When we wrapped up our interview with 18-year old songwriter Maris for the second time, she specifically said thank you for “caring about the little guys like me.” Funny thing, Maris is anything but that. We’re back to chat with the talented artist whose had quite a 2017 and we could only imagine what’s going to happen in 2018! With her newly released single “BOYS” about her difficult journey that she had to make in order to arrive at peace with her identity, Maris is here to capture everyone’s hearts one-by-one. You may remember seeing her on American Idol promos but now it’s time to know her post-American Idol days. Check out our interview with Maris below.
The Young Folks: Last time we interviewed you, you were getting ready for your performance at Carnegie Hall. We have to ask, how did that go? What was your overall impression and takeaway from that performance?
Maris: The performance at Carnegie was amazing! I was way under qualified to be there, the people I was in the showcase with, through American Protege, had all been to conservatories and camps and all that to perfect their craft. My hometown has 3 big high schools, based on district. Needless to say, I wasn’t stacked in that category. It was such an honor, though, and I’ll always feel badass that I got to play an original in Carnegie Hall at 18.
The Young Folks: And from then on, you’ve been doing more and more incredible work! I remember seeing you on the American Idol promo too! What was that experience like? How did that moment come about for you?
Maris: It was an entirely wild experience. I was invited by the producers to audition, and the initial audition was so fun. Big thank you to Jason Ienner for setting that up and Peter Cohen for being so kind to me throughout the process. That whole team is really full of wonderful people. It would’ve been in incredible opportunity, it did open up doors for me. Brittany is deserving and perfect for the show. Seriously SO talented and beautiful and bubbly. I’m so excited to see where she takes this journey.
The Young Folks: After those two huge performances, how has life changed for you?
Maris: I think it helped me learn a lot about myself, and I made so many wonderful connections and friends. I’m a lot more realistic about my expectations, and it motivated me to prove those judges wrong.
The Young Folks: Congrats on your move to Brooklyn. That’s a far way from Montana. What made you decide to make the big move? How’s it been living in such an amazing city?
Maris: I knew that if I wanted to get better and try to reach my full potential, I needed to get out of my comfort zone. Nobody ever gets better if there’s no foreign element to overcome. It’s been incredible. Incredibly expensive, but incredible in every other aspect as well. I love my friends here and my job is perfect for my situation, but I’m stoked to be living off of music.
The Young Folks: Now, we have to talk about your single “BOYS”! LOVE IT. So empowering. Since this song is based upon your own journey figuring out your identity, when did you know you needed to stop everything and write about your experience?
Maris: I knew that I wanted a song that would lift me up. I would’ve been over the moon to hear something like that on the radio when I was little, that was honest and truly about a journey to self love. Even listening to it now makes me feel light.
The Young Folks: As a songwriter, for someone to listen to this song specifically for the first time and possibly even at a young age where they’re still finding themselves, what would you like them to know? How would you like them to feel?
Maris: I’d like them to know that it’s okay to not love yourself 100% all of the time. Self love and acceptance is about the journey, and sometimes it sucks. I have days where I feel like the scum of the universe, but I think it’s really about the process of picking yourself up and learning about yourself that is what self love is about.
The Young Folks: With this new single, when or what can we expect to hear from you next? We’re already thinking about your next project!
Maris: I have the music video coming out soon, and then the whole EP is scheduled to follow in a few weeks. I’m really stoked about the way the single was received, so I can’t wait to see what happens with the rest of the material. After that, I’m hoping to start producing my second full length album, which I have most of the stuff written for and the concept fleshed out, it just needs to be put into production. I’m hoping to continue with some more collaborations as well.
The Young Folks: With 2018 just starting, what do you hope to accomplish in the new year?
Maris: This year I just want to be learning and growing as much as I can. I want to feel like I’m am exponentially better musician and artist than I was when the year began. Time is a construct, but it does make it easier to set goals and accomplish them if you have a basis to work within. It would be amazing to be living off of music solely by the end of the year, but that could take 20 years, and that’s okay.