DT500 ZINE: – CHEEKY MAA, you do strobe out with all your extravaganza, alien outfits, girl ! How does all that going? Tell our co-hosts about your origin? What planet have you fallen from?

CHEEKY MAA:I was born and raised in Long Island, NY.


” My nationalities are: Algerian, Austrian, English, French, Israeli, Moroccan, Polish and Russian. I was raised practicing Judaism but never felt connected to it. I believe in the power of the Universe and also practice Witch Craft.”



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DT500ZINE: – A Witch Craft? Are you a witch? What did a gig on you during your childhood?

CHEEKY MAA: –  My grandma was an incredible artist. She passed in our house when I was 4 and although I didn’t know her very long, I found her to be one of my greatest influences. My drawing style is very similar to hers, except my style is more evil-looking ha-ha. 



” Many of my internal influences were of dark nature. I would have reoccurring dreams of being abducted by aliens and attacked by the “Leg Monsters”.”


DT500 ZINE: – We knew it was the Leg Monster…


CHEEKY MAA: The Leg Monster was a creature I dreamed about for many nights.

” In the dream he would rise up out of my bed between my leg and break them. I would have to crawl on my stomach to my parents room for help, but he was already there breaking their legs. Although it was terrifying at the time, this dream has been a platform for many of my creature drawings.”



DT 500 ZINE: – We saw some on your instagram, theres the mastery again!  Hey, where did the interest to design come from?


CHEEKY MAA: – I was influenced a lot by my grandparents, although I didn’t see them very much. My father’s parents both worked in the fashion industry and owned a suit store in Queens, NY. They would take me shopping every time they came to visit and introduced me to fashion at very young age. 


” I would flip through fashion magazines and rip out pages of inspiration which helped develop my passion for style.”



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DT 500 ZINE: – Yes it was quite the fashion industrialism back then in NY… did you choose to design when you were already a child?


CHEEKY MAA: – When I was 6, I started to customize my own clothing by cutting and layering pieces together. I became interested in modeling at a very young age as well. My dad is a photographer, he would set up the seamless backdrop and would style myself and friends to shoot.


DT 500 ZINE: – a natural-born one… How did you became an artist-freak?


CHEEKY MAA:I truly believe I was just born this way. It’s who I was meant to be. Even when I didn’t recognize it, others did. I remember one time at recess when



” I was about 8, this girl Alyssa wanted to play with me. Her friend was telling her she shouldn’t because I was a “loser”. Alyssa said she thought I was cool but her friend disagreed and replied: “Yeah, she’s cool to FREAKS” “




CHEEKY MAA:I was so hurt at the time but hey, she was right And I couldn’t be more proud. I believe we are all freaks in our own way, some just choose to show it on the outside.


DT500 ZINE: – All freaks? Rather beauties. We are enjoying you! Bless up Cheeky Maa! Anyway, who was/is your inspiration?


CHEEKY MAA: – My inspirations are unique people, I love seeing crazy humans doing the most ridiculous shit on the streets of NYC. Many of my friends inspire me as well.


DT 500 ZINE: –  Unique one for sure… How unique? What is the message of Cheeky Maa?


CEEKY MAA: – My hope is to be a part of the movement for change in social structures, the current beauty and queer acceptance.



” We are all connected especially now with social media platforms. So many have fought for the freedom of self-expression and now is the time to educate the ignorant and to shamelessly be true to who we really are.”




DT500ZINE: – We are definitely connected, DOWNTOWN 500 MAGAZINE’S SOCIAL ARTISTRY USED TO BE A L’ART BRUT CONNECTOR… Do you mean the artist have to play a specific role today? 


CHEEKY MAA: We are the underground prophets. We are here to inspire each other and create the guidelines for future generations.

” We are the underground prophets. We are here to inspire each other and create the guidelines for future generations.”



DT500ZINE: – Thanx ! Let’s talk back to your buzzing design, you have a lot of statement-outfits, images, styling etc.., you’re awesome! Pls tell us more about that alien source of inspiration? What is your ID?


CHEEKY MAA: My style is always evolving!



” If I had to describe it, I’d said it’s new-age, punk-alien with touch of elegance.”





DT500ZINE: – We’re wondering, what kind of comments are you getting from New-Yorkers  about your look you walking along the streets?


CHEEKY MAA:The most common question I get asked on the streets is:- “Did you came from future?” almost everyday piece I’ve collected over the years, I’ve picked up from a thrift store.

DT500ZINE: – Tell us more ?


CHEEKY MAA: – When I go thrifting I’m like a kid in a candy store, I’m running all over the store smiling with much energy. I could sort through racks for hours and never get tired.


DT500ZINE: – so you’ve got your technics?


CHEEKY MAA: – My technics is simple, something will stand out for me either because of the construction or pattern. I’ll try it on, if it looks good to me, it’s done. I also love to reconstruct clothing, take it apart and make it into something new.



” I learned how to hand sew in middle school and about 3 years ago, I taught myself on the machine. “



DT500ZINE: –  Tell us more about the influences around you, your neighborhood, your crew?

CHEEKY MAA: – I recently moved to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I live with 2 of my favorite people in the world, Nicky Ottav an NAR.

” We all  live in this cute little box with murals on the wall painted by Nicky and lots of punk! “






DT500ZINE: – Club kids alive!


CHEEKY MAA:Yeah, every weekend our apartment is packed out with the freakest club kids of NYC.


DT500ZINE: – Any mint routines?


CHEEKY MAA: – We all pre-party at the crib before we head out to Flash Factory, where Nicky Ottav has created a space for everyone to get crazy and feel the love.


DT 500 ZINE: – here you are,- introduce more, what’s up there?


CHEEKY MAA: The atmosphere is beautiful, everyone comes in such individual looks (freaky or not) and there are so many delightful personalities.



” It’s a place where you can feel free to dance to the music with no judgement. This party has become a second home to me and many others.”




DT500ZINE: – Did you find yourself?


CHEEKY MAA: – I had social anxiety for everyone.  Coming  there has helped me to come out of my shell and be more open and expressive.


DT 500 ZINE: – What kind of music do you listen to?


CHEEKY MAA: – I can really get down with any genre of music except for country. I like also listen to old and new hip-hop and rap. The music I connect with the most is alternative, underground artists like Space Jesus, Desert Dwellers, Beats Antique, Liquid Stranger, Paradisio and other artists on their vibe.


DT 500 ZINE: – What music did you grow up with?


CHEEKY MAA: – I grew up to my dad playing a lot of the Greateful Dead, classic rock, jazz, blues and classical. My mom played more of the current songs from pop culture.


DT 500 ZINE: – Whay sparks you in NYC?


CHEEKY MAA: – Literary everything and anything. This city is always moving and progressing. Sometimes it can be exhausting but it keeps me thinking and experiencing the many layers of life.



” Good or bad, I always try to find a positive outcome and use it to learn and create something new.”



DT 500 ZINE: – What is a typical day of CHEEKY MAA’s life like?

CHEEKY MAA: There is no typical day for me anymore, everyday I am doing something new and exciting. I meet new people and find new ways to collaborate.


DT 500 ZINE: – What is on the CHEEKY MAA calendar?


CHEEKY MAA: – every Friday and Saturday night I host a Flash Factory and every other Tuesday I host at ACME for STRUT. The rest of my days are filled with photo shoots, running around town, creating looks, drawing, and having play-dates with freaky friends.



” I like to try and to live in the moment, not to think about the future.”


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