Interview by: Lauren Sanchez | Photo by: Sonny McCartney | October 29, 2022
Maisie Peters, the English singer-songwriter behind the album “You Signed Up For This”, sat down with HAZZE MEDIA journalist Lauren Sanchez to talk about the release of her new song “Not Another Rockstar” and the gear up towards her sold-out North American tour this November. After coming back from a 54-date European stadium tour support Ed Sheeran’s “+ - = ÷ x” tour and the release of new singles such as “Blonde”, “Good Enough” and “Cate’s Brother”, Maisie ushers herself into a new era of sound and songwriting.
L: Oh my God, how are you?
Maisie: I'm good. How are you?
L: I'm doing well. Oh my God, it's so cool to talk to you today. I'm such a huge fan. So like, this is so crazy! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I know you're incredibly busy, so this means a lot.
Maisie: That's all good. I'm really happy to be here and to be chatting.
L: Cool! Okay so I have a couple of questions, so let's just get into it. I know you recently released your new single, "Not Another Rockstar". Congratulations on the release and I'm absolutely obsessed with it! I think it's so freaking cool. What was your inspiration for writing it? What was the creative process like?
Maisie: It was so fun. I mean, it's a whirlwind of a story, so I wrote it with two of my best friends, a guy called Joe Rubel who made all my first album with, and then my best friend who's called Ines and we are like actually best friends. We go on holiday together. She basically lives in my house. She's an amazing songwriter. And so we were in the studio and I think it was the end of a chaotic summer. I think it was late September/ October. And we were just like playing around with an idea and I sort of sang the lyric, " Not another rockstar," and I looked at the guys and I was like, "Is that a bit on the nerve there?" and they're like, " No, I think it's cool." So we sort of wrote that chorus essentially just about being like not another one, not another. Like when you think they're different and then you were like, "No, no, no, they're the same." And then we wrote the chorus and then long story short, suddenly Ines had to go to the hospital, cause we thought she had appendicitis, so then she left. Then the next day, turned out she didn't have appendicitis when she came back and finished the whole song. But yeah, it was like so much fun to write and the song is really just about my terrible taste in men.
L: Relatable! You know, I get you! I know that you love to read books and especially because you have your book club, do you have any book recommendations for lovers of this song in particular?
Maisie: What a good question. Oh, okay. This is a really potentially BookTok answer because I think a lot of people that love books have read this book. But the Patti Smith book, "Just Kids"-- "Just Kids" is one of them. And then "M Train" is another one. And that's about her and Robert Mapplethorpe in like the Chelsea Hotel and in New York in like the sixties, late sixties, seventies. And if you're a girl who loves a rockstar, you'll love those books.
L: No, for sure. I've totally seen that book and I definitely get the references, and how they relate. Talking about your songwriting talents, is there a specific lyric or lyrics that you have written that have been your absolute favorite to write?
Maisie: I mean, so many. I write a lot of songs. I mean new ones all the time and new ones come. "You Signed Up For This", "scared of everything, but I'm making it punk," I think that's lived a long life. Um, " Love Him I Don't" is one of my favorite songs I've done and I love the main hook of that which is, "Love him I don't, Love him I won't, Love him I did for a minute, but I'm finished," and I love what that stands for and it feels always relevant, so I love that too.
L: So I know that you've recently put three other singles in the past few months. You put out "Blonde", "Good Enough", and "Cate's Brother", and all are very different from each other. I know that you said one time that "Blonde" and "Good Enough" are like sister songs and in general, I'm not lying when I say that these songs are literally for the hopeless romantic girlies. You are our voice entirely when it comes to speaking about how we feel and everything. Has it been fun to play with and write about the multifacetedness of love and heartbreak when it comes to writing songs about love? Do you find yourself drawn to one end of the love spectrum more?
