Interview: Kazeem Kuteyi Photography: Nefertiti Hernandez

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“It doesn’t feel real.”

Maria reflects on her life since her pilgrimage to New York from Boca Raton, a small city in Florida. From interning for Kenneth Cappello, a photographer behind some of the most iconic imagery in streetwear culture, to working as a creative producer for Made music and Made fashion week, she’s built a reputation for being the conduit for making things happen.

For our conversation, we met in Toronto. She’s in town from Los Angeles to support 6LACK, an artist she’s working with. She’s also scouting locations for Big Sean’s pop-up, another project she’s involved in.

On her now-deleted Twitter, her pinned tweet was a summary of where she’s at professionally. It said, “No one will ever know exactly what I do. You just know when you need me. Scratch that. You just know when you need us.”

That’s the point from where our conversation begins.

“You don’t know what I do, but you know when you need me.”

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“I think to be someone behind the scenes, you have to take the time to learn the art you’re working on. Whether it’s by being hands-on or reading.”