Perhaps the definition of 'making it' in 2019 is being featured on the Love Island soundtrack. That's what it is for Maisie Peters, at least. She got her foot in the door posting YouTube videos – as most pop stars do these days – and after the release of two EPs, she assures us there's plenty more to come in 2020.
Hi Maisie! You just got back from tour, how's life?
It was really fun! It was around North America, and it was very tiring. It was like five of us ocean back a little van like going around these tiny venues, often staying in random hotels, like little tiny dressing rooms, but the crowds are just amazing, and it's so fun to meet people all the way from America who like my music and would like queue up outside, and you can chat to each other, and it's really just wild that anyone was coming at all. So it was like not the most grand of times, but definitely the most fun and like, heartwarming and inspiring.
So have you been writing or in the studio or anything while you've been out there?
I wasn't this time I've been to America to write quite a few times this year. But this was just purely touring because I was genuinely no hours in the day. I did do a little bit of writing just by myself on the back of the bus, squashed in the corner with my guitar stood like a cello just plucking. And then since I've been home I've done some writing already, just got back in the studio and done some new things with new people which is exciting. And then for the rest of the year, I'm planning on writing loads and getting out some more songs out.
You've been writing songs for a long time, what were your first songs like?
Yeah since I was about 12 or 13. Oh, terrible, absolutely terrible. I actually found the lyrics to my first ever song I think, which was written in like 2009 in a notebook and it was called 'Sandcastles', and it was about sandcastles. And then obviously, I moved on to bigger topics, like I remember I had a song about my husband dying in a creek. That was an early one as well. Sometimes I remember bits, sometimes I'll get these random memories of like verses or choruses of these songs that are so old that I wrote literally like six or seven years ago, they just flash into my mind, and I actually shiver.
Have you ever gone back to listen to them?
The thing is, I wrote them, and I have the words on my laptop, but I don't really have any recordings of them. I actually used to send loads to my manager at the time, not all of them, but a good 300 he's got. Maybe one day we'll go back and laugh in irony together.
So you obviously picked being a pop star over going to uni…
Well, you don't choose the pop star life, the pop star life chooses you. And then you choose it desperately back and cling on for dear life.
Ah yes, of course. What would you be doing if you weren't a pop star?
I think I would've gone to university. I liked a lot of studying. Actually, I'm a very academic person, I like the thought of learning things and then being rewarded when you know things. But I probably would've done history or English. A lot of my family are teachers, and I used to really enjoy teaching my friends in school, I think probably because I have an issue with authority, I love the sound of my own voice too much, which is also why I'm a pop star now
Your first EP was released this time last year – what's changed since then?
This time last year I guess I was still in the fresh beginnings of this new life where I wasn't going to school or college, and I was just full time trying to do something in music. Now a year's gone by doing that, and in a way, it feels like nothing has changed, but I guess if you were to like, stark contrast and compare it would look very different. I went on tour, I put out loads of music. I'm a very different person, probably in a personal sense as well. It's been a year of growth, one of finding out what matters to me and what actually makes me happy, which is something I've realised closer to the end of this year.
And your song was on Love Island this year! Did you ever expect that?
I had two songs on Love Island this year, which ruined my life forever because now I can never feel happier than when 'Feels Like This' played when Curtis and Amy became half-boyfriend and half-girlfriend, and 'Favourite Ex' played when they broke up. I felt quite honoured to soundtrack their journey. Without getting too deep, the Amy and Curtis breakup actually felt like a very important episode and message for 2019, and this was a very of-the-time moment in TV and for young people watching it. I was very thrilled and honoured that my song could be a part of it.
Amazing. You've literally just released the 'It's Your Bed Babe, It's Your Funeral' EP, but is there any new music on the horizon?
I'm writing loads, I really wanna put something out January next year, hold me to that. As for this year, I have this one thing. I'm not gonna tell you what it is because it might not happen and I'll save it for another time. So I have this one idea that I really want to do like around Christmas time.
It's a Christmas song??
Well, no, not yet. I just have this plan, and I've talked to my friends about it, so we'll see. I'm not even gonna tell you what it vaguely is.
In the meantime, we'll be waiting for a cover of 'Last Christmas'.
Hilariously, I actually do have a cover of that. I did a jazz cover, oh god an awful jazz cover of 'Last Christmas', from when I used to go busking in Brighton.
So what's inspiring you right now? Hopefully not jazz or Christmas music…
Tour has been inspiring, being back home feels like another chapter now, coming back I'm just sort of realising things, I feel like Kylie Jenner. And I'm really excited to start writing again and making music. I wanna spend the end of the year going back to my roots a little bit, try and make some songs that are a bit closer to what I grew up with, because I spent a lot of this year writing bops, which I love, so I wanna see what happens when I write not-bops. But who knows what I'll come out with.
Taken from the December 2019 / January 2020 issue of Dork.
Featuring Girl in Red, Inhaler, Beabadoobee, Blaenavon and more.