We are very pleased to bring you an interview with Maks. Maks is a singer-songwriter from New Zealand and has released a stream of solid singles over the past year or so. I got to check out her latest single ‘Europe’ and enjoyed it very much, so hope that you do too! I’d like to thank Molly for taking the time to provide some answers to our questions, and I hope you will also look forward to the release of her debut EP later on this year. Enjoy!

Hey Molly, how’s it going? I’m great, thank you!

First of all, what’s the story behind how you came to write your own music? I was thirteen when I started seriously song writing and keeping my material. Before that I was in bands and we had been encouraged to write originals for competitions, so making the transition to writing by myself was quite natural. I don’t even remember when I wrote my first song, because song writing was already a part of my life.

When I discovered music software my song writing became more complex. I could suddenly record multiple tracks and think about the arrangement instead of just me and a guitar or piano – not that there’s anything wrong with that! So I guess it was a gradual transition – it wasn’t like one day I went, Hey, I should try this… I’d been dabbling for a while.

Your new single ‘Europe’ is dead good. What can you tell us about it? Thank you! It was written after a bit of a rotten year… I got a bad case of strep throat that went on for months and had an allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics, (cue full body rash and hair falling out)! My pet rat was slowly dying of respiratory disease.

My brother broke his knee and needed surgery… And we went straight from one hospital to another, because my dad was diagnosed with cancer.

Then one lunchtime at school an acquaintance started complaining about her recent holiday in Europe, and how the Louvre didn’t live up to her expectations. I guess my reaction to that was this song!

It’s the third single to come from your debut EP. Would you be able to give us some details about this upcoming EP? It’s going to be five songs, and all the writing is done – it’s just some of the recording and post recording stuff to go. I’ve been sitting on some of these of songs for a few years, so finally getting them out there will be super exciting. In terms of genre, Europe is a good indication of where the EP is going but there are a couple of slower tracks on there too. I’m aiming for a release date late this year. Watch this space!

You’ve been a finalist in the Play It Strange competition, and ‘Europe’ was released as part of its album. What can you tell us about Play It Strange? Play It Strange is an organisation in New Zealand that supports school-aged song writers, mainly through their annual Lion Foundation Song writing Competition. If you’re a finalist you get to record your successful entry professionally – which is what I did. Play It Strange has been a really important part of my song writing, because it’s given me the support to get my songs out there. It was an invaluable turning point for my music.

How’s it feel to get the first release out the way? I’m sure releasing the EP will feel great. It doesn’t feel like it’s been a super long time coming … I wrote Europe three years ago and it was released a couple months ago, but I’ve been working on other things in the meantime. I’m excited to release it!

How’s the music scene in New Zealand? Alive and well! I’ve been involved in the high school music scene, where writing and performing is really encouraged. There are multiple competitions that help young songwriters get their music out there (Play It Strange is one of the main ones), which can lead to them pursuing it as a career. There also seems to be a healthy audience for ‘underground’ musicians, which is great.

Finally, if you could close out this interview with one final thought, what would it be? I really appreciate the interview, and I hope people enjoy ‘Europe’!

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