Tiny Habits capture the power of three on their brilliant debut, ‘All For Something’

From humble dorm rooms to headline tours, red-hot trio Tiny Habits make an indelible mark with lush songcraft and searing lyrical honesty.

Words: Stephen Ackroyd.
Photos: Sam Williams, Maggie-Barger.

Tiny Habits are a band who buzz with a special kind of magic, an organic alchemy that has swiftly propelled the trio into a rarified artistic realm. As Maya Rae, Cinya Khan, and Judah Mayowa prepare to unveil their highly-anticipated debut album ‘All For Something’, their journey represents a masterclass in songcraft, vulnerability and the profound power of creative kinship.

Rae is home in Boston, preparing to graduate from Berklee College of Music, the hallowed grounds where Tiny Habits were formed. Khan is basking in family time during a visit to Florida, while Mayowa is savouring friendship in Boston before they embark on their upcoming European tour run.

United yet distinct, the three share an innate collaborative symmetry at Tiny Habits’ core. Each member writes, arranges and lends their voice to the lush harmonic tapestries that have attracted audiences worldwide. It’s a potent fusion crystallised over three years of creative immersion and personal growth – the pinnacle so far their most recent headline tour across North America, their first ever as a headline act. “It was the most heartwarming and rewarding experience,” Rae gushes.

Tiny Habits’ origin tale shines like a beacon – three kindred artistic spirits converging at their shared alma mater in fateful fashion. “We all met at Berklee College of Music here in Boston. It was during Covid, so school was basically online, so we kind of met on Instagram,” Rae recounts. “I invited Judah and Cinya over one night after quarantine to sing with me in my dorm, and the rest is history! We made a bunch of videos that semester, and a year later, we were officially a band.”

“The past three years have been incredibly rewarding; it has most definitely lived up to the hype”

Maya Rae

From those humble dorm room sessions blossomed a singular magic, their celestial harmonies instantly casting a spell over audiences worldwide. “As we started posting videos, we definitely saw that people were really moved by them and what we were creating,” says Rae. “It was cool to see people from all over interacting with us, and we felt so excited to keep creating together.”

Distilling Tiny Habits’ essence into just three words, Khan simply offers: “Honest, human, and harmony.” These hallmarks radiate through ‘All For Something’, the album’s title, an empowering mantra affirming their shared higher purpose. As Khan explains: “It took us forever to find a title. We thought we had cracked the code a couple of times, but then the creative process would continue, and those titles would no longer feel fitting.”

“After recording our song ‘Wishes’, which feels like one of the album’s highlights, we took another stab at album titles. The song’s last line is ‘I wish these wishes weren’t all for nothing’, so we decided it would be beautiful to spin that around and title the album ‘All For Something’. Everything we have gone through as a group, as well as individually, has proven to be for some greater purpose.”

One quintessential highlight for Khan was the raw intimacy of recording ‘Salt & Sand’. “It was the last song we made for the album, and we tracked the drums and piano simultaneously in one take as Judah sang a guiding vocal. [Producer] Tony Berg looked at me with tears in his eyes as it was happening. It was such a special moment.”

Yet their quest was as arduous as it was rewarding. “There were tons of challenges, but there was always a silver lining,” Khan says of working with “truly a one-of-a-kind producer” Berg. “He pushed us in ways we had never been pushed before. It was so interesting and necessary to have someone observe and challenge the way we arranged vocally. We had a very Tiny Habits way of harmonising, and working with Tony brought a totally different perspective that gave us more freedom than we felt we had before, which, interestingly, often came from limiting ourselves in certain ways.”

Berg’s innovative spirit catalysed an ethos of openness, with Tiny Habits embracing unexpected sonic inspirations. “Any word you say will spark something in Tony Berg’s brain, and the next thing you know, you’re listening to anything from Gregorian Chants to Radiohead,” Khan marvels. “The songs for this album were all pretty much fully written before we got to the studio, but I think a lot of inspiration sonically came from the players. We had so much fun working with different personalities and allowing them to play whatever they felt made sense.”

“We hope people feel seen in our music”

Judah Mayowa

For Mayowa, ‘All For Something’ represents their latest creative evolution as individual composers converging into a formidable collective voice. “We’ve worked hard to find our sound since starting the band,” he says. “All of us are writers and musicians with individual creative styles which we’ve used to help form our joint sound. With this album, we allowed ourselves to try new things and be open to others’ ideas, even if they weren’t what we’re typically used to. We also really took our time to make sure every song was exactly how we wanted it to be, which is so hard sometimes when there are deadlines that need to be met. With music we’ve released in the past, we didn’t get to enjoy every little detail that comes with making music, but with the album, we were adamant about taking it all in..”

Sharing touring bills with giants provided vital wisdom. “We’ve been so fortunate to tour and meet some amazing artists and have gotten to watch and learn from them up close,” Mayowa explains. “Seeing those artists work as hard as they do and be really decisive and intentional about everything that represents them has truly inspired us to do the same. In making the record, we tried to be as intentional and passionate about every aspect, regardless of how big or small. We worked as a team to bring our visions to life.”

At their core, though, shines a wish for radical connection. “We hope people feel seen in our music and that they see us as human beings experiencing life just like them,” he says. “Every song on this album is deeply personal to us and showcases our stories, and we wish for people to find comfort in our vulnerability.”

“We’re just three besties who fucking love each other,” Mayowa shares warmly, “and we’re grateful to be doing this together. We’re excited sharing this music.”

For Tiny Habits, that connection – both between each other and the world around them – runs through every harmony or soul-piercing song. As ‘All For Something’ writes their name big and bright, that magic grows ever stronger. ■

Tiny Habits’ debut album ‘All For Something’ is out now.