Singer-songwriter and YouTuber Mxmtoon was born and raised in Oakland, California, near Lake Meritt. A multi-instrumentalist from childhood, she first learned to play violin and then followed with cello and trumpet. When auditioning for her school’s rock band in fifth grade, she was asked to sing Oasis’ "Wonderwall" (rather than auditioning with cello, as she’d imagined) and ended up joining as a vocalist. A year later, she began learning guitar and in middle school, she picked up the ukulele. She began her YouTube channel in 2013.
2017-2018: "Falling 4 U" and Plum Blossom
In 2017, Mxmtoon began self-releasing songs on YouTube that she had recorded in her parent’s guest bedroom. That year, her collaboration with lo-fi producer Peachy, "Falling for U", went on to reach nearly 40 million streams on Spotify. Plum Blossom, her debut EP, was released on December 7, 2018, and eventually amassed more than 100 million streams on Spotify.
In November 2018, Mxmtoon announced her Plum Blossom Tour. Initially, it was meant to be a five-show stint with fellow Californian singer-songwriter Khai Dreams. However, the tour sold out and was extended to include additional concerts in North America and Europe, including UK shows where she opened for fellow YouTube artist Cavetown.
2019-present: The Masquerade and Dawn & Dusk
In 2019, Spotify released 21 Days, a music podcast that followed Mxmtoon in the making of her debut album, taking the format of an eight-episode audio diary that includes interviews with family, friends, and collaborators, including the album's producer Cavetown. The album, The Masquerade, was released on September 17, 2019, and peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Heatseekers albums chart. Its lead single, "Prom Dress", has garnered over a hundred million streams on Spotify and has been used in 100,000 videos on TikTok.
The Masquerade Tour, which covered Europe and North America, took place in September 2019. Mxmtoon released an accompanying graphic novel, The Adventures of Mxmtoon: The Masquerade, in October 2019. The following month, she also released an animated short film to go with the graphic novel.
Mxmtoon signed to Kobalt Music Group on November 19, 2019, and five days later released the remix EP The Masquerade (The Edits), which features remixes from Chloe Lilac, Alexander 23, and Chloe Moriondo. That month also saw Mxmtoon featured on Dork’s Hype List 2020. In December 2019, Maia re-recorded the song "Prom Dress" in Simlish, the fictional language used in The Sims games. The following week, she released a music video for the song "Unspoken Words".
January 2020 saw the release of the single "Fever Dream", preceding the release of her second EP, Dawn, in April. Dawn’s accompanying EP, Dusk, was released in October 2020 and was then merged to form the double-EP Dawn & Dusk.