Maitreya, Meet Chuck D.

UPDATE: I am informed by both Maitreya and Sellaband head Johan Vosmeijer that introductions have indeed been made prior to the posting of this article. Apparently Mr. Vosmeijer’s inbox has been bombarded with emails lobbying for that which is in the works already. Kudos to Sellaband for jumping on this and I hope that his inbox is equally bombarded with supportive messages.

The recent press release from Sellaband may not, on the surface, be particularly significant for those artists on the Sellaband roster who toil away in genres other than Hip Hop. But looking at the development of Sellaband teaming up with Hip Hop icon Chuck D. and his BTN Eastlink company from a purely business-minded point of view should give every Sellaband artist pause to reflect on how this partnership can ultimately generate the interest in the Sellaband concept that will open the U.S. market to artists of all musical styles. The object of this exercise is to sell music as well as the concept.  Sellaband now finds itself perfectly positioned to bring this about.



Of the artists to have completed the process of raising a budget and completing an album, there is one who stands out head and shoulders as being the most logical laboratory rat for this experiment. Maitreya is a Hip Hop rapper from faraway New Zealand whose Sellaband journey has paralleled the company history. As the first and most prominent Hip Hop artist on the label, he is probably second only to Sellaband head Johan Vosmeijer in frequent flyer miles, having appeared on numerous Sellaband concerts and functions in Europe as well as recording his album Close To Home in London, New York and New Zealand.

A self-professed apostle of Chuck D. and Public Enemy, Maitreya is an evolutionary mutation that could only have occurred under specific environmental circumstances. Broadcast media brought Public Enemy to Maitreya in his formative years. Fairly recent developments in low budget/high quality recording made it possible for Maitreya to share his music in a way unthinkable ten years ago. The internet brought Maitreya before a worldwide audience which facilitated the budgeting of his album. And now Maitreya finds himself  just one degree of separation from having his music placed into the hands and ears of a company operated by his most respected mentor by proxy. All that remains to close the circle is for Johan Vosmeijer to say the words, “Maitreya, meet Chuck D.”

Why is this the right move for Sellaband to make and why should non Hip Hop Sellaband artists be lobbying heavily for Maitreya to carry the Sellaband banner into the U.S. market? Using Maitreya’s Close To Home as a battering ram to open the doors of the American public to Sellaband is not only a no-brainer, it is a win, win, win situation. Sellaband did not look to Los Angeles or Nashville, it looked to the icon of the New York Hip Hop world for its wedge. With a commitment in hand from Chuck D. to be the their U.S. ambassador, Sellaband, consciously or not, has taken a stand as to the direction the company will pursue at the onset of American involvement.

For a company to deem an artist worthy of development and exploitation, the artist must be special. Not only must the product be of high quality, there must be a hook, a story that makes an undeniable case for proceeding full steam ahead. Labels don’t push artists for any reason other than the potential of that artist to generate funds and interest in other artists on the label. Maitreya fits the mold as if the role were written with him in mind and the timing is perfect. Positive and diligent endorsement of his album from Chuck D’s company will do much to get Close To Home on American Radio and usage in other media.

Chuck D. has the opportunity of introducing a unique artist from the other side of the world to the American audience in a genre he has dominated for years. Sellaband has the opportunity to generate in Maitreya the breakout artist it desperately needs to become a major player in the industry. And when Close To Home becomes a household word, every Sellaband artist with a professional level package and a story to tell will be that much closer to getting attention from more than just the loyal fans who came together to finance their projects.



Can Sellaband make this happen? Undoubtedly. Will Sellaband make this happen? The answer to this question is what everyone in the Sellaband community should be lobbying for as the potential of this relationship could have a massive effect on hundreds of artists across genre delineations. Breaking an artist is not something to be taken lightly and if done without a high level of commitment can be an exercise in futility. The table is now set for Sellaband, BTN Eastlink and Maitreya to make a strong move in a direction that couldn’t be more mutually beneficial.

The exploitation of artistic content is the goal and the duty of a label and publishing entity. Making recordings is only the first step in a long process of which most young artists and the public in general remain ignorant. The landscape of today’s popular music scene is littered with more content than at any time in the history of recording. Winnowing through the haystacks for exploitable material is a gamble and heads roll when bad choices are made.

Maitreya’s Close To Home is a no-brainer for everyone involved. Making it happen will require follow through. Artists and believers in the Sellaband community need to understand the positive impact this could have on them and act accordingly in communicating with the powers that be. Chuck D. and BTN Eastlink need to see dollar signs in Maitreya’s album and act accordingly as well. Maitreya needs to be true to his well-developed roots and stand ready to kick the serious brand of ass that an endorsement from someone of Chuck D.’s stature would demand. And finally, Johan Vosmeijer needs to get the ball rolling and say the magic words, “Maitreya, meet Chuck D.”

