel like I am expected to perform a certain identity that is expected of me to the people around me. I’m a cancer sun, so therefore I tend to be very accommodating in terms of giving people what they need. I tend to compromise on who I want to be for and adjust to who people need me to be.
Four months ago I had a mental breakdown, so bad that it was physical. I was constantly shaking and couldn’t walk or speak for weeks. I didn’t sleep and I had massive anxiety. I couldn’t even masturbate or write in my diary. I felt so alien to everything I ‘were’, or everything I was perceived as. When I say mystifying or de-mystifying my own existence it’s reflecting on the perception that people get from social media and then meet you with in real life. At that time I would meet people and they would be like – “oh you’re doing so well”, and not know that I was actually – literally – falling apart. In this process I started to use onlyfans as an intimate diary where I showed my followers the full picture – my healing process, my thoughts, my tears – the other side of all that was shown on instagram which was generally ‘fab’. As for being a creative I think it is very easy to start identifying yourself with your work because it literally is an expression of your soul. And when that becomes idolized or praised, then the ego enters and you start to surround your work around the way you’re being perceived by others and not from the inside out. That is a huge danger because it traps you in one state, it becomes a constant performance, which is super exhausting.
I was struck by the post you made earlier in the summer about your decision to add a “secret link”, as you say, to your bio. It was possibly one of the most considerate, gentle and honest posts I’ve seen about OF in a while. Can you talk more about your decision to start this project?
That’s so sweet, thanks. Yeah, I started OF because I needed some coin and I knew that I was being objectified anyways so which not profit from it? It was weird because a huge part of my expression is very sensual and exposed, but all of a sudden I realized I had so much more internalized slut-shame that I thought I had gotten rid of. In the beginning I only dared to promote on reddit where I could be anonymous, but I still thought it was super cool when people had the guts to put their link on their main page. Especially when that wasn’t necessarily what it was about; my social media is mostly my work but then I could be like – “hey, and if you’re here for my ass here’s a link to it”. At first I was very accommodating to what I thought my followers would think was ‘hot’, but it has become more and more me sharing my own personal journey in sexuality and life in general. I’m trying to actually provide ‘intimacy’, since with my previous experience in sex-work that is what I realise we all crave anyways.
It has been so healing the way I have received support and consideration from my OF followers, and I have realized that I didn’t even know that I could be fetishised in a consensual and caring way. It’s a huge eye opener and reflection on how and who I’ve been sharing my intimate space with before. I think it is extremely interesting to dive into the fact that you can be honest about sexualising people in a respectful way, a way that is supportive and respects boundaries.
The European princess of seduction – a hefty title you’ve been given in the past. What exactly does this mean to you?
It means so much. I was awarded this title at the Awards Ball in 2019 I think? And it’s just a huge recognition from the ballroom scene. I was walking a lot of balls at the time, and to get that title was just such a beautiful moment in my whole ballroom experience. It’s a title that is given out every year, so I also try not to feel like I own it too much, because it just represents a point in time where I was hyper present in the category in Europe. But it still means so much to me.
Tell me about ballroom and what it means to you?
Ballroom means everything to me. It’s where I first really felt at home. When I experienced ballroom for the first time it was bittersweet. I thought it was so cool and beautiful that I couldn’t possibly ever be a part of it. Before this, I had never experienced a space that centered black queer bodies in a way that was so fabulous and extremely unapologetic, it embraces part of myself that I always felt like I needed to hide from the world in order to not be ‘too much’. Ballroom has taught me so much about about self-acceptance as a black queer femme person and I’m so grateful for all the family it has given me around the world.
Tell me what it means to you to be a part of the Iconic House of Miyake-Mugler ?
Well….. Being a part of The House of Miyake Mugler is a huge honor. The house was founded in 1989 and it has been amazing to learn and grow with all of the people in the house. I am extremely proud to carry the name and the legacy. It is the first house I connected with when entering the scene & I couldn’t imagine ever switching to another house.
What is the ballroom scene like outside of the place we have come to expect it?
I don’t know if I understand the question? What ballroom is like from the inside? It’s just like any other microcosmos. An international community in any way or form with all its intricacies. It is a network and a language of common understanding and sympathy for the most part. Of course there is also the occasional drama, but that’s none of my business lol. It’s funny cause some people always think that it must just be the most welcoming, free and accepting space, which it can be IF you respect the rules, culture, history & legacy. It is a space that primarily centers black trans-women. For any other person – it is a privilege to be a part of, and should be treated that way. The runway is a holy space that you do not step out on unless you did your f*cking research & it is not a space that white cishet ppl are entitled to which is (for some reason) super difficult for (some) people to understand. But the community will be quick to check you if you don’t come correct lol.
How do you define beauty and what does it mean to you?
That’s a hard one. Physical beauty is of course such a relative term. But the people I find extremely beautiful are usually someone that I connect with on a deeper level. Honesty, authenticity & vulnerability to me is extremely beautiful and attractive.
As someone who finds themself traveling a lot for work and is often thrown into completely new and unusual environments on a daily basis, how do you find ways of balancing, grounding and calm?
To be honest I think my specific personal form of ADHD demands that I am constantly in very shifting environments. The second I am too ingrained in a specific social dynamic, I get really uncomfortable and I feel like my light is dimmed. I start to obsess about things that don’t matter. Social status, petty stuff. I’m also not really good with rituals. I hate to do stuff I ‘have’ to do. So it really differs, what grounds and calms me. Whenever I am on short trips I make sure that I have my own space, cause being alone is essential for myself to recharge. I try to prioritize time to sit with my guitar and sing random covers, do my breathing and core exercises, read and write in my diary. Also taking long showers in hotel rooms and doing a whole face and hair mask spa session while listening to doom metal grounds me a lot. When I’m in new places for longer periods of time, I try to get into an intense physical training routine. There used to be dance classes that did that for me when I was younger, but that doesn’t really interest me anymore. Now I really enjoy training pole.
When do you feel the power of beauty / the most beautiful ?
When I feel seen for my vulnerability & I can feel others reflect in my honesty.
Where do you feel you are moving towards – and what are some dreams you wish to achieve in the near future?
I’m obviously moving more towards expressing myself through music, which I think is really exciting. It being so new for me, also makes it super freeing to not have any eyes on my creative practice but to just be able to play with whatever I want. I hope to stay playful. In terms of dreams, I guess I do crave some kind of stability. I dream of finding a place that really feels like home, somewhere I can be based, but keep feeling inspired. I don’t know if it’s possible haha but one can hope lol.