Artist Of The Week #0081 - Maydar


This week’s Artist of the Week is Swedish pop artist Maydar, who has just released her R&B and pop fueled EP ‘Fool Me Twice’. She took a moment to talk to us about the release. 

What are your favourite parts of Stockholm? 
I love Hökarängen, the area I live in. It’s located like 20 minutes with the train from the city central. I love it because it’s just soooo chill and people here just do their own thing; wether it’s putting up a pop-up-flee-market on the side of the road or just decorating the facade of the local food store with their art. There are cute little cafés and shops and allot of nature. Anything you might need. 

What is the music scene like there?
The music scene in Stockholm is super cool when it comes to the creation of music. We have so many talented artists, songwriters and producers that make amazing stuff and there are allot of studios around the city. But the sad part is that the live scene in Stockholm has been drastically reduced over the past few years due to many venues being shut down by the city. Like, the gentrification-train definitely left the station, it’s like the government wanna transform into something new, and it’s not really beneficial for the culture. So yeah, it’s an amazing scene in one way, but in another way it’s kind of hard as a smaller artist to get out on the live scene. But on the other hand there are allot of raves and open airs being put on by enthusiastic souls, so that’s pretty cool :) 

Your EP is out this month (24th May), what have been the main inspiration behind the songs? 
Ouff… this EP is like a final product of some really rough times for me, and creating it has made me realise many things about myself and my behaviour. Last year was filled with huge bumps in the road for me, personally. I had to end both family and love relationships, and listening back to these songs now is like a trip back to a very dark time.
Now, I can see how all those things needed to happen so that I could realise, like actually realise, that I cant just push forward all the time. Sometimes you just have to paus everything, look inside and reflect on stuff that has happened during the past. I know it’s the cliché of the year… but I just suddenly saw myself repeating a history and falling in to the same structures and norms that I’ve seen and hated all my life. I don’t wanna be that person. I wanna grow, I wanna evolve.  
Now in retrospect I get marveled by how easy it was for me to fall into a trap that I sadly enough think many find themselves in at some point in their life. I’ve been unconsciously forgetting and ignoring my own self worth and health, I’ve ignored the fact that some people aren’t worth the struggle, even though I love them. I mean: why this huge urge to please all the time? I’m still trying to understand that, but creating this EP has been like a form of therapy. 

Where was it recorded? Any behind the scenes stories?
It’s mainly recorded in my own studio here in Stockholm and in a small town called Örnsköldsvik, like 5 hours north of Stockholm. That’s where I went to my first year of my education, and it was such a blessing to be up there in the beautiful northern landscape, filled with mountains, trees and meters of snow (I’m not kidding, the snow piles were like twice my height). I think I needed the space to write and focus, and I definitely got that from living up there for a year. 

You are just about to graduate, how does it feel to be going into the music industry at a young age? 
OMG I love the fact that you say that I’m young! Cuz I feel like I’m not that young at all in a way. I’ve been making music and touring with different artists since like 7 years back, so now that I’m 25 I kind of feel like I have to steady legs to stand on, even though I’m just graduating from this education now. I feel like I learn stuff every day in this crazy business, and I’m looking forward to growing older & getting wiser. 

Do you feel the way pop music is represented has changed? Especially when it comes to female artists?
Definitely. I feel like the pop-scene is so… COOL right now. There are many stories being told that haven’t really been told to a “mainstream”-audience before, not only when it comes to female perspective, diverse perspectives over all has gotten more light on them. I think it’s because creators have allot more control over their image, and has a more direct contact with their fans through social media. 

There is a mixture of r’n’b and pop when it comes to your music, who are your biggest influences when it comes to creating your own musical style? 
My biggest inspirations when it comes to artists are Erykah Badu and Lykke Li. I love their music and how they look at their creativity as something valuable and important. But I think my own musical style has developed because of my broad music taste, I love old, classic blues & soul like Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Robert Johnson, and at the same time I’m a big fan of hip hop & afrobeats.

Now the EP is out, what are your plans for the next few months?
I’ll be playing some live shows with the new, both around Sweden and in the UK! I’ll also be working on finalising my next EP, it’s sort of finished now but I have to go over the details, which takes… time, to say the least. I have a huge tendency to move on really quick and put all my focus on whats ahead, but I’m gonna try and enjoy the fact that this little baby is out and that I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.