Liesl-Mae from Malaysia ready to conquer the international music arena
Up-and-coming Malaysian songbird Liesl-Mae is set to conquer the international music arena with the release of his original song titled “Headspace”.
The single marks his official debut as a soulful pop singer-songwriter with a knack for ethereal melodies and soaring vocals. “Headspace” is one of the first original songs the Kuala Lumpur-based artist has ever written, noting that she wrote the song in early 2020 when she found herself at a point in her life where she felt weighed down and overwhelmed. .
“‘Headspace’ is a song about feeling very lost. Like there’s a lot of alarming things going on in your life. One thing to find peace, whether it’s with someone, a place or something I got the inspiration to write “Headspace” by going through it myself. It was an experience that I had myself and for me, all I could do at that time was writing about it. It ended up being therapeutic and something I needed to release that tension and stress,” Liesl-Mae said in an exclusive Zoom interview with Music Geek.
A mental health advocate, Liesl-Mae is committed to addressing and openly discussing mental health in her music in hopes of inspiring others, as well as fostering understanding around the subject – and she does it all with the heart on his sleeve. . The proof is in his artistic talent.
“That’s my goal for my first outings,” added Liesl-Mae.
Liesl-Mae is one of three new artists Offmute, Sony Music Entertainment’s new South Asian label, signed when it launched last year along with Mezzaluna from Indonesia and Clara Benin from the Philippines.
“It’s very exciting. It’s something I never thought I would experience because I thought music would just be a hobby for me. So now to release original music, record music videos and a lot of people, I’ve met along the way, it’s really been an exciting journey and it’s very surreal to be doing this right now,” Liesl-Mae said of how she felt to be signed with Offmute. She joined a band in high school and started doing covers online where she was discovered.
Ahead of “Headspace,” she previously released titled “Consolation,” a self-penned, home-recorded single born from the lockdown-stricken crucible that is life in a pandemic.
“The pandemic has affected me in terms of creativity. I kind of broke down and just didn’t feel like doing anything, music-related or not. I just didn’t want to do nothing. So that’s how the pandemic affected me. But when things started to get better, I took inspiration from the pandemic and the feelings I had during that time to put them in songwriting,” Liesl-Mae explained.
For Liesl-Mae, it is important that her music is heard not only in her home country of Malaysia, but also around the world.
“I think it would be great if my music reached other parts of the world as well, because basically the message I want to send, especially with my first songs now and my music coming soon, is relatability and inclusivity. I want people to feel like they’re not alone and there’s someone out there who can relate. So I feel like if my music could reach a wider audience, that would be great,” said said Liesl-Mae.
“Headspace” is now available on all digital music platforms worldwide. Here is the continuation of the interview of the promising Malaysian singer-songwriter. Thanks to Chen Cornelio from Sony Music Philippines for this exclusive.
Music Geek: Are you a songwriter who favors lyrics or melody?
Liesl-Mae: It’s hard to say because I had songs where I wrote the lyrics first and others where I wrote the melody first. For “Headspace” in particular, it was the lyrics first. It really depends on my experience. If it’s something I’m feeling or going through right now, then the lyrics tend to come to me more easily. There are days when I wake up then suddenly there’s a random melody in my head and I just record it and then revisit it another time. So it’s pretty random in that sense.
Do you write songs to express your feelings or to send a message to a specific person?
Both actually, so with my songs right now, I’ve been writing them because I’m going through this. I feel the need to express my feelings. But at the same time, I also want whoever is listening to it to know that if they go through it, they are not alone. That there’s someone going through this too.
You mentioned that songwriting is therapeutic for you – can you talk a bit about that?
Yes, it is therapeutic for me. I feel like I’m around me to release those feelings or messages that I need to express. It’s healthy for me, I guess to release what I need to express in a song. It feels very natural to me too.
What is music for you?
Music is my escape. Whenever I feel sad or happy, I listen to it. Whenever I want to express something, I write music. It’s like a release, something I go to whenever I need solace and reassurance.
How did growing up in Malaysia influence your music?
I guess the culture and the people. With my friends at school and the people I’ve met along the way, I think music is something that connects people. I would have friends who would recommend their music to me and I would recommend my music to them. So, in that sense, I really tasted a wide variety of music. I don’t think I could have experienced this variety without the many different people I met along the way.
What are your musical influences now?
Now artists like Dodie, Lizzie McAlpine and Bruno Major. I think they influenced me in terms of songwriting. Although their music may sound different, I tend to take inspiration from the way they write the songs. I think it’s very genuine and honest. It’s something that I also want to be able to reflect in my music.
Dream collaborations or artists you want to collaborate with in the future?
The same artists I mentioned. I think I could learn a lot from them because they are super talented and the way they write music is amazing. I would love to be able to collaborate with them one day.
What’s next for you/what are you excited about?
More music. Stay tuned for that. What excites me are live shows. I haven’t really done gigs before, so I can’t wait to start that, to meet people and people who sing my songs.
What advice would you give to budding singer-songwriters?
Simply stream your music, whether it’s covers or originals. Don’t be afraid to just put it out there. You never know who will listen to it and find it. Today, in the age of social media, anything is possible. You might go viral or the right person might see your content.
Can you give random facts about yourself that people don’t know?
I have never had a nose bleed before. I am a Virgo. I was born in August. My favorite donut from Dunkin Donuts is the strawberry glazed donut.