Hailing from New York City, the independent collective and hip-hop trio Maybe There's Life releases their latest empowering single entitled "Nation."
Consisting of MJangles, Lincoln, and producer Tobias Defoe, Maybe There's Life began their careers in 2018 at Harvard University before forming the collective a year later. Having amassed over 200k streams within their breakout year, Maybe There's Life has received vast success through opening for acts like Vic Mensa, Kiiara, and Bazzi.
Now releasing their latest single, "Nation," Maybe There are Life calls upon our country to put aside our differences and reside as one nation with one statement. Throughout this punchy and anthemic track, Lincoln and MJangles offer their heated and confident bars, while Tobias Defoe sweetness the sonic arrangement with tight drum breaks and intense vocal chops.
"Nation" begins with incredibly intricate and unique production through chiming keyboard melodies, a tight string section, and cutting drum breaks. As Lincoln starts belting his vocals over this powerful track, MJangles makes his way in and sings of seeing one nation without any sort of discriminatory divide. MJangles goes into his verse with the utmost rhythm and exudes nothing but confidence as he raps about having nothing to prove.
Lincoln keeps this track incredibly lively and energetic as he sings with startling power and might throughout the song's entirety. Especially on the bridge, he belts his vocals for us to feel something deep inside. Ending the song off with persistence and resilience through Lincoln and MJangles' brilliant delivery and Tobias Defoe's gripping production, we can't get enough of such an exhilarating and meaningful track like this.
Find Maybe There's Life's recent single "Nation" on all digital streaming platforms, and remind yourself of the needed unity our country lacks.
What inspired your group to tackle our countries social and political issues for your single "Nation"?
We wrote “Nation” in Harlem, NY at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests with the intention of channeling our perspectives on rising national tensions into an energizing anthem. We wanted to create a song for the movement that could both uplift and spark conversation. To us that meant finding the right balance between making a compelling statement and creating an infectious feel-good vibe. Our main direction was to tie our unique personal identities to the concept of the nation. While the stories of MJangles, a first-gen immigrant from Ghana, and Lincoln, a mixed-race descendant of slaves, may not seem to represent what many consider “American”, we believe our identities reflect the spirit of our nation and the complexity of its history.
What was your songwriting process like when creating "Nation"? Did each member create their bars/lyrics individually? Or was this a collective process?
We took on the writing process together, and collaboration was essential to crafting the narrative of “Nation.” Lincoln and MJangles each wrote their own verses and lines, but sections like the chorus, bridge, and traded verses needed joint effort and direction. The collaborative process is a fundamental part of our approach as the collective Maybe There’s Life, and it’s the only way we can blend our distinct musical and personal identities into a cohesive message and sound. That’s why our flows and messages feel so interconnected and intertwined—because they were crafted through conversation, compromise, and collaboration.
Could you expand on how your group went about creating the sonics for "Nation"? Did Tobias Defoe handle this aspect of the song, and did he take on this process solo?
“Nation”, like most Maybe There’s Life records, was produced by all three members of the collective. We produced the entire track in Harlem using only a laptop, MIDI keyboard, and electric guitar. By mixing classical instrumentation and vintage sampling with modern hip hop production, we created a sonic juxtaposition that felt classic and modern at the same time, with an energy and magnitude that resemble the nation itself. The sonics of the production are what gave inspiration for the song’s title and messaging. Truth be told, we saved the first version of the beat as “Nation,” before we even started writing, because the production already felt so connected to the concept of nation. Crazy, huh?
What should we expect from the performance video for your single "Nation"? Do you emphasize the song's lyrical content within the video's visuals?
We just released the performance video for “Nation” on January 30th. The video shows Lincoln and MJangles performing the song with the kind of energy and intensity that earned them their reputation as captivating live performers on Harvard's campus. It also features the song’s lyrics as captions throughout, so that viewers can connect even further with the lyricism and messaging. The video was filmed at Tobias Defoe’s apartment in Brooklyn, and directed by Carla Troconis, a visual collaborator and Harvard classmate.
What can we expect to see next from you?
We have three full-length solo projects, Invictus by MJangles, Technicolor by Tobias Defoe, and Timeless by Lincoln, that we’ll be rolling out in the coming months. Our single releases of “Road Trip” and “Nation” are the first of many that we plan to put out leading up to the full projects. You can expect a lot more music from us that continues to challenge norms and expand genres, along with visuals that reflect our music, identities, and the collective movement that is Maybe There’s Life.