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Q & A: May Lyn


Malaysian-born now Brisbane-based singer, songwriter, and producer May Lyn is just a few months from releasing her new EP ‘Vessel’. We asked the emerging artist about the song she performed for Soi TV Brisbane and what inspires her “atmospheric futuristic RnB” sound!

You recently performed Space for Soi TV, Brisbane. It’s quite an emotional song, what’s the inspiration or story behind the song?

Yes, my lyrics can be quite emotional! Songwriting is kind of like therapy for me, I feel like it’s a safe outlet for me to express my personal thoughts and feelings about what’s happening in the world from my life perspective.

Space is about a rather short-lived relationship that I had a few years ago. I think that relationships can be very beautiful but they can also lead to self-destruction if they don’t allow for personal growth. Space touches on those sentiments. I wrote it when I was in a relationship that I was very comfortable being in, but it got to a point where everything felt very stagnant, like I wasn’t really growing as a person and I wasn’t really helping the other person grow either.

It lacked a lot of emotional depth but at the same time we were also really co-dependent. That’s when I felt like we both needed some space from each other, just so we could learn to figure things out on our own and find our own individual selves.

You describe your music as ‘Atmospheric Future R&B’, which bands are you most influenced by?

The term ‘Atmospheric RnB’ was actually coined by a friend of mine! I think it suits my music and I’ve never really known how to describe my music so I’ve kind of just been running with his idea ever since.

So many types of music inspire me… it would be quite a chore to list them all. But I would say production-wise I’ve probably been influenced a lot by Ta-ku, Shlomo, Clams Casino, SBTRKT… music that generally has a chill, minimalist vibe and interesting soundscapes. Some artists that have inspired my songwriting are Frank Ocean, Lauryn Hill, SZA and Erykah Badu.

Lastly, what’s the next release of music we can look forward to?

I’ve just released Escape, which is on my Soundcloud. It’s the first single off my upcoming EP ‘Vessel’. Escape is kind of the follow up story to Space. It’s about my relationship with this person who wanted me to be more emotionally vulnerable, which is something that I was very afraid of for some reason. I guess it comes from the fear of being hurt.

It’s funny because on Space I was talking about how I wanted to grow in relationships, but at the same time being able fully trust someone and have that level of intimacy makes me pretty anxious. I’m not in that relationship anymore but that experience was definitely an eye opener, and I learnt a lot from it. I do think that it takes a while for some wounds to heal.

The idea behind the title of my next EP is that it’s like a “vessel” that holds this particular collection of songs I’ve been working on over the past 18 months. The other songs on this EP have a lot more of a positive vibe than Escape, but the lyrics are still quite emotionally heavy.

I think my production and writing have improved a lot since the ‘Ascension’ EP. I’ve been hung up on a lot of the particulars and getting everything perfect… but I’ve realised that is just a never-ending cycle of self-doubt. [But] I’m pretty excited for the release, I’ve been working on these tunes for quite some time now!