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artist spotlight: Maud and the premiere of Rollercoaster | music

Maud’s stage name comes from a Norwegian Island connected to the Arctic, named after Queen Maud. It’s an ethereal name to match the music she produces and writes herself. The music is a hybrid of a bunch of influences, from hyper pop to drum n bass, leading to an amalgamation of sounds where Maud has created her own world, where it lives on its own planet. I sat down with the artist herself to discuss her latest singles, Everything I Do and Rollercoaster, and the latter's accompanying video. We got to chat about her influences as well as the production process for the upcoming EP. Keep scrolling to see the premiere of the brand new video!

Do you feel as though being called Maud for your music gives you a different persona when you write and perform?

Yeah, definitely. I feel like when I'm wearing my glasses, for instance, I feel like I'm Christine. When I take them off, and I'm on stage or I'm making music, it's like I’m Maud in a way.

How did the track, Everything I Do, come into fruition?

I produce and write my own music, so I was working on new music after releasing my debut album last year and I think in the beginning, I didn't write any good songs to be honest, because it was difficult to write new music when my first album wasn't out yet. So it took some time to finish the EP that's coming. And with Everything I Do, I feel like I don't remember in detail how I made it. But I think that's a good sign. It means I was in the flow when I made it.

What does being a producer mean to you and your music?

I feel like it gives me creative control and I can make all the decisions. When it comes to my music, I guess I can be a bit controlling of how I want it to sound, so it's been a transition from working with other people, and then realising that it will be easier if I kind of did it myself. I didn't have to explain to another producer or a band member how it's supposed to sound.

So you're self taught production?

Yeah, in the beginning I was self taught and then I did a bachelor’s degree in electronic music, and now I'm doing a master's degree which I'm finishing in May, so it's a bit of a combination.

I wanted to ask you about being a woman in production because it's such a male dominated industry, is that quite prevalent?

Yeah, I mean, I feel as if there's a new wave of female producers now, because there's been more awareness around it. And I feel as if a lot more female artists are realising that they can be in charge of the production as well, they don't just have to be the singer or the instrumentalists. I feel as if I know a lot of artists that didn't produce before and now they're doing everything themselves.

When you produce, what is the process like as someone who does it all by themselves?

It's definitely a lonesome process, but gladly, as a student, I've been getting a lot of feedback and input at my university, so that's been very helpful. But right now, I feel like I'm at a place where I don't really want feedback anymore. Because I feel as if I've found what I was looking for. But sometimes, you don't have a feeling whether you're writing a good song or not, so then it's maybe good to send your music to friends or something. And I mixed this EP myself as well, and that's the first time I've mixed the full release on my own, because the last album was partly mixed by me and another mixing engineer. I mean, I do everything myself, but I'm open for input to make it even better.

You have a song called roller coaster that has just been released, how would you describe the song and the video?

I feel as if that song is like one of the cuter ones on the EP, if you catch my drift. I've been working with an artist called Signe Dige. She's doing all the videos and artwork for this EP. It was a combination of different inspirations because I wanted all the videos to be connected and be somewhat in the same landscape or visual landscape, so she's had the freedom to interpret the songs as she wanted. When she told me about the story behind this video, it was interesting, because it's about five women who have established their own planet with their own ecosystem, which is obviously not on our Earth. It's a different planet, and then they're just comfortable in that space. But suddenly another planet comes over them and that kind of symbolises the things you can't control in life, so the ending is quite open, you can interpret it the way you want to. But I'm really happy with the visual aesthetics because I feel it fits the music very well.

And what would you say draws you to that kind of aesthetic?

I'm not sure, it's been maybe just a combination of things I've seen, knowing that this EP is kind of at least in my ears, a bit futuristic, so I wanted to be a bit inspired by sci-fi in a way and outer space, things like that.

And then also, at the end of the upcoming EP, there is Rollercoaster part two. Did you write both simultaneously? And what made you put it at the end of the EP?

Yeah, that's actually the slowed down version of the original. I made that slow down version quite early as I made the song and I wasn't quite sure if it was going to fit on the EP. But I feel as if it's a calmer version and it's a way of saying goodbye in the end. So It was a little out of accident. But then it kind of fitted the whole EP quite well, I think.

How would you describe the music that you make? Are there influences that people can't necessarily hear?

Yeah, I usually just say alternative electronic pop, but I feel this EP is also inspired by drum n bass, UK garage, jungle and breakbeats and hyper pop, especially the vocals have drawn a lot of inspiration from hyper pop. There's a lot of different types of artists, and some of them are very extreme in the expression, but then you have CharliXCX, who has been there from the beginning. Also, Grimes has hints of it, kind of. And I think I've been inspired by her vocal processing because she also pitches it very bright.

With the drum and bass influences and the British garage sounds. Are there any specific artists who you heard that made you want to implement that into your music?

I listened a lot to Burial. But it's obviously not as dark as he had done it. And I've listened to an American artist called Brogan Bentley. I feel as if there has been a lot of electronic pop artists or producers that have kind of merged their sound with Drum and Bass lately. And obviously, PinkPantheress. I think when I first heard one of her songs on Tik Tok, I was like, “wow, that's so clever!” Just using old break beats and then kind of blending it with a new more modern sound.

Would you say that genres in general are becoming irrelevant because so many artists now make so many different types of music? Do you feel like genre is a bad way to describe your music? Like to put it into a box?

I guess it's becoming more genre-less, because I feel like a lot of artists are taking inspiration from different artists or from the '90s or the early 2000's. Like, everyone was kind of making '80's inspired pop now. So I feel as if some of the timestamps from that period are coming back. Because I've listened so much to like, early 2000's and '90s pop music, I feel as if I can't even hear what's cheesy about it anymore.

Yeah, that’s actually not that long ago. It was kind of cheesy and outdated. Now it doesn't sound outdated at all !

And so when you sit down to make music, what's your process? How do you start?

It depends a little bit. But usually, because I've always been playing piano I prefer starting with chords, playing on piano and singing at the same time. And then maybe I have some ideas for lyrics, or I just make it from scratch. So then if I make a chord progression, maybe I improvise vocals over it for a while, and then I record it. And then I build the production upon that, but other times maybe I just have a baseline or a drum beat, so it can differ a lot.

So how did you go from playing piano to then making electronic music? Because that's quite a big jump.

Yeah, I mean, I feel as if I've been in and out of different genres since I was a kid because I started playing piano, and I started singing in a children's choir. Then I sang in a church choir for quite a while. And then I learnt classical piano and I started playing more rhythmical piano, and my father is a jazz musician so I thought about going into the jazz thing, but then I kind of quickly realised that it was too much to live up to. And then I had two different bands before going completely solo and producing on my own. But I always had a vision of making electronic music, I just think I didn't have the tools or knowledge for doing it. So that's kind of why I started working on my own producing, and then eventually started studying. So I would have more input and get to know more, learn more.

And what age were you when you started to try and create electronic music?

I think it was around maybe 2014 or 2015. I had been writing songs before that, and I recorded demos in GarageBand and then I got Logic from my dad, kind of gradually learning a little bit on my own. But I definitely saw a potential to learn more if I studied it, I don't think I had the motivation to only learn from YouTube or the internet. Studying electronic music has been so important for me as a producer and artist.

When is the full EP out?

It's called ‘in my haven’ and it's out on May 27th!

Rollercoaster and its new video are available now.

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