In the bridge of ‘In My Head’, Maisie Peters sounds at her most sincere, and most vulnerable - “I'm still hurting and I'm still here,” she softly acknowledges, and like the rest of the six song EP, Peters’ heartfelt honesty is at the forefront.
The 18 year-old singer-songwriter has already kicked off the new year with a brand new song, ‘Stay Young’ (co-produced by New Zealander Sam De Jong), a bittersweet ode to growing up which sees her storytelling woven through an upbeat drum beat.
MUST-LISTEN: ‘In My Head’, ‘Stay Young’, ‘Enough For You’.
YOU WILL LIKE, IF YOU LIKE: Birdy, Orla Gartland, Hozier, Billie Marten, George Ezra, Tom Odell, Gabrielle Aplin… and re-reading your favourite childhood books.
COUP DE MAIN: What was it about the line “dress too nice for a jacket” in ‘In My Head’ that made you want to name your EP after it?
MAISIE PETERS: First of all, I just loved the lyric when I wrote it, it felt like a weird perfect amalgamation between something you would genuinely say and something kind of poetic and interesting which are my favourite types of lyrics. Also being ‘dressed too nice for a jacket’ just embodies the nights I would go out with my friends and mess around falling in love with strangers and drinking cheap wine through a straw - memories that a lot of this EP carries within it.
CDM: I love the line in the bridge where you sing, “I'm still hurting and I'm still here.” Do you think that sometimes it’s important to allow yourself to hurt, and feel pain?
MAISIE: Yes!!! There’s something really empowering about saying, "I’m still hurting and I’m still here"; I feel like as women a lot of the time we try to make our emotions the most convenient, always trying to accommodate other people. This lyric reminds me that it’s valid to feel however you want, and that you should never make yourself smaller so as to be more palatable for others.
CDM: What was it like working with Two Inch Punch on ‘You To You’?
MAISIE: So so good, he is an amazing writer and producer but also the nicest guy, so it just felt like writing with my best friend. That song came to life over several different sessions and when we finally finished it it felt a bit like completing a puzzle.
CDM: The simile “you build me up like architecture,” is really cute - how did you come up with that?
MAISIE: Thank you! I actually remember lying in bed one night about to go to sleep when the phrase ‘you built me up like architecture boy you’ll break my heart I’ll let you’ came straight into my head. I love internal rhymes in songs and that couplet felt so satisfying I sleepily wrote it down in my phone notes and then fell asleep. Moral of the story: Not all ideas you have in the dead of night are bad, only 99% of them.
CDM: The story about how you wrote ‘Enough For You’ is so funny! Do you like writing songs based on stories you hear, as well as on your own experiences?
MAISIE: Yes, I love doing that! I’m a firm believer that you can and should find inspiration everywhere, as boxing yourself in to only writing about yourself is so limiting! Writing about friends or even strangers is really liberating for me as I feel freer to say whatever I want without thinking about the consequences of people listening haha, although obviously I do write from my own perspective a lot too, it’s just all about balance.
CDM: What do you have planned for 2019 so far?
MAISIE: A lot!! I’m working on the first song I’m gonna release in the new year which I’m so excited about, it’s quite different from my other stuff which is really cool. I’m also going on my first headline tour in spring all around the U.K. which is so sick and has already mostly sold out!!!! So yeah, hopefully as much touring and releasing music as possible.
CDM: How does your songwriting process work?
MAISIE: I tend to start with chords and then sing melodies until a phrase or sentence pops into my head, almost like free styling. I love working like this because sometimes you can surprise yourself and end up writing about something you had no idea you were feeling until your subconscious brought it out your mouth haha.
CDM: Do you write your lyrics specifically for the songs, or do you write poems or prose and then evolve them into song-form?
MAISIE: I write all my lyrics specifically for my songs, although I do love poetry and have recently started trying to write my own. However because my style of songwriting is very based in rhyming and poetic language, I like to think I’m kind of doing both!
CDM: Lyrically, what's your favourite song that you’ve written?
MAISIE: In terms of the songs that are already out, I think maybe 'Details'? I love how conversational those lyrics feel. But I also love the verses of 'In My Head' and the chorus of 'Best I’ll Ever Sing' so I’m not sure, it’s like picking your favourite child.
CDM: What do you hope for people to take away from listening to your music?
MAISIE: I want people to feel like my music can become a necessary part of their lives, something they rely on. For me my songs are just as much yours as they are mine and so I want people to get that when they listen.
CDM: If M.A.I.S.I.E. was an acronym, what would each letter stand for?
Angel (at times).
So fucking annoying (sometimes).
CDM: You’re one of our 'must-know’ artist picks for 2019… who are yours?
MAISIE: Plested, Alec Benjamin, L Devine, Boy Genius.
CDM: If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
MAISIE: I would steal the song 'Girl Crush' by Little Big Town because it’s so good.
CDM: If you were a country, what would be your national anthem?
MAISIE: 'Born To Run' by Bruce Springsteen, specifically from 2:46 onwards because that song gasses me UP so I like to think my country would feel perpetually empowered.
Watch the ‘Stay Young’ music video below…