A few years ago Maisy Kay and the rest of her family packed their things and headed to Los Angeles. While the Sony offer was eventually turned down, it got them in a place where Maisy Kay could really start laying down the groundwork for her career. In the end, she notes she was “quite thankful for the experience.”
Which is a great attitude to have about the whole thing. A city like LA can turn one bitter, but for Maisy Kay, it’s seemed to make her better. Over the past five years or so she’s “pieced together” her debut, Disguises saying, “It’s a true conglomeration of me working through who I am as an artist.” Now she’s talking about the album, which drops December 1st, and more like her venture into cosplay and hanging with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Kendra: The title track, “Disguises,” gave me this Disney princess’ song vibe in that it was both delicate and bold all at the same time. Growing up, were the vocal stylings of said princesses ever any you looked to when you were younger?
Maisy: I used to sing “Reflection” from the film, Mulan, to my dogs when I was growing up, I love that song. That singer, who also sang Jasmine’s part in Aladdin, was a big influence on me as well. Naturally, as most girls do, I also grew up singing “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, whilst pretending to be Ariel in our pool. My mom always played Sebastian the crab, she’s got the accent down perfectly. Disney was a huge part of my life growing up, and I love it all still.
Kendra: I noticed you definitely liked their style. You dressed as Belle recently, along with some other characters. How heavy are you in the cosplay realm?
Maisy: I am making a concerted effort to get more into cosplay, as I really enjoy it. Originally, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do both cosplay and music and have it make sense for me, however, the cosplay community is so welcoming and offers such a unique opportunity to express oneself in this interesting, physical way.
Kendra: What’s harder, making a great cosplay ensemble or writing a song?
Maisy: I actually think that cosplay is more difficult. When you’re writing a song, it’s really from your point of view and you can mold and shape it as you see fit. When creating a cosplay ensemble, for one, it’s hard to match expectations when you’re trying to bring an animation or video game character into existence. Additionally, dressing up as someone else always carries certain detail work with it, and that can be quite difficult to do properly.
Kendra: You’re great at both, but we’ll get back to the music. Your track “Heart of the Ocean” is in the documentary Wonders of the Sea. Congrats on that! How did that pairing come to be?
Maisy: Thank you so much, I love this song, and was very excited for the opportunity. I met the creators of the documentary through my label and was asked to write a song for the end credits after they had heard some of my other music. I was pretty much at a loss until I saw the doc itself; I was so inspired by what I saw on the screen, I ran home and wrote the song in 20 minutes.
Kendra: Has being involved with the documentary made you more environmentally conscious?
Maisy: Well, to start with, I don’t eat seafood, so I felt pretty good going into this particular collaboration. But yes, of course, it’s impossible to see this documentary and not leave more informed and more passionate about saving our oceans.
Kendra: Also…what was it like at the premiere with Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Maisy: Unfortunately, I had food poisoning during that trip from the airplane food, so when I landed in San Sebastian, one of the food capitals of the world, I was not too pleased. Most of the time I spent with Arnold, was me just trying to hold back being sick. The bottom line is that he is a lovely man, quite gracious and charming, and how he handled the entire event, especially the press conference was extremely impressive and supremely professional.
Kendra: With the album about to drop, what’s next for you? Any 2018 plans already laid out?
Maisy: I’m about to leave for Japan to release the EP there. I’m really excited about the trip, I’ve recorded a duet especially for Japan with a wonderful Japanese artist, and I cannot wait to get there. Aside from that, I am currently in the middle of a very large, insanely exciting project that I can’t announce yet. But keep an eye out as I’ll be announcing it soon.
Kendra: First, if you had to pick a favorite character to cosplay as (either one you’ve done or want to do soon) which would it be? Next, if you had to make a mixtape you feel that character would love, what five songs would have to be on it?
Maisy: My favorite character to cosplay would be Widowmaker from Overwatch. I’m looking forward to putting that ensemble together. Here’s my playlist:
I have a song called “Bad Guy” on my first full-length album I’m working on (and pretty much the whole album) reminds me a lot of Widowmaker
“I Put a Spell On You” – Nina Simone (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins)
“Swan Lake” – Tchaikovsky
“You Don’t Own Me” – Lesley Gore
Joseph Haydn’s “Sonata Adagio e Cantabile”