Maylee Todd is a dynamic and multi-faceted artist, based in Toronto. Her creativity derives its inspiration from a wide range of artistic disciplines: songwriting, production, film, performance art, and design. Maylee’s music combines organic and electronic forms. Her new album ESCAPOLOGY is available now and we sat down with her to talk about the music, creative process, films and more. Read below for the full Q&A…
What was it like sharing the stage with Lupe Fiasco a few months back? Ever thought about doing a hip hop collab in the future? Think the too styles would mesh well?
Sharing the stage with Lupe Fiasco was fun. Like all shows, it’s always great to meet other artists if it’s possible. In terms of a hip hop collab I agree that the styles would match up. I’ve definitely dabbled in that genre before and have much love for hip hop.
It’s quite evident that there is a fair amount of maturity and growth of your music between Choose Your Own Adventure and Escapology? As you begin to record and write in 2014, what kind of evolution will your music take a turn towards?
For the past two-three years I’ve been writing on a Japanese instrument called the “Tenori-on.” I have a bunch of songs ready to go. The sound is geared towards electronic pop rnb. It’s been really fun writing on that controller.
Some critics describe your music an “dance-groove.” Others say it’s amazingly well built contemporary jazz. Or Donna Summer/Motownish. How would you describe it?
I’d say it’s all of that. It has elements of funk, disco, jazz, soul and motown. I draw from many genres. At the end of the day it’s soul music.
What was it like touring Japan? Tell us all about it!
Japan was/is incredible. When I was there I felt complete love from fans. It was beautiful. The food, the people, the fashion, the architecture, it was all breath taking. After the shows I met fans that were crying and completely gushing over the set. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. I felt honored.
What are some of your favorite Asian films or Anime?
You were inspired by the horror film Hausu which is one of our favorites here at the website. Are there any other Asian films you would like to take a crack at recreating in a music video?
If I could somehow recreate Paprika in a live setting that would be incredible.
Why do you think your mom never discussed her culture or upbringing. Did you feel connected to your FIlipino side growing up or is this something you’ve recently tried to explore about yourself?
My mother’s past was a hard one filled with pain and struggle. I think that she felt her new life in Canada gave her opportunity that she was extremely grateful. She was still very filipino, in the food she made, to her walk, mannerisms and of course the whole filipino family that eventually migrated here was a huge influence. I definitely felt a connection to the culture because of my family. The trip to the Philippines was important for me to further explore my roots. I still feel like I have so much more to explore.
I’m sure you get this in every interview but having samples from Sesame Street and the Pointer Sisters, its pretty clear you’re influenced by a lot of older music. Your audience is pretty wide. There are twenty-somethings as well as folks triple that. Is there any pressure knowing so many different ears are listening?
I definitely don’t feel the pressure. I’m so grateful that people of all ages are into my music. I don’t like to sacrifice the integrity of my work and there’s nothing more rewarding than being natural and people appreciating it. It’s very encouraging.
You said your passion for music started as long as you can remember. Why did it you wait to release an album until your late 20’s? Were you not interested in a record label when you were a teenager?
In my teens I did not have the experience and skills needed to put out a record. I’ve been writing songs all my life, but the business side was something I learned later on in my twenties. It’s important for young artists to find an older mentor. I had to go grow and develop and figure it out as I went along.
As someone who writes their own music, coupled with your success of late – are you getting calls from other hit writers to co-write?
There has been some chats with other producers from L.A. that I can’t quite disclose at this time. So far I have co-wrote with Dan Werb on a collaborative project called “Ark Analog.” We are actually releasing an EP this month and a video.
https://www.facebook.com/ArkAnalog It’s a fairly new project and are very excited to share it with the public. Dan Werb is a very talented musician/producer.
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