Photo credit to Francesca Strapko.
February is a busy month for singer/songwriter Mae Krell. With two videos and an EP all out this month, there is so much to keep up with in their world! Anabasis is due to release on the 16th, so keep an eye out for that.
You are described as a singer/songwriter based in New York City. Can you tell me a bit about how you found your way to this genre of art?
I started writing music a bit after I learned to play the guitar, so I was naturally drawn to an acoustic sound because at the time, it was comfortable to create that way. I think I’ve stuck to it because I love the natural intimacy that comes with the genre. In my experience, even if there’s a whole band on stage, if the music is acoustic, there’s more focus on the lyrics, and it feels more connected.
If I’m not mistaken, you are involved in so many other creative jobs as well. What all do you do, and how do you decide which craft is your top priority?
Yes! My two main gigs are making music and taking photos. My top priority has and always will be music, though. As much as I love capturing moments and going to shows as a photographer, nothing beats the feeling I get when i’m on stage playing my own music and connecting with people in that way. In terms of having to decide, it was never a question in my mind of whether or not music was more important to me to pursue, but more a question of if I felt I was good enough or capable enough to follow that dream.
New York City is one of the busiest places in the world. Do you find that living amongst the chaos of the city fuels your creative drive, or hinders it?
I think it’s a little bit of both. I love being surrounded by other creatives, being able to go to a local show every night if I decide that I want to, etc. But, there’s this constant feeling of needing to be doing something when you’re in the city- it’s a part of the culture, really. Sometimes, I need a break. Or, I need to take some time for myself, and because of the “city culture”, I feel this inner guilt for that. Other than that small thing, I love New York City. It’s funny, really- because I grew up here, but I’m still just as in love with it as a tourist would be.
Can you tell me about the two singles you currently have out?
Of course! ”Scars” and “Monsters” were both released in 2016. I released “Scars” with Clover Letter, which got it a bit of initial buzz. The crazy stuff came with the “Monsters” release, though. I released the song, and people from social media were listening and it was super cool. Long story short, I didn’t have internet/phone access starting a bit after the release. A couple months later, someone told me they had heard the song on their Discover Weekly playlist that was curated by Spotify. I still have absolutely no idea how a Spotify curator found the track, but after over a year, it’s still gaining momentum thanks to them. Last I checked, it had 215,000 streams, which is absolutely ridiculous.
At the moment, you’re scheduled to release an EP on February 16th. Do you have any big release plans?
Big plans? That sounds so intimidating! I do have some stuff planned, though! We made two acoustic videos of tracks off the EP (Monsters and Skin) for pre-release that are out now, which is super exciting! I’m playing a release show at Greenpoint Gallery on the 16th, a show at a DIY venue in Jersey on the 17th, and there is some stuff planned for March as well!
Is there anything you can tell about the EP pre-release? What can listeners expect, is there a certain theme it follows, etc?
The word “Anabasis”, in its literary definition, means “an ascent from the underworld”. The EP wasn’t necessarily written with the title to be in mind, but it fits it very well. It’s a very personal collection of songs, to say the least. I’m super proud of the tracks, and I’m happy that it’s coming out as my first release, because it’s very honest, and I’d like to be known as an honest artist.
Where do you see yourself and your music career in 5 years?
Hopefully with a ton more music out and touring!
You play local shows, but is touring something you hope to do too in the near future?
Yes! I want to play everywhere and anywhere that will have me! Maybe there will be a little tour soon, we’ll see!