Maisie: Definitely. I've always loved exploring things in their fullness and getting to write about every part of love and of life. It's always been something I love doing and I make all the songs, so that's useful. I guess I've found myself drawn to the sadder end of that probably. I'm always so annoyed that when I am in love, I don't write nearly enough songs about it. I feel like I write way more when I'm like sad or, but not even sad. Just like when I'm not so much in the moment. I find it really hard to write when I'm like really in a moment. I think I write better when I'm like outside of the moment-- when I'm able to sort of draw a lot from it. When I'm in it, I don't make a lot of music, so unfortunately that's why there's not a lot of Maisie Peters love songs.
L: Out of all the four songs that you just released, do you have a specific favorite that was more fun to write or a song you are most excited to perform in your upcoming tour?
Maisie: I love them all for different reasons. I kind of love "Cate's Brother" because it was the start of a whole new era for me. I wrote it on my first sort of proper trip to Sweden and that's become like a really important place for me and really important people for me live there. It just was the beginning of like a lot of this year and it feels like it was like the sort of the rocket that we start off on. So I'll always love "Cate's Brother", but I love all of them. I mean "Rockstar", we're preparing "Rockstar" for the tour right now, and I think it's gonna be pretty cool.
L: I know you've been super busy with like releasing new music and going on all these tours, and it's absolutely insane where your career is at. But has there ever been a moment so far in your career that has reaffirmed music is the right place for you and that this is something you want to do for the rest of your life?
Maisie: That's a big question. I would say I feel that a lot when I'm in the studio. I mean, that's where I am right now, and I feel like when I'm making new music, it's always when I sort of feel like, "Oh yeah, this is what I'm meant to be doing. Like this is what I'm good at, and this is what I work hard at and this is what I love," like I love music. I love other people's music and I love my music, and I love the making of it and I love listening to it and watching it and creating it and judging it. I just, everything about it, I love it and it's so much part of my life. So I feel like maybe that's the answer I found.
L: That's a totally valid answer. I know that you just got off the European tour for Ed Sheeran and then you're going on for the North American tour in early spring. What's it like to have Ed Sheeran be your mentor and friend? What was it like opening up for him for his recent tour and how excited are you to go on tour with him again?
Maisie: It's amazing. I love him, obviously. He's like sort of a brother to me and such a close friend, and I've learned so much from things he's told me, but also more from just watching him and watching the way he conducts himself and the way he plays and the way he rehearses and the way he works. He works the hardest out of everyone I know. The tour was like the dream come true. You're just with your best friends all the time, making music and playing for like thousands of people. And I love all of the crew and all of our crew, all of his crew, and it just became like one massive family. So I'm so excited to go back next year and be with everyone again and in America as well. It's gonna be crazy. It's gonna be so much fun.
L: Oh my God, that's so sweet. I'm so excited for you. I know that we talked about it briefly, but I know that you created your own book club on Instagram and it's literally been doing so incredibly well, and I know that each month you have a book that you're going to read. What's been your favorite book you've read so far in 2022 and why?
Maisie: Oh, that's such a hard question. Okay, I can answer this though-- I'm gonna say two. There's a book, I think it's by someone called Maggie Nelson, but I'm worried it's not, but it's called "Bluets". It's really hard to explain. I just suggest you read it. But, I love "Bluets" by Maggie Nelson. Like it really impacted me and I feel like I came away from it very differently. I also really love, I think it's by Jonathan Franzen and it's called "The Corrections". I read that at the beginning of the year or maybe the end of last year and I loved that too. I loved Johnathan Franzen and I love everything he writes.
L: So, I've been like watching your YouTube channel and you made like tour diary videos that documented what life was like on the road and what it was like to perform at the most insane stadiums around the world. I saw that you performed at Wembley Stadium five times at 22 years old, which is like freaking insane. What was it like to perform at Wembley?
Maisie: Yeah, it was really crazy. It was definitely something like a whirlwind at the time and it's still something that's kind of hard to absorb. But I got to do it with my best friends and my band, and with Ed and with my parents and my friends, everybody came and so I think I'm so lucky. It was like the most insane experience. It sort of feels like something that didn't happen, even in my memories of it is sort of cloudy. It feels like this dream.
