Maisie Peters sits down with Student Music Network to discuss her latest single ‘Maybe Don’t’ (featuring JP Saxe) and her experiences of song-writing during lockdown.
20-year-old Maisie Peters, born in Brighton, music career began when she launched her YouTube channel in 2015. Just two years later released her debut single ‘Place We Were Made’ in 2017. She has since released two EPs and gained a following internationally and in the UK, and even been tweeted about by Taylor Swift.
Her latest single – titled ‘Maybe Don’t’ with Canadian artist JP Saxe, looks at her and JP’s “mutual experiences in being afraid of good things”. The song explores the feeling of emotionally running from a healthy relationship. The fear that it might be too good to be true is palpable. Lyrics like “If you could be less honest […] I could sabotage this and still be justified” perfectly illustrate that sentiment.
The first time that Maisie met JP, they started a conversation about their relationship experiences and ended up writing ‘Maybe Don’t’ the very same day.
When asked about how the last six months have impacted her song-writing, Maisie reveals that she has been working on her own a lot. She admitted: “I think I’d almost forgotten how to write songs on my own, which is hilarious because that is all that I did for four years of my life – this year I fell in love with doing it again.” While she loves collaborating, she says it is important for her to work on her own too. This year “has been a really great challenge” for her, and she is “grateful that it happened for that reason.”
Having written many new songs over the past few months, Maisie talks about her lyrics. “On one hand it feels very universal and very relatable […], but also I’ve always been a fan of storytelling.” Talking about the kinds of songs that she aims to write based on what she enjoys listening to, she acknowledges that “specific stuff is what makes [her] really excited.” This can be heard in original lyrics like, “This October I went falling off the edge, all of London must have heard the things I said, put your hand up if I let you down again” (‘The List’, 2020).
Next to her song writing, there is a new project Maisie started this year. ‘Book Club’, an Instagram page where she shares one book an one theme per month. This month’s book: “Sweetdark” by Savannah Brown; this month’s theme: “Identity within poetry”. Followers of Book Club read the book of the month and find or create art that reminds them of the theme. This is then discussed in comments and zoom sessions. Maisie has also done live-streams with the authors of some of the books, interviewing them on their writing and inspiration.
“I love Book Club”, she says, “it’s just fun for me to do stuff that isn’t so related to me”. She elaborates; “It is an amazing thing, having a job and a career that is based on you but it’s a lot of thinking about yourself […] – no one needs to think about themselves that much”.
She clearly enjoys talking about her project. “Book club is a fun way for me to think about other people and get to talk to lots of like-minded, intelligent people about things that I would never have spoken about before”.
In addition to answering questions, Maisie also played two songs for Student Music Network. The first song, a cover of ‘There Will Be No Divorce’ by The Mountain Goats, showcases her ability to make songs her own. Played acoustically on her guitar, the song gains a new dimension through Maisie’s soft voice. She succeeds in letting her emotions flow through the screen, sweeping her listeners up into a different world.
The second song, her latest single ‘Maybe Don’t’, brings new energy to the zoom call. The audience can tell how happy the song makes her, and how connected she feels to it. The connection that Maisie has with her own music is arguably what enables her listeners to relate to her music. This is certainly the reason for her ever-growing worldwide following.