Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Ochieaunna Marie Maxwell (Scott), aka YaYa, is no stranger to trials and tribulations in her life. As a young child YaYa spent five years in foster care, due to gun violence and physical abuse. She says, “I never had the chance to be a kid”. Much of her childhood was lonely, causing her to turn to music.
Inspired by the pain in her life, YaYa began to express herself in the form of poetry, putting every emotion and thought on paper. Her struggles became a story that she felt others would be able to relate to. At the age of 13, a local rap crew, Colossal Villains, challenged YaYa to a freestyle battle. Having written poetry for years, the rhymes came naturally and she blew them away as she exploded with rhymes, letting everything out and giving it her all. When Colossal Villains asked her what she “goes by”, she replied “YaYa”…. The name given to her by her little brother, because he couldn’t pronounce her name.
With so many adversities, growing up was hard for the young Hip-Hop artist. She always felt she was different than the others because she spoke her mind. By the age of 15, YaYa had become attached to her pen and pad, recording everything within her on paper, and then turning it into rap. She had discovered something she was good at… something that spoke who she is.
As she recorded a track for the first time at age 14, YaYa was very much supported by her close friends and peers at Wayne high School where she attended. Along with their support, the major influences in her career are Tupac, Left-eye, Eve, and Missy Elliot. The only obstacles to YaYa’s pursuit of a future in Hip-Hop, was the lack of a recording studio where she could perfect her talent.
Recently the one obstacle was removed when YaYa was united with her biological father, the owner of TGFM Production Studio in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With the added encouragement from him, the use of his recording studio, YaYa has no more obstacles. She has overcome a lot in her 17 years and has not been defeated. She says, “I want to make it to the top.” With her first CD scheduled to release in the summer of 2007, YaYa is pursuing that dream to “make it to the top.”