Thursday 10 May 2018
Photography Jack Bridgland

Surrounded by music from an early age, it was only a matter of time until Maeve had a shot at the industry herself. An abstract, cross-genre artist, her latest single Empty is a haunting mishmash of layered vocals and vocoders that we’re lucky to be listening to, as she almost scrapped the whole thing four years ago.

We caught up with Maeve to talk about how she went from putting short stories to the tune of a guitar, to filming the video for the single barefoot at the bottom of a sheer cliff face in the pouring rain.

Hi Maeve, tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a 21 year old Caymanian singer-songwriter and producer.

How did you first get into music, and at what point did you realise you wanted to make a career of it?

Music has been with me from the start. I always remember being into it. My family all sing and play instruments and music was always played in the house.

I’ve been singing my whole life and as soon as I learnt how to write I was writing short stories. So when I got a guitar for my 14th birthday and started teaching myself chords, I realised that I could put these two things together. That’s when I became obsessed with songwriting and I knew that music was exactly what I wanted to do. 

Is there anyone you’d compare your sound to?

I don’t really think about other artists or genres when I’m making music. Whatever feels right to me at the time goes into the song. I don’t even know what genre I am and I don’t think that really matters. As long as people connect with my music I’m cool with it. So I’ll leave it up to other people to decide! 

Where did you shoot the video for Empty, and how was the whole experience?

We shot the video on a freezing cold day in Botany Bay, Kent. It was a really emotional experience as I put myself back in the mindset that I was in when I originally wrote the song. Performing it in front of the massive cliff faces, barefoot in the pouring rain really brought me back into that mode. 

It was also the biggest crew that I’ve ever worked with which was awesome and I was pumped up on adrenaline and excitement that my vision was coming to life. 

The layered vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap. Can you tell us a bit about the production process for the track?

That’s cool that you think that… Hide and Seek has always been a song that’s stuck with me ever since I first heard it. 

I originally wrote Empty about four years ago. It was a turning point for me because it was the first song that I wrote that made me think I had finally found my sound. Since then I had produced it in numerous different versions and then almost abandoned it. But one day I was playing around with it and I took most of the production out and started creating the backing out of my voice and bass alone. It felt right like this. I could hear the literal emptiness of it and feel the vulnerability. 

Then I brought the song into the studio where me and my other producers shaped it into the song it is now. We stripped it back even more so at some parts you can only hear the vocoder and voices and then we added the instrumental at the end of the song which to me acts as a massive release of emotion. 

What’s on the cards for the rest of 2018?

Releasing more music, playing loads of gigs, making connections with humans. I have no idea where things will lead but I know it’s gonna be fun. 

Watch the video for Empty below.