32 Responses to “Maitreya, Meet Chuck D.”

  • WOW! This is a great read.
    I am a big fan of Maitreya’s music and Sellaband! Great article!!!

  • Pieps

    heya Pete ,

    funny news that Chuck D hooks up with Sellaband … if it is true … Sellaband announced more ‘partners” that suddenly dissapeared 😛 .
    But I’m afraid it is too late … except for some really hardcore “idiots” , most Believers on Sellaband , aswell as most Artists are aware that Sellaband is dead or dying . And I don’t think that Chuck D , Elivis or even Jesus Christ can keep this corpse alive . It would be cool if Maitreya would hook up with Chuck D … I’ve seen Maitreya live two times , and he drops a good show :) .
    But the Sellaband staff has this King Midas kinda gift … everything King midas touched turned into gold … and everything the Sellaband staff touches turns into shit … poor Chuck 😛 .

    ♪♫♫♪♪♫ HAVE FUN ♪♫♫♪♪♫ yours Pieps

  • Hey Pete,

    As I understand it, from chat’s with maitreya and Johan, the introduction has been made.

    Let’s see if Chuck & Sellaband can prove the “nay-sayer(s)” wrong eh!


  • Pieps has been waiting to bury SellaBand for over a year now, but I gather he is a patient man.
    Chuck D and Maitreya together at the ArenaFest Stages this summer? Great ticket for only $27.50.

  • Yes UBG, I understand that Johan already had this in the works so I stand corrected on that point. But a few emails in support of a great idea never hurts, eh?

  • Pieps

    nah … I don’t care that much about burying SAB or not 😉 … but it would be a completely new experience that SAB would do something else than outdoing Murphy every time :)

    ♪♫♫♪♪♫ HAVE FUN ♪♫♫♪♪♫ yours Pieps

  • Sammie Z

    Hell yea! Bring that maitreya noize to the US maaaan! … hook it up Chuck, that’s what’s up! Peace, s

  • Jezza

    go on Chuck, get the man over to show you what hes got

  • Dark Side Koala

    Good news! I really really think Maitreya should be hooked up with Chuck D and it would be soo good if he broke in US.

  • TP

    Pieps, you really don’t get tired of dragging anything through shit, do you? Poor dude.

    SAB has its issues, for sure. But if *nothing* comes of the whole enterprise but Maitreya meeting and working with Chuck D, it will be a success. That is the most natural pairing I’ve ever heard of in all my years in the music biz. Seriously. Maitreya’s brand of hip hop is desperately needed stateside, and Chuck can make it happen. Talk about no-brainer.

  • Christian

    Maitreya`s music is DOPE !

  • L1

    terrific article!! :o) this could be a fantastic opportunity for everyone all the way around.. and maitreya in the US would be all kindsa awesome!!! :o)

  • You know im always down to promote my boy Maitreya! Like chuck has said in past interviews about hip hop being done more then just well around the globe and not just the US. We’ll heres the perfect example and connection. Maitreya has not just been doing hip hop but doing it more then well! Maitreyas got the “flava!!!” if you know what i mean haha. I’m all for this connection and hope the people upstairs can support this and make this connection happen. Cubworld is behind maitreya 100% always!

  • adam b

    I thing its amazing that Chuck is affiliating with Sellaband, probably the most respected voice in hip-hop. Lets hope this will get noticed!! Chur Chur!

  • SAB is fantastic way for new artists to get noticed and published. A real innovation.

    This hook up is a match made in heaven that will benefit many waves of new artists in the future.

    Kudos to all involved and esp. the one whose brain child this is!!!

    Go Chuck D !!!

  • scott morrell

    just a quick note to say its cool to hear that chuck d is helping out with ‘sellaband’ cause i hope my man maitreya can get a little help, maitreya goes off!!!

  • That was the first thing to come to my mind when I read about Chuck D. working with Sellaband: he must have heard Maitreya’s stuff by now, maybe they’re even working together already. It’s a no-brainer, indeed! Sellaband really does need an artist to break through. Several bands have made progress, like Nemesea, Second Person, Julia Marcell, but they’re not exactly household names yet as far as I can tell. Maitreya has the chance to become one, especially if one of the absolute top hiphop guys supports him. And I see no reason why he wouldn’t!