L: I couldn't even imagine. Oh my God. That's so insane. Not a lot of artists can say that they performed at Wembley five times. So that's just like, a huge career milestone for you. Going back to the tour documentaries, what's been the best part about documenting these tour diaries? Not a lot of artists do that, and I think it's really cool that we get to see an inside look into what you are like on tour with your friends and everything.
Maisie: It's so fun. I love the tour diaries! It was my best friend, Dominique did those before she moved to New York and now she goes to Julliard. We had the best time making those, and we watched them back. Like when we were on tour in Europe, we all watched the American ones back and we all just were just absolutely dead at how much it made us all so nostalgic and they're like the craziest thing to watch back. I'm so lucky. It's like watching a film of your life. It's so cool.
L: No, and it's so cute because they're all kind of like filmed very nostalgically with film. It's very personal, it's not as editorial with the big cameras and everything. I think it's really intimate and I thought it was really great. Do you plan on continuing those during your upcoming shows across America and the UK?
Maisie: I would love to. I don't know for these American shows because we're not bringing anybody to do that. It might be hard to sort of make continuous tour diaries, but maybe I'll start cooking something up, who knows? I would love to and I'm always big on documenting and trying to make sure everything is there for the world to see.
L: Yay, I can't wait! I know that you're gearing up to perform your sold-out headlining tour in North America and the UK, plus you're going back with Ed in the spring of 2023. What's been your absolute favorite thing about performing? What have you learned as an artist through performing?
Maisie: I guess I love connecting with people. That's a really boring answer, but I love getting to bring the music that I make so alone to so many people, and seeing how other people have brought it into their lives as well is really cool because you don't really think about that when you make it but it's amazing to see how important it is to other people.
L: What's been the best piece of advice you've ever received for your music career?
Maisie: People always ask me this and I can never think of anything, which is funny because I've received a lot.
L: Or maybe just something that sticks with you. It doesn't necessarily have to be the best thing, but it's just something you kind of remind yourself why you're here and why you're doing this.
Maisie: No one's necessarily said it to me, but I feel like maybe me and Ed have spoken about this. There's definitely something to be said for just taking the highs with the lows and making it into a middle. Like, you're gonna reach such highs and have times of your life and feel absolutely unstoppable and like you're the shit. But, you are also gonna have times where you don't feel like that, and you feel like you're behind your peers and you feel you've lost it or you are out of your moment and it's over. I think it's important to just remember that neither of those are true and that it's just important to find a middle between them and walk that path. I think it's important to remember that it's just music. It's not life or death. No one's dying.
L: You know, just taking inspiration and advice from everything and putting it in your artistry, who have been your biggest inspirations in music? I know like you're a hardcore Swiftie, but are there any others that you find inspiration drawn from today?
Maisie: Yeah, definitely. I mean, so many people. I don't know if people know this about me but I'm a huge Sara Bareilles fan, I always have been. Her albums are so important to me and I listen to them all the time, and I think she's just like a hero and exactly has the career that I would like to have one day.
L: I think she's really underrated. She's a really good songwriter and everything and I think she definitely needs to be more appreciated, more! My last question, I gotta know, will your fans get any new music before the year ends? And what can we expect from your second album if you're in the process of making it?
Maisie: They will. There is one more thing you're gonna get this year, but it's not what you're expecting. In terms of the second album, Yes! I'm making it, I'm finishing it. I'm very much on that right now, which is really exciting and I'm having the best time. I can't wait for you to hear it, but I think you won't hear that until the beginning of next year.
L: Will the four singles that you just released, plan to be on the new album?
Maisie: I think they'll end up not being on the album because I just have a lot of music and I wanna put the most new music out as possible. And I love those songs and I think they're definitely part of the journey. And if you wanna see the MP1 to MP2 pipeline, you should look at those songs. But I don't think they'll make the album just because I want to have more new stuff.
L: Oh my God, I'm so, so excited. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today!