interview: MAYCE shares soulful ballad ‘The Man That I Met’

"When something ends in hurt, it usually leaves a bad taste in our mouths, causing us to forget that those moments highlighted the worst versions of ourselves."
25 October 2023

In the heart of Los Angeles, independent artist MAYCE (previously known as Macy Kate), steps into a new era of empowerment, self-realization, and womanhood with the release of her latest single, The Man That I Met. This soulful ballad marks a significant shift in MAYCE‘s music, as she forges her path independently following her departure from the record label EMPIRE and her long-term management.

A seasoned artist known for her powerful vocals, remarkable songwriting, and captivating live performances, MAYCE is set to unveil a series of chapters from her life through a full body of work. The Man That I Met serves as the opening note to this sonic realm, offering listeners a glimpse into the complexities of love, loss, and personal growth.

The song, rooted in a period where MAYCE transitioned from the bustling life of Los Angeles to a simpler existence in Utah, captures a dreamy nostalgia. It weaves together alternative and western influences with a pop edge, showcasing an evolved and empowered female artist that fans haven’t encountered before.

With lyrics that read like a heartfelt love letter, MAYCE reflects on a past relationship that ended in pain but refuses to let the bitterness overshadow the good moments. Her songwriting prowess, often compared to icons like Dolly Parton, delivers a silky resonation reminiscent of a musical fusion between Christina Aguilera and Alanis Morissette.

The Man That I Met stands as a testament to MAYCE‘s resilience, maturity, and knack in discovering beauty amidst heartbreak. This debut release not only showcases her ability to navigate through challenging emotions but also lays the foundation for a compelling musical narrative that is bound to strike a chord with audiences.

We had the pleasure of engaging in a conversation with MAYCE, delving into the insights and inspiration behind her latest track. Our discussion touched upon her new music, her perspective as an empowered female artist, and her observations on the music industry.

“This actually is the first song where I really combine the pain and the beautiful part about a relationship.”

The Man That I Met is your first single since your rebrand launch. How does it feel to release music independently after parting ways with your record label and long-term management?

It feels amazing! It definitely feels great, very freeing, but at the same time it definitely was a scary move for me. I was very nervous about it, I was having doubts until I got around people that really believed in me and supported me and kind of just reassured me that I could do this. You know, being independent is a struggle, it is not for the weak. It definitely is a life-changing experience that really teaches you a lot about yourself and about the business, and you pay attention to more things. You don’t have that protection anymore, so it really puts you in a position where you constantly are just looking out for yourself, and it’s a really growing experience. It really has helped me grow in a lot of different ways and helps me become more knowledgeable about the industry and about everything going on, you know, even on the inside of things you grow as an artist and as an individual and as an entrepreneur.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your debut track, The Man That I Met, and how it reflects the evolution of your sound as an empowered female artist?

The inspiration behind “The Man That I Met” was about a time I lived in Utah. It was a very simplistic life, something that I hadn’t experienced a lot of living in Los Angeles for so long. I had moved to Utah during Covid, gotten into a relationship, fell in love, and was just experiencing life through a different lens- being able to be present and just seeing different cultures and the way people live. It was a time of my life that I will never forget, and I definitely will never regret that, but the whole song itself was inspired by a relationship that I was in in Utah and how I didn’t let the toxicity of how it ended affect the way I looked at that person, and how I look at that person now. We had a lot of good times and as I have grown as a person, I’ve realized that real growth and maturity comes from when you can see the good in people even though they have done you wrong. And that is what this song is about! I get sort of annoyed and frustrated in the song because it ended and it could have been different, but it also represents growth and maturity at the same token. I’m very proud of it and I cannot wait for the world to hear it. 

The song seems to have a nostalgic and dreamy quality. Could you share more about the time in your life that inspired the lyrics and the musical influences that shaped this particular track?

I really had no particular sound or lyrical way that I was going for. I honestly was just writing from my heart, and once I wrote the song, I pictured and heard a certain sound with it. I wanted it to be rock and have some western influence and also have that alternative vibe, while still maintaining that pop sound, you know. It definitely has a nostalgic vibe to it because of the lyrics and how I wrote the song, and how it is so specific down to the dive bars and the kind of music that we listened to, but all in all I just love love love every genre of music. I am someone who can listen to anything, so I wanted to dive into that alternative western route. It’s something that I am still interested in doing for my future music, so it’s very exciting and I can’t wait to get more into the genres.

The lyrics of the song touch upon a significant moment in your life when you moved from Los Angeles to Utah. How did this relocation impact your music, and how do the alternative, western, and pop influences come together in the song?

