The latest in Discwoman's excellent mix series comes courtesy of New York DJ and model Maya Monès, who performs as br0nz3_g0dd3ss. Across 65 invigorating minutes, she blends gritty club cuts with playful rap, Latin pop, and celebratory sounds that span the globe. Crucially, as she explains below, the "mix exclusively features black trans femmes and trans femmes of color."
In a recent interview with Chromat celebrating her catwalk success during NYFW, Maya spoke about her upcoming Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS), for which she is raising funds (donate here before September 30). "Not only is FFS an incredibly important step for me in reclaiming my body," she said, "but it is crucial to my physical safety and comfortability in the world, my mental and emotional soundness."
Listen to Maya's mix below, and scroll down for the tracklist and a deeply thoughtful and inspiring interview with the artist herself.
What's your earliest musical memory?
I can remember being surrounded by my family cheering me on as I popped off to Los Hermanos Rosario’s “La Dueña Del Swing.” It’s a classic merengue bop about a black girl who demands attention when she enters the room, who steals the show, who possesses undeniable intoxicating swag and “swing.” In that moment, I deeply identified with, and felt I was being identified and accepted as, the girl in the song. In that moment, I genuinely believed that my family was seeing me for who I saw myself to be and everything I wanted to be in life, and that one day I could be “La Dueña Del Swing.”
How did you get into DJ-ing?
I didn’t have a lot of access to music growing up, so I always felt a yearning to find a way to explore, but I never imagined that’d be DJ-ing. I found myself at parties, wishing I was telling my story through the decks and making people sweat away their worries, so I asked my friend Serena to teach me. My DJ debut was at the party we created for our trans sisters called The Girl’s Room, and the rest is herstory.
Tell us a bit about your Discwoman mix — what shaped it?
I couldn’t be more proud and excited to say this mix exclusively features black trans femmes and trans femmes of color. The idea came to me while I was debating how I could tell the story of my transition and everything that has lead me up to this point — then it dawned on me that only my sisters would understand, only my sisters could help me communicate and that they are what has lead me here.
It was beyond special to learn about my beautiful talented sisters from all over the world, to hear about each of their hardships while listening to the incredible work they made in spite of them, thinking about how we are all connected and what it meant to be literally connecting us through compiling this mix. It was a really emotional and illuminating full-circle process for me and I am so happy to share this with all the black trans femmes and trans femmes in the world, and for them to have something to remind them that their dreams are very possible — I wanna give them everything I didn’t have. As I prepare for surgery and for what it means to finally be myself, to meet myself for the first time, I couldn’t imagine a better soundtrack to carry me through it.
Where did you grow up and what drew you to New York City?
I grew up moving pretty periodically, having to adapt to very different environments in short periods of time. Our frequent trips to New York to visit family in Washington Heights exposed me to the freedom that people possessed here, the reality that you could be whoever you want to be, and do as your heart desires — I always knew I’d be here, because it was the only place I knew I could truly be myself and fulfill my destiny.
In your YouCaring video, you make the crucial point that people shouldn't wait until trans folks are in crisis until they offer support. How does your New York community uplift you?
I’ve noticed that the folks who have uplifted me the most are the ones who have the least: fellow trans femmes and QPOC. They support me without questions asked from either side, they work hard to create spaces where I feel included, they listen carefully to what I have to say to then apply it towards our growth together, they let me spiral when I need to with no judgement, they check me, they make me feel utterly loved — I’ve only been able to survive because of them <3.
Opening - Octavia St. Laurent
Invisible Transwoman - Ariel Zetina
Buelent Ersoy - Hani Bizim Sevdamiz (Remix)
AOKI THAVIXEN - Angelica
Peppermint - Excuse My Beauty
MC Linn da Quebrada - Bixa Preta
Chae Buttah - Stranger Danger
JESSICA 6 X ANGEL-HO
30 Dollar Coat - KC Ortiz
Octavia St. Laurent - Queen Of The Underground
Jasmine Infiniti - Pu$$y Vortexxx x Chen Lili-Welcome Our Guests
Dana International - Cinque Milla (Remix)
Quay Dash - I Need A Bag (Reggeaton Edit)
Lia Clark - Chifrudo
Bibi Andersen - Call Me Lady Champagne
Juliana Huxtable - FORGOT ABOUT THAT TFB
London Jade - Transcendent
Los Teke Teke x POLYBIU - Deja Tu Estrés (Remix)
Titica - Ablua
AH MER AH SU - Meg Ryan (Baile Funk Edit)
Ashley Breathe - No Pimpz
1.8.7 - New York
Angelica Ross - Undone
Shea Diamond - I Am Her