Maisy Kay, the pop sensation whose latest release, "Doorway," feels like a mix of nostalgia and wonder. She has an effortless grace to her voice. She's preparing to unleash her EP, "Metamorphosis," set to grace our ears in November.
We dive deeper with Maisy Kay into her musical journey and explore her creative inspirations. From her favorite shower-time song to her experience of touring with JVKE, we discover the artist's true essence beyond the lyrics and melodies.
Your new single "Doorway," can you tell me more about like the inspiration behind it? I know it's about letting go of someone in your life. What's the inspiration behind it, and what does it mean to you personally?
Maisy Kay: Yeah, so I think I really, I love a song that's happy but isn't. Like the production sounds very happy, but if you listen to the lyrics, it's kind of sad. It's kind of what I do in some of my other songs, like "Mascara, Tears, and Emotionally Unavailable ."So I really wanted to do something like that again.
So "Doorway" sounds very anthemic and positive and freeing, which in a way it is, but at its core, it's sort of about realizing that you were very, very close to giving someone all of you, in your full heart and soul, and them, unfortunately, showing their true colors, which aren't good, and letting go of them before it could reach that point, luckily.
So it's basically about reclaiming your own autonomy and being glad that someone who obviously didn't care about you never got the chance to walk in the doorway.
Okay. I love that. Okay, I'm just noticing your accent. I love your accent. So you grew up in like a small countryside in England, and then now you're in LA. How has the change in environment influenced your music and your creative process?
Maisy Kay: I think definitely being in Los Angeles specifically, which is a huge, you know, place for music, has opened me up to more modern and pop elements. I think when I still lived in England, I leaned a lot more towards, like, classical and musical theatre. And so I think moving here has really opened my eyes to the brand new world of pop music. I feel like America is a very pop music central place, whereas England is almost like a little more dancey. Like when you listen to the radio, there's a lot more like very specific dance tracks. So, I think, in general for me, America has been a lot more pop-centric, and that's been really useful in finding myself on my own artistic journey.
You've shown a unique blend of fantasy and pop in your music, and I know you've used the avatar language in some of your songs. What draws you to these fantasy elements in your music?
Maisy Kay: I've Always loved fantasy. I learned the language of Avatar when I was ten years old, purely because I just loved Avatar and I wanted to live on Pandor, and my whole life, I've been very into fantasy and video games. I'm a big Lord of the Rings girl. I love a bit of fantasy, and I think for a long time, I thought those two parts of my life had to be separate. It had to be like, Maisy the person with her, you know, video games and her elf books and then Maisy, the artist, and then I think very recently I realized, well, maybe it doesn't have to be two separate people. Maybe we can find a way to combine the love of fantasy and the nerdy whimsical elements and still have pop-centric music. So that's really the inspiration. It's a very true representation of who I feel myself to be.
What's your favorite Avatar movie?
Maisy Kay: Oh man, I did love the sequel. I did love The Way of Water. I cried at the little, I forget what they're called, but things that are supposed to be whales, like, I cried a bunch in that movie, but I think, I think the original's still my favorite because I saw it in the cinemas, I'll never forget it. I loved it so much that I saw the extended directed cut, which was over three hours long. It was very long. And I saw that in cinemas. I was like 11, I think, at that point. But there was just something so mystical about being transported into a fantasy world like that for the first time with brand-new creatures and plant life. It was just so exciting, so I think the original will always hold my heart.
You recently went on tour with JVKE. How has the tour with him and your live performances influenced your connection to your fans and the energy you bring to your shows?
Maisy Kay: So, I've never been on tour before. I haven't even really done a lot of live shows before. So I think it's really influenced my music in the way that now I have this constant thought when I write of how will this sound live. Or when we're producing it out, I think of how it's going to sound when we do it on a stage. I mean, it was an incredible experience.
My MD was called Mike Avenin, who's very, very talented. And there was something so spectacular about seeing how he's transformed the records into something even more incredible for live performance. So I think it's made a huge impact because every song I write now, I think about how will this sound live? How can we make this sound cool when it's live? Whereas before, it was always just how can we make this sound cool in the booth?
Okay, that's really cool, and then continuing on with your writing. What's your writing process like? What comes first to you, like the lyrics, the melody, or the inspiration?
Maisy Kay: It honestly really varies from song to song. There have been times when I've written lyrics first, and they don't have any sort of melody, and then at some point, I'll figure out a melody. There's been times when I want to just write something, but I don't know what, so I'll just play chords on the piano until something resonates, if something even does.
So, I don't think I have one particular method. I think it's a bit sporadic. Sometimes, I'll wake up in the middle of the night and just hum a melody into my phone and then come back to it the next morning and try and work on it. So there's no one set way for me. It's all kind of all over the place, but I kind of like that.
What's your go-to song to sing in the shower?
Maisy Kay: Oh, it's "All Too Well," 10-minute version by Taylor Swift. There's actually a very funny reason: I have to leave my conditioner in for 6 minutes, so I can time in the 10-minute version how long I need to leave my conditioner in for when I can take it out.
That's actually really smart. If you had a magic wand and could instantly master any musical instrument, which one would you choose?
Maisy Kay: Oh, man. Okay, this is hard because I've always wanted to learn the saxophone, but I think maybe in terms of what would be the most helpful, maybe guitar. I can play like very basic chords on the guitar, but I can't do like bar chords. My fingers are just too weak. So, I've always been stunted from progressing further on that instrument. So I think if I could like fully nail that one, that would be cool.
I know, there are so many instruments I'd want to learn everything. If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?
Maisy Kay: Ooh! I think I would just want to thank everyone for the support. There have been some fans of mine that have been fans for years and years and years and years, and we have a lot of new people from the tour, and I'm just really grateful to get to know and share my music with people that really enjoy it. So, I guess I just thank you for the opportunity, and I couldn't be more grateful for every single person who's ever listened to one of my songs.
That's great. So then, I guess with your upcoming EP, can you share any insights into the themes or messages in that?
Maisy Kay: Yeah, so the name is Metamorphosis, and the name was very specific to me. It was supposed to represent a big change in my life from a caterpillar to a butterfly if you will. It's supposed to represent growing into both the artist and person that I'm trying to be and sort of turning over a new leaf. So, every single song about everything under the sun is in there. There's a song that really talks about mental health; there's a heartbreaking ballad. There's, you know, some more fun, upbeat numbers, there's a little bit of everything, and I think it's supposed to symbolize a great shift into something more secure and finalized, which I've always really wanted for myself. So that's kind of the thought behind the EP.
What can fans expect from you in the near future in terms of new music, projects, or any tours or anything?
Maisy Kay: Yeah, so we have a lot of new music lined up. We have some very cool collaborations that are very soon coming out, so that's exciting. And I know we're definitely very passionate about getting back on the road again and touring again, so I would say in 2024, there will definitely be more tours for me.
I’m a concert enthusiast who loves tea and boybands. If I’m not at a concert I’m probably reading a book, fangirling, or jamming out to One Direction. I’m very passionate about music and love the way it brings people together. I love moments where friendships blossom over a mutual love for an artist. One of my favorite quotes is “Real bands save fans, real fans save bands.” Follow me on insta @lexi.vanderpool