Maris – Fly Me To The Moon
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) How would you describe your sound?
A) I think that my sound is always changing and evolving, but at this moment a sound that I really want to go for is encapsulating. I want it to be a new hybrid of jazz and rock, the elite sounds and images of jazz with the growl and vulnerability of rock.
Q) Who are some of your musical influences?
A) I really love Amy Winehouse, Frank Sinatra, the 1975, The Eagles, Harry Styles, One Direction, The Arctic Monkeys, Melody Gardot, Ella Fitzgerald, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Rolling Stones and Allan Rayman. Probably many more that I’m failing to remember at the moment.
Q) How old were you when you knew you had a gift for singing?
A) My mom tells me that I’ve been humming melodies since before I could speak, but I really started to lean on music when I was little. I would listen to the mixtapes my sister would make me and imagine that I was able to make this incredible music and so many people connected to it.
Q) What kind of background do you have in music?
A) My mom used to sing to me when I was little. I went into a talent competition in middle school and then I took voice lessons by my stepdad’s advice. I’ve been performing around my hometown in competitions and showcases since I was about thirteen years old.
Q) You became an internet sensation by singing “Fly Me to the Moon” for your mom. Give us a little more backstory on this.
A) My mom and I were discussing songs that would be cool for me to cover and I suggested “Fly Me to the Moon,” which was probably most famously performed by Frank Sinatra. I do a bunch of different impressions, not very well, but they make her laugh so they’re enough for me. I started to set the karaoke up and she wanted to film it for her Facebook friends, which I was reluctant to allow. I flicked my wrist and winked and tried my best to impersonate a cheesy cocktail singer. After, we laughed about the soy sauce mic and the bowl cut I was rocking. The soy sauce was the general shape and it’s light enough to put my pinky under and support comfortably.
Later that night, she told me to “put it on my tweet” after sending me the video. I decided it couldn’t do any harm. I only had a little more than 800 followers. It’ll be fun to share that with my pals, at least. I uploaded it, then hopped in the shower and fifteen minutes later it had gotten more attention already than anything I had posted before. I’m completely confused, grateful and overwhelmed, but the kindness I’ve been shown has been astronomical.
Q) What other songs does she often request?
A) She often requests me to sing songs I’ve written. “Soft Sigh Lullaby” and “Honey” are probably being the two most requested. I sometimes do my Stitch impression, but she doesn’t like that one as much. My New Yorker impression is totally stereotypical for what a small town kid would assume.
Q) What was Kikkoman’s response to seeing you perform with their product?
A) A lot of people actually thought that the video was an ad for Kikkoman, which is hilarious to me. They seemed to like it. I didn’t get sued so I’m happy.
Q) Have you thought about trying out for “The Voice” or “American Idol” now that you have a strong fanbase?
A) I don’t know about a fanbase, but I’ve made a ton of pals since the video blew up, just so many people being kind. It’s overwhelming, really. I don’t know. I’m kind of taking everything as it comes and if I decide that I’m comfortable with something, I’ll go for it.
Q) What is your song writing process? Do you need music before you can create lyrics?
A) I often start with lyrics or poetry, but I have started with music before. Most of my own stuff that isn’t in collaboration with anyone is me having a melody and lyrics and then sitting down and putting music underneath it. I have time where I wanna create a story, I use my empathy to paint a picture. Other times I am just imploding with emotion that I can’t breathe unless I write it down and verbalize it. It really depends on where I am, who I’m with and how I’m feeling, I guess.
Q) Will there be an EP or full album coming in the near future?
A) YES!! I’m working on an EP right now called LOVELUST, so I’m super stoked. It’s probably going to be coming out in the Fall, all 100% written by me and produced by my pal Ryan Maynes. Super stoked.
Q) Who would you most like to collaborate with on a song in the future?
A) Oh gosh that is a tall question. I think Elton John would be incredible to collaborate with since he’s such a legend. I also really think that a song with Melanie Martinez would be so cool. She’s incredible with concepts and visual art.
Q) What album/band are you currently listening to and why do you dig them?
A) My favorite album at the moment is probably Harry Styles by Harry Styles, as cliché and predictable as that may be. I think it’s one of the most recent albums that has such a rich and deeply rooted rock sound. I also think that Melodrama by Lorde is an absolutely outstanding album, lyrically and sonically it’s wonderful. She’s a legend.
Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way for you to connect with your fans?
A) I think that it’s amazing how fast and efficient communication is nowadays. Sometimes it’s intimidating because what’s out there is out there forever, but at the same time I find it terribly boring to take anything too seriously. If I can make somebody smile or feel less lonely just by tweeting a joke, that’s amazing to me.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) It really means the world to me that anybody would be so generous and kind to me. I have been astounded with the kindness from so many people that I have seen. I can’t express my gratitude, but I sure as hell can try my best. Thank you so much! I hope I can continue to do y’all proud.