After spending the last few months defining and cultivating her sound, emerging singer and songwriter Maisyn has now unveiled her debut single 'Cool Grl'.
Produced by Grammy-nominated engineer and friend Joey Messina-Doering (Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM), 'Cool Grl' makes for a wonderfully warm and enticing introduction. Channeling the bright and euphoric direction of acts like Phoebe Bridgers and Sasha Sloan, her first release spells huge promise for her career in the months ahead.
So with the new single doing the rounds, we sat down with her to find out more about her background and what has inspired her most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Guitar! I tried taking piano lessons as a kid but it didn’t really stick. A few years later I asked my parents for guitar lessons but they were reluctant because of my very brief piano stint. Finally after enough insistence my grandparents got me my first guitar and I started playing when I was 9. My grandma plays guitar and always played folk songs for me growing up, so that was an important piece for me.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
I was such a soft teen! I really loved all the songwriter ladies like Sara Barelies, Ingrid Michaelson, and Corinn Bailey Rae. I was also at the point of music discovery where I was going back in time to catch up with classics I missed, lots of 60s/70s/90s era songwriters.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
I actually have multiple answers for this question based on the category of song. For Heartwrenching Best Song of All Time probably “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell. I know it’s cliche, but it’s just perfect. For the Perfectly Constructed Pop Song category I’d say “All Too Well” by Taylor Swift.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
The songs that stick as my keepers usually come from little inspiration sparks, so in the interim periods I’ve been trying to practice creativity proactively. Reading and journaling help me stay fresh, and when I’m feeling really stuck I’ll pivot and try a small project in a different medium. These little projects, that I’ll never share with the world and usually come out pretty badly, help me take the pressure off of making things. It feels fun again. I do my best to be gentle with myself, because even if it takes an eternity, I always come back to the music.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
The new Arlo Parks album is absolutely killing me. The sonic landscape is so warm and the lyrics are so intimate, what a beautiful place to be. Other artists I love - Jensen McRae, Kate Grahn, Madeleine Mayi. Check them out.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Oh gosh, probably all of them! Most of my music is reflective of my reality. Writing helps me make sense of life and how I relate to others (romantically, platonically, etc), especially in times when I can’t quite piece my feelings together in real time. A lot of my songs are also about my own internal bullshit, so I guess not all of them are about other people!
What has been the funniest or most unusual moment in your career so far?
Oh interesting. I did a lot of weird gigs in high school when I was just saying yes to anything and everything. I found myself in some weird “venues,” like the side of a busy road for instance. I actually played in a gym food court once! There were glass walls so you could see people doing Zumba behind me. I actually kind of love finding myself in absurd situations, it makes me feel like I’m in a movie and I’m about to start the character development arc where my luck changes and I have all sorts of revelations.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Springsteen. He’s a huge influence for me, and I think it would just be a great show. I’d love to sit in with him for a song, anything off Born to Run. The dream!
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Probably something related to visual art / design / fashion. I’m pretty fascinated by these things, but the extent of my knowledge comes from YouTube, Pinterest, and messing around in Photoshop. I’d honestly love to learn more, perhaps in a later chapter!
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
The best piece of advice I’ve received, about music and life in general, is to bring it back to the process and approach it from a place of curiosity. If and when something goes wrong, instead of defaulting to judgement or anger, I try to find some empathy and softness. Of course, I don’t and can’t always do this perfectly, but it keeps me moving.
Maisyn's debut single 'Cool Grl' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.