Oh man! Where I was living really impacted this song, because at the time I was introduced to genres of music that I hadn’t really paid much attention to before- which were country and folk and western. Honestly I can’t really describe the feeling when I hear those genres because it just feels like home to me. I have such a love for the mountains and for Utah (I’m such a mountain girl) and I love just being isolated and away from life, and that really impacted the way I wrote this song because it was kind of going down memory lane. When I wrote this song, I was envisioning myself on the same street that we used to run up and down. I envisioned the bar that we went into all the time, and that definitely influenced and impacted my music from that point forward- and from here on out it will forever be a part of me and forever impact the music I release. I’m actually really happy about it because it brought in a new chapter of my artistry, and what I think is so beautiful is when you can take a sad or bad situation and completely turn it into something beautiful. That is what happened, it’s not even that the situation was bad, it just didn’t work out. It just wasn’t the right time or the right moment, but it didn’t make it any less beautiful, and that is what I love about art and making art as an artist and writing songs. You really can turn something that didn’t work into something that does work, and that is music.

You mentioned that the song is a time capsule of the good things about a certain person despite a painful ending. How do you approach songwriting to convey both the pain and the positive aspects of a past relationship?

This actually is the first song where I really combine the pain and the beautiful part about a relationship. Usually my songs are either all sad or they’re, you know, bad b**** energy, or they’re happy. This is a mixture of both, which I think is so interesting; it’s very romantic and it’s very nostalgic. I don’t even think I can answer that question with a straight up answer! I think it really depends on what mood you’re in, the moment and things in life that you’re going through, where you’re at in the relationship, if you have fully healed or not. If I were to write this song any earlier, I probably would have had a very different song come out of it just based on those emotions and the time that I was feeling them. This song came about at such a perfect time because I was healed and able to look at the situation in a healed light and in a healed vision, and I was able to see the relationship clearly- what we did wrong and what we did right, and who we were. It’s a beautiful place to be in because I don’t like having ill feelings toward anyone, so to write a song about someone who you did have ill feelings for but don’t anymore,  it’s such a beautiful thing. That  is how I combine the pain and positive aspects of a relationship in a song.

What changes would you like to see happen in the music industry?

Definitely a rise in women in the industry. I think we have made strides- I think that women have really stepped up within the music industry in general, I think there are a lot more female executives and artists. We have made huge strides, but what I don’t like is that not all women are supporting each other. I think that’s something I would love to see change, kind of cutting the BS and just supporting each other, being able to work with other women. I think we are such strong individuals, and if we support each other, everything would be better. If we came together as a united front, it would just be amazing overall you know, I think a lot of things would change. I think people would be making a lot more money (laughs), I think we all would have such a better place to come to if all women supported each other- so I think obviously more women in the industry but also supporting women in the industry would be what I would love to see change. 

Which artists are you listening to right now?

I am listening to so many artists! I love Tyler Childers, he is so amazing. Listening to a lot of western, Billy Strings is so awesome. Post Malone, of course. I’ve gone a little bit back and started listening to Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience album, that is just a genius piece of art. SZA, always love SZA, her songwriting just makes me happy. It’s so detailed, I just love it! Of course I love listening to the oldies- I love listening to Frank Sinatra, I love listening to Dean Martin, Dolly Parton. I’m all over the place but I would say right now the artists I’m really really listening to are Tyler Childers, Morgan Wallen, Post Malone, and JT. (Laughs) Very very odd, and also an artist that I just found, Laci Kaye Booth, she is just amazing at songwriting. Obsessed with her.

How would you describe your personal fashion style?

I would describe it as “elevated chill” if that makes sense. I love baggy clothes, I love pairing baggy pants with a tight top or a baggy shirt with baggy pants. Throw on a heel to make it a little bit more elevated. I am very laid back but I do love fashion, so very street style fashion. When I do go to an event or need to put a little bit more effort into the fit, I always love getting glammed, so I go both ways (laughs).

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

The best advice that I have been given is to mind your business (laughs). I think minding your business can just take you so far. Putting your blinders on, getting your own s*** done, and focusing and surrounding yourself with people that are better than you is another piece of advice that I love because it helps you grow. You shouldn’t be intimidated by people that are better than you- if you’re put in a room with people that are more elevated than you, or are further in their career than you, it should inspire you. That is something that I love, I love that advice, I give it to anyone. If you’re around people that are better than you, you will get better and you will become more successful if you are around people that are successful.

What do you hope your fans take away from your music?

I hope that my community- I would say instead of fans because we are a community- I love talking to them and treating them like family and friends, I really want them to take away the fact that you’re not alone in experiences. I’ve been so back and forth with my songs and their meanings and messages that I just feel like I’m alone sometimes. Like with this song, “The Man That I Met”, it’s such a back and forth because it’s like, “Oh, I wish it was easier ‘cause I would be with you.” I feel like I’ve heard my friends say “You can’t be with him”, “You shouldn’t be with him”, “Go tell him to cry you a river”, but in my heart I have this soft spot for him and it’s like no one understands that because of how it ended. I just want my community to feel like they’re not alone if they feel a sort of way that no one understands. Just know that I do, and I know how it feels to feel like no one understands, and I want my followers to know that they’re not alone in anything.


Photos by Tevin Baker