Artenzza

Maya Ixta Delgado

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Actor, Songwriter, Singer & Dancer

About

Maya Ixta Delgado is best known for her recurring role as Young Tess on the Apple TV+ series Ghostwriter alongside Kristin Kreuk and Brett Dalton. Other notable credits include guest starring roles on the Disney + series Diary of a Future President with Gina Rodriguez and All American with Taye Diggs. A multi talented artist, Maya is also a songwriter and released her first EP, Shades of You, in 2017. Maya is currently in the studio recording new music to be released soon! In addition to her acting and singing talents, Maya is also a trained dancer specializing in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop.

Passionate about the importance of arts education she founded the non-profit organization HeARTs of Maya which awards educational scholarships to youth who have a passion for the arts. To date, she has awarded 50 scholarships to deserving youth in Dallas and Los Angeles and in 2019, she was awarded the SPARK! Award for her philanthropic contributions to the arts community. Maya is also the youngest member on the Emerging Leaders Advisory Board for the nonprofit, Imagine LA, an organization that is combatting family homelessness. When not working or giving back this bi-lingual actress enjoys listening to K-POP, playing the piano or ukulele, and screenwriting.

"Find the ART in your heART"

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Photo credit: @devindygert  / Styling: @aristidesfashion  /  Makeup: @ko_onthego

Interview

Can you share with us how you first got into acting, and what has been the most rewarding part of portraying Young Tess on Ghostwriter?

When I started taking acting lessons at the age of 9, I had already been singing and performing, so I just wanted to explore more areas within the arts. I quickly fell in love with portraying different characters and decided to act professionally. Playing Young Tess was an amazing experience because she was strong willed and a feminist in the 50s, so she really pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable at the time. She was confident and forceful and I loved to play a strong female character on screen.

Your career includes guest roles on Diary of a Future President and All American. How do these experiences differ from your work on Ghostwriter, and how do you approach each role differently?

My character in All American was a young Latina teen going through the right of passage as a Quinceanera. In Diary, I played a teen who was part of a school clique.  There’s still a piece of me in every role I play, but overall my approach changes based on what’s called for the character. I can adjust my process based on the style of the project and what kind of persona I’m portraying.  

If you were an advertisement, which would your slogan be?

“Find the ART in your heART”

You’re not only an actress but also a songwriter. Could you tell us about your journey into music and what inspired your EP, Shades of You?

I started singing at a very young age so I really don’t know what life is like without music! I released Shades of You when I was about 11 so the music reflects a more youthful and playful time in my life. That E.P. definitely reflects who I was at that age. All of the songs are inspirational because at the time, I felt some of my friends were going through hard times and I wanted to let them know I was there for them.  It was a great learning experience for me and laid a foundation for my music career.

We hear you’re currently recording new music. Can you give us any hints about the direction or themes of your upcoming songs?

I have an E.P coming out this September titled “Diary Entries.” It reflects how I’ve grown into young adulthood and the type of music I enjoy writing and singing now. The songs are very personal because they all come from my diary. I hope listeners will be able to relate to some of the themes in the songs, especially surrounding life changes and challenges young adults face.

Your nonprofit organization, HeARTs of Maya, awards scholarships to young artists. What motivated you to start this initiative, and how has it impacted the recipients and communities in Dallas and Los Angeles?

When I was younger, I took many artistic classes that laid the foundation to who I am as an artist today.  Most of my close friends were in classes with me for singing, acting and dance. I noticed that sometimes they would not return to class and I came to realize that it was because they couldn’t afford the tuition. I felt terrible because they were so talented and I felt they deserved to be in class just like me.  I was determined to do something about it. I’m very thankful that my parents supported me in starting a nonprofit. To date, we have awarded over 50 scholarships to deserving youth. Many of them have gone on to be successful artists and I’m so proud to have been part of their journey!  

Winning the SPARK! Award in 2019 must have been a significant achievement. How did this recognition influence your dedication to philanthropy and arts education?

I was so humbled and grateful to receive this recognition because it was the first award I had ever gotten. I have the award displayed in my bedroom and it reminds me everyday to be thankful for the people that have supported me along the way.  It also reminds me that “paying it forward” will always be a priority in my life and career.

As the youngest member of the Emerging Leaders Advisory Board for Imagine LA, how do you contribute to the organization’s mission of combating family homelessness, and what goals do you have for your involvement?

The Board comes together monthly to share ideas and plan events that will further the mission of Imagine LA. The members of the board are also active volunteers in the community so we get to participate in family events, work with families, and make sure they have resources and services that will empower them to provide for themselves and their families. This year, we are planning a “Dancing with the Imagine L.A. Stars” event to raise money to support our families. Go to Imaginela.org to learn more!

Being bilingual and having diverse interests like K-POP and playing musical instruments, how do these aspects of your life influence your creative work, both in acting and music?

All of the art forms that I enjoy are all connected in one way or another. For example, being bilingual enables me to write songs in Spanish and also play diverse roles in acting.  I love to incorporate my culture whenever I get an opportunity.  I think people’s interests will bleed into what they create.  I love the beats of K-Pop and the fact that despite not understanding the language, I can enjoy the music just as much!

Looking forward, what are your aspirations for the future, both in your career and personal endeavors?

I know this sounds odd but I hope to be where I’m meant to be. I have passions for so many different things right now, so I hope to keep following my creative instincts and creative passions. I know that eventually they will lead me in the right direction. What I do know for sure is that I will always be an artistic person…I think it’s the most liberating path for my life.

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Projects

Do you want to know more? You can find some projects below.

Spotify Playlist