If you were looking for beautifully haunting songs, Maryze is the perfect singer-songwriter to discover. The self-described alt-pop singer will bring you an incredible range of themes and sounds, and just when you thought you pinned her to a style, she will bring you new music and surprise you. We were lucky enough to catch up with her virtually for 7 minutes between her multiple projects to learn more about her and her art:
1. You started writing music as a child and grew up with a DJ father who introduced you to different international styles and sounds. Do you remember what were the genres or albums that played the most often at home growing up?
Yes! I think a lot of my early influences came from the records my dad brought home. He had a world music show so it was a pretty broad range… Celtic folk, Brazilian jazz, French pop… One album that I still love is 1 Douar by Alain Stivell. It’s primarily in Breton, a Celtic language from where my family is from in France, with songs in Arabic and also one featuring Youssou N'dour!
2. You studied poetry and creative non-fiction in university, what authors or poets have resonated with you through the years? Have you brought their influence into your own work?
You’ve done your research! I’m in love with Patti Smith’s writing, her books and her poetry. Maybe because her experience as a musician/artist rings so true. I could read Just Kids a thousand times over. I find Augusten Burroughs’ memoirs really funny too. I guess how they influence my work is by inspiring me to be as honest as possible, even with the ugly stuff.
3. As well as having your individual music project under your own name, you founded the electronic pop-R&B duo Seaborne alongside your current partner Solomon K-I. What do you enjoy exploring through Maryze that you may not otherwise explore through Seaborne?
I think a lot of songs I used to stash away and felt protective of are coming out now in my solo project. Some of them felt too personal to develop with someone else, even my partner. I would show Solomon a song and it would make him sad, cause it was about a dark time in my life or a traumatic experience… When I’m working on my own, I can approach themes with a bit more distance and really dive in, even if it’s something I’m still processing.
4. Before starting your solo music career you were part of a few different bands. What have been the biggest things that helped you grow as an independent artist versus being in a band with others?
I’ve always known what I want, but it took going solo to really focus on how to craft that. Being in a band brings a certain level of comfort and fun, but wasn’t conducive to me pushing myself creatively. For so long I was limiting myself and thought I couldn’t do it on my own. I’m still very much learning production, but it’s exciting to be better-equipped to get the ideas in my head out into the world. Shout-out to my partner for teaching me a lot.
5. In your work you keep your style, language and song subjects very diverse. Men Like You speaks about the need for accountability from men in the music industry, Special speaks of body confidence and self-love, Their Hearts highlights bisexual/pansexual love, Squelettes touches the subject of addiction and shame. What process do you go through in order to share your more vulnerable thoughts and feelings musically with us?
Wow yeah, reading that, it is a lot of different subjects haha. I think I rarely set out to write a song “about something”. I’ll just have something heavy on my mind/heart that starts coming out at random moments, and I try to hear it and make time for it. I try not to overthink or it starts to feel less true. I also try not to judge my subconscious for whatever it’s trying to express.
6. You have been vocal about not letting anyone make you feel like you take up too much space. Do you have any advice on how to keep confident and strong when we may not feel so?
It can be difficult! I just think as a girl I spent so much time shrinking myself and compromising my needs that I have no more patience for it. If anyone makes you feel like you have to do that, they don’t deserve to be around you! Surround yourself with folks who truly support you and want to see you grow. They can help remind you of how badass you are when you forget.
7. Finally, you have been popping up in the video world on your new self-titled TikTok account! How has crossing into the video world been for you? Should we keep on the lookout for any new projects/videos?
Getting on TikTok has been so much fun! I know it can be a waste of time, but it actually helped me get out of a creative rut at the end of 2020. I felt unmotivated to do anything after such a draining year and TikTok gave me new ways to be creative and connect with cool people. I’ve always been drawn to the video medium and directed/edited a music video for the first time in 2020! There will be more of that this year… I can tell you a new single and music video are currently in the works :)
If you would like to know more follow Maryze on Instagram @maryzemusic ; Facebook @MaryzeMusic ; Twitter @Maryze ; YouTube @Maryze ; TikTok @maryzemusic ; Spotify @Maryze ; Bandcamp @maryze ; Soundcloud @Maryze