Interview: Australian Folk Singer Calan Mai

CalinMai AudioFuzz

We recently featured Calan Mai’s sunny folk song “We’ve Got The Love.” We weren’t surprised to see how many of you wrote us asking for more from Calan. Rest assured that he has an EP on the way called Days On The Rock Face due July of this year and some music videos to come as well! Calan’s instant success on AudioFuzz is a sure sign that he’s going to go far, so stay tuned.

And now for THE FUZZ…

1. What was your inspiration to become a singer/songwriter besides the artists you mentioned?

CALAN: Disregarding the musical artists who inspired me to write my own songs, I would say my primary inspiration for becoming a singer/songwriter was mainly my love of creative writing. Songwriting is a more concise way of telling a story or expressing an emotion. A song can be cryptic or straightforward – it doesn’t have to follow a three-act structure or ‘obey’ the rules of classic storytelling. In that sense it’s closer to poetry. I think I connected with that idea.

2. In your opinion, what does it take for an artist to make it these days in the music industry?

CALAN: If I ever ‘make it’ I’ll tell you! I think it’s probably the same as it’s always been: talent + connections + luck. And the ability to use Twitter, I suppose.

3. How do you set yourself apart from other artists? In other words, what will make you unique?

CALAN: My approach to songwriting has changed since meeting the boys from Canvas Sounds (Adam and Nathan Lyons) and recording ‘Days on the Rock Face’. But I suppose the one thing that’s remained the same the whole way along is my focus on lyrical content. If there’s something that sets me apart, or makes me unique, I guess it’s the specificity of the lyrics. Take ‘We’ve Got Love’ for instance – no names have been changed in that song. Those are real people, those are true stories – family ‘secrets’ sung to chords. That being said, plenty of other artists out there are honest in their lyricism so maybe I’m just rambling.

4. What can we expect to see from you in the coming months now that you’ve released your first single will we see an EP if not full album soon?

CALAN: Yes! You can expect a few more singles and a few music videos too. And we’re planning to release my EP ‘Days on the Rock Face’ midway through the year.

5. We like to incite people’s senses at AudioFuzz so sometimes we say how songs feel, smell and taste. If you could describe how “We’ve Got The Love” feels, tastes and smells what would you say?

CALAN: Okay, this is a tough one. One time a friend and I likened rock music to a meat pie – it’s a bit messy, a bit hot and you can’t enjoy it without getting a little sloppy and staining your shirt (I think we lost the analogy somewhere along the way). With that in mind, I suppose folk music is a lot gentler. Buttery, I guess. Like comfort food. So I’d say ‘We’ve Got Love’ smells like shortbread, tastes like shortbread and feels kind of crumbly … like shortbread. It’s mild, but homely.That’s the wankiest answer I can give you.

Twitter: @calanmaimusic
Instagram: @calanmaimusic

Let’s hear it again! “We’ve Got The Love” below:

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  1. The best bit is that they haven’t even watched Calan live yet! Imagine going on a guided tour of a shortbread factory, you get to sample all the shortbread, and at the end you get to drink with the chef and buy tshirts from him. It is magical.

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