Interview: Maybe April ‘Don’t Want to Have to Fit Into Anyone Else’s Mold’
Maybe April have been making a name for themselves in Music City since moving there in 2013, but with recent opening gigs for artists such as Brandi Carlile and Sarah Jarosz, not to mention a new single and an upcoming EP, the trio is primed for a breakout.
Katy Bishop, Kristen Castro and Alaina Stacey recently released their first single, "Blush," inspired partially by their love of a boutique in Nashville with the same name.
"Originally the idea was, we'll write this song called "Blush," we'll send it to them, and they'll be like, 'We like this song! Let me give you some clothes,'" Stacey told The Boot with a laugh at the 2016 Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival. "Still hasn't happened yet, but we're working on it."
Though "Blush" was inspired by a clothing store, its lyrics focus on the beginning of a crush: "Lovesick and burning / From so little, I feel so much / You make me blush." The upbeat track shows the band's fun side, but it's also more produced than some of the other songs they'll be releasing.
"That was a struggle that we had, deciding on a single, deciding which one we should put out first -- our 'a bit more country' one that's more produced or our 'a bit more stripped-down, Americana' one," Maybe April admit. "In the end, it was just like, 'This one's a fun song; let's put that out there, get it out, and then the next one we release will maybe be a bit more Americana.'"
Adds Castro, "We do have other songs that are depressing or just really chill, which is definitely a side of us that we really love, but I like this song because a lot of the songs we do have are really sad, and this one is cute and fun and it kind of shows love lasting."
Bishop, Castro and Stacey first met at Grammy Camp in 2012. Despite having different backgrounds and musical styles, they came together and bonded because of their shared songwriting talents.
"I remember us being in a circle in the songwriting room, and we just played a snippet of a song, and I loved both of their stuff, and I was like 'Ah, this is so cool. They are really good writers,'" Castro recalls of hearing Bishop and Stacey's work for the first time. "I remember that was kind of my first draw to both of them ... I instantly loved their styles and their songs and voices and what they were writing about."
After writing a song together at Grammy Camp, all three of the artists went their separate ways, hoping to stay in touch via Skype and social media but not making any plans to work together in the future. They ended up writing a second song together throughout the following year, but things really came together when Stacey graduated high school and decided to move to Nashville.
"I emailed Katy to ask her if she maybe wanted to be roommates -- I knew she already lived in Murfreesboro, and I thought maybe we could split halfway or something -- and I included Kristen in the email because that's just how we communicated, as three people," Stacey remembers. "And Kristen was just like, 'Wait, well, if you're moving and Katy's going to be there, maybe I should just do that too.' It all happened really fast."
The three decided to live together, and for the most part, they say that it worked out well -- but they're now all in their own places, which has ended up being better for Maybe April in the long run.
"One drawback of being a band living together was that we thought the flexibility would be awesome for us, but it actually made it harder to get together," Stacey admits. "Because it was our home and because we all lived there, it made it less official, so it was maybe a little harder to get together and be serious."
In addition to opening for Jarosz and Carlile, Maybe April been performing with the Song Suffragettes as part of a standing showcase at Nashville's Listening Room. The group's goal is to help bring up-and-coming female singers and songwriters to the forefront of the music industry in Nashville.
"It's really cool that they've banded together, up-and-coming girls," Bishop says. "It's supportive, and they've helped us out a lot, and they promote us a lot. It's been really fun, and we've gotten friends out of it too."
Adds Stacey, "These girls, technically, are our competition, but they don't feel that way at all. It's totally a supportive group of girls who are all just so happy for each other when we get these opportunities. It's a super-awesome way to build a community of women; it's good to have that."
"Country music played in an Americana style" is how Maybe April describe their music; they say that they walk a fine line between the two sometimes-similar styles.
"Americana music is all about the song. It's about a good song, it's about the music, it's about the sound," they explain. "That's what we're trying to convey with our music, is that we don't really care if it's country or Americana, we just want to be able to play the music that we create, and we don't want to have to fit into anyone else's mold."
Although the trio does not yet have a release date for their upcoming EP, fans can stay up to date with Maybe April's music and tour dates on MaybeApril.com.
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