  • George Green

    Well, as for Maitreya and Chuck D it just seems like destiny for those two to work together. Chuck D is the apidomy of hip hop. He is one of the pioneers as we all know. I am sure he is open minded and able to step out the box and appreciate international music. Maitreya has put his ground work in on NY streets in the music industry. He is well aware of hard work and paying dues. But, the great thing about Maitreya is he works extremely hard and makes really great music. I am totally interested to see or hear how this relationship will even itself out. Chuck D you have a winner on your hands.

  • Wyando

    Maitryea is a great person, has cool lyrics and one absolutly fine album named “Close To Home”. It’s about time that the world get known this! CHur!

  • Christian

    What a GREAT oportunity for sellaband and what a great Chance for an Artist! Chuck D is helping out. Here is a way for an huge talented artist like Maitreya to break out in NYC.

  • I agree with Christian.

    Maitreya’s Close to Home is a state of art album, but it needs promotion to enter big markets like New York and other parts of the USA. With the experience of Chuck D. and BTN Eastlink we’ll see positive developments coming.

  • Maitreya is the man we need to bring SAB to the States. He has : the music, some brilliant videos, the stage performance. What do we need more ?

  • Chuck D meet Maitreya yeah Ra!
    Meet music maori magic!!!

  • mattphisto

    Close to Home has a serious Pacifica flava, however this album was bloodied and conceived on Harlem’s streets. While Maitreya is an ambassador for Pacific and specific New Zealand music, his understanding of Hip Hop, of the world and its issues, and his lyrical genius is relevant wherever his album is played. Chuck D and Sellaband would be mad not to utilise this artist to prove the concept’s critics wrong, that Sellaband can succeed in establishing one of thier artists as a global household name….Chur to the Chur.

  • Lidewij

    Maitreya’s album “Close to Home” is the perfect hook for Chuck D to start to promote the artists on the Sellaband label. Maitreya’s hip hop is cross cultural and moves from his heritage (the Waitaha & Maori are the most ancient cultures keeping traditional rituals alive) to the new world (the US of A). I am definitely not any hip-hoppers target audience, until I listened to Maitreya’s lyrics and talked to him and understood what he wanted to accomplish (and was accomplishing), he opened my heart and I actually, truly love his album, and I’ve got 184 of the limited edition albums to prove this fact! Maitreya is not just another rapper, Maitreya is the next generation of hip hop, or rather, he’s made the early hip hop generation and its vision, palatable for the next generation. Real lyrics, showing that hip hoppers can talk from the heart instead of from the garbage of the mind. Maitreya and Chuck D, a perfect match also without Sellaband.

  • Hey Pete, great blog :) And yess! We support your idea to get the best out of this deal with Chuck D for Sellaband. Hiphoppers should stick together, so Sellaband artists like Maitreya would be a natural choice to promote in the USA. If this creates a break through, other hard working independent artists will profit from this.

  • Nick K

    Hey Pete, sweet blog you really hit the mark.

    Maitreya should be the next New Zealand break out artist in the U.S.with a path forged by CHUCK D, he could be the man to help Maitreya. with CHUCK D and him being onboard with Sellaband. his legend is already assured in hip hip…..maybe he could bring that infulence and help out Maitreya and take him the next level!

    So Support Sellaband, Maitreya and CHUCK D


  • Melanie Jones

    With Chuck D. onboard… Sellaband has a fighting chance. Especially if they put their faith in Maitreya.

  • Bex

    For a start, its fantastic that established artists are seeing Sellaband as an opprortunity to work with artists who have true potential, are selfless and incrediablly hardworking in the aims of creating credible and integral music. The opportunity for Maitreya to work with a pioneer of Hip Hop such as Chuck D would provide him an excellent vehicle to have his music created with a plethora of knowledge behind him. Maitreya is an extremely talented and hard working Hip Hop artist with HUGE potential. (beyond his already HIGH skills and ability)
    He has spent alot of time overseas and abroad, including New York, proving that he has what it takes. All he needs now is some heavy weight backing.
    It is fantastic that this is a possibility. My final words are “You will never be sorry for combining Maitreya with Chuck D, ever.”

  • With his first two singles Maitreya has been bouncing hard on the doors of the New Zealand music scene. With the single “Chur To The Chur” and the help of Chuck D he’d definately get his foot in the door

  • Maitreya is indeed Sellabands flagship when it’s coming to hiphop. Here we have a man, who is 120% dedicated and passionated.

    Also read the interview at:

  • erikanyc

    O dear God. Chuck D and Maitreya?!?! Thats awesome! I had a chance to see Maitreya in NYC about 4 years ago and he KiILLED IT! I would love to see him back in NYC or hell, to see him perfrom anywhere! This pairing might actually make that happen!