• Audrey Trombello

Exclusive Interview with Maeko on His Music Transition and His Newest Album

Imagine, it’s Saturday. You hop in your car, drive down the coast, and head to your favorite beach. You can’t decide what song to play. As you scroll through Spotify, you come across a playlist for up and coming music artists. Maeko’s song Cool from his newest album Cool is first in the playlist, so you press play. Instantly, you are entered into a state of euphoria and you know you picked the perfect song to drive along to.


That is the vibe of Maeko’s song Cool that he released back in June. Maeko’s album Cool has something for everyone, ranging from songs that give off immaculate and upbeat beach/summer vibes, while others are more laid back. At this point, you may be asking who Maeko is. In short, he is an independent Boston-based artist who puts a piece of his story into each song he writes. As a talented musician and a lyrical genius, he has created different projects that don’t have a genre, but give way to the creative and diverse musical styles he is able to produce. The unique beats and lyrics within each of his songs adds depth to his music and rising success. On Spotify, Maeko currently has 22,436 monthly listeners, and as his name continues to reach more people, that number is increasing.


Not only does he write his own music, but he creates his own music videos and short films. Specifically for Cool, he has used his imaginative and innovative side to create an exclusive two part short film introducing his inner child and showing the world an exaggerated version of himself. Each video he makes expresses different layers of his character.


With that in mind, I had the pleasure of virtually interviewing Maeko. We discussed his music background, his new album Cool, what his future projects will be focused around, and more. Keep scrolling to read what he had to say!


Here is Our Interview:


Audrey Tumbarello [AT]:


Good Morning. Thank you for hopping on. I am so excited to get started. Tell me a little bit about your music background? What first got you into music?


Maeko [M]:


Yeah. So there is no music background. Aside from you know, I always point to my dad just playing a lot of music and loving music. He had CDs, so I listened to a lot of music, but I never tapped into my creative side until later. How it really happened was I think it (Maeko’s musical talent) was dormant for so long, and then when I graduated college and got my first job, I quickly realized I would need to do something creative to just be well, so that's where it started.


AT:


That's awesome. Yeah, mental health plays such a big part in your career, making sure that you're happy, and I am glad to hear that you realized music was what made you feel that way, and the fact that you pursued it is incredible. What is your creative process, like, when you make music?


M:


So, it has changed over the years. What I used to do was, when I was working this corporate job an hour and a half away, I would just put beats on in my car. While I was driving, I would think of melodies, pull over and record it into Snapchat. I would then save the Snapchat, go back to the video, and then I would go to the studio and make music. I wanted to be in the studio starting from scratch with someone. That's pretty much where I'm at now. I'll go to the studio for a week at a time and just make things from scratch.



AT:


Well, I've definitely listened to a lot of your music and you are very talented. So, I know you released your newest album Cool in June. May you please tell me a little bit more about the album and the music within?


M:


Yeah for sure and thank you for the compliments! In the years 2019 and 2020, I had some losses and it was a season of life that was just hard. And in 2021, I was finally getting to a better place and it was like I needed a new chapter. So, I booked a 10 day session in a Cambridge recording studio and my whole idea of it was I wanted it to feel exciting. I didn't want it to just feel like it's another session. I wanted it to feel special and exciting because that was the only way I was gonna get back on my feet with music. I was determined to make it something. I ordered these medicine balls, and like, we sat on those instead of chairs. I just wanted it to be different. We had an incredible week in January and it was super inspiring for all of us. We made the song Cool and it had good energy to it. I kept saying the word “cool” in different contexts, and I realized the concept was really spot on for me. “Cool” stands for not being so serious. I can be very serious, at least inside you might not be able to tell, but I can be very serious and put a lot of pressure on myself. So cool is just me getting in touch with my inner child. That was how Cool took shape.


AT:


That's awesome. What was your inspiration to create this album?


M:


My dad passing was an inspiration point, and another thing, just on a brighter point, is my three-year-old nephew. He inspired me a lot. It's kind of on both ends of the spectrum. Just recognizing that once I had a nephew, I needed to do things that makes the world better for him. It's the people around me. I'm always inspired by people. One other thing I'd say is community. I have a few different groups I'm in, in the community, and realizing the importance that I'm not a man alone on a boat is inspiring too.


AT:


Wow, that is fantastic! You're doing a great job and you are definitely creating an impact.


M:


Appreciate it. Appreciate it.


AT:


Yes, of course. Okay, so to switch it up, if someone looked up your name for the first time, and wanted to listen to a song on your newest album, what song would you recommend and why?


M:


I would recommend Cool because I think it's the song that probably has the greatest chance of putting a smile on someone's face. It's got a chorus that is easy to memorize, and I have had a lot of people tell me there's such a good energy behind it.


AT:


Totally! I was listening to it the other day. I live in Southern California and as I was heading to the beach, I was thinking about the summer vibes it gives off. It is such a great song! So now, I know that you love to do live performances and stuff like that. Where would you perform live, if you could?


M:


Anywhere, but as far as venues I want to play at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. It would be really slick. The outdoor environment is amazing. I just feel like it would be such a trip to play there.


AT:


What a fantastic answer! I also know that you're super big into music videos. Where do you get the inspiration for these music videos and short films?


M:


Yeah. For Cool, I wanted to tell the story of this version of me that is different from the actual me. It's an exaggerated version of me that's very rigid and OCD minded. It shows the story of me being shaken out of my ways and becoming a more open, free flowing child. It is trying to show the ways I get in touch with the inner child, and all these things that I'm talking about on the album, I wanted to show it in a story.


AT:


Recently, you did a performance for Cool. Did it feel different from other performances that you've done? Were you able to bring your inner child out?


M:


Yeah, good question. It felt totally different than all my past performances because it had a different intention behind it. When I got up there the energy was different. I was just having fun. I never realized that, sure, I had fun moments on stage and whatnot, but for the most part, I was operating in this very stressed out way. I think this marks the beginning of a new era when it comes to everything, including live performances.


AT:


How do you plan on carrying this forward and implementing that thought into your future projects?


M:


Yeah, the next album is not going to be about my inner child and excitement, but that spirit will be in it. You know, whatever the topic or the theme is next time it always has to maintain that happy spirit because I'm a bit uninterested in making sad music. I just want to make sure that people can dance and have fun when they come to my shows.


AT:


That is great to hear! What's next for you?


M:

What's next is really trying to get to the point where I'm making a living off of my music. So, whatever that means: more shows, more collaborations, or more deals. I'm trying to really solidify myself. I want to figure out how I can make sure I go on tour next summer. I want to bring my music to the next level. I feel called to take it to more cities and to more people.



AT:


Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview and I can’t wait to see the success of your music career in the near future!


M:


Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for the opportunity!

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Be sure to check out Maeko's music on Spotify and follow him on Instagram!


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