What is your name?
My name is May Payne!
What is your genre of music?
I make singer-songwriter pop music that’s very much inspired by my love of RnB and Jazz.
Give us a little bio about you.
I’m 20 and grew up in Dorset. I’m currently studying at the RNCM in Manchester, which is where I met all the amazing people that make up my band! I’ve always sung and written songs by myself at the piano since I can remember, but being able to realise them with those guys has been such a gamechanger.
Who are your influences?
I grew up on a strict diet of Bob Dylan (from my mum) and Van Morrison (from my dad). I think this inspired my dual love of intelligent, intricate songwriting and that warm live band sound, both of which I’m always aiming to emulate in my music. Apart from that, lots of amazing singer-songwriters out there inspire me – people like Laura Marling, James Blake, Ethan Gruska, and Adrienne Lenker really come to mind.
Are you signed?
Nope! Everything that went into this single was all from myself and the talented people I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by.
You are set to release your new single ‘When You Hold Me’, tell us more about the single.
The song emulates the nostalgic sound of a tight band. It’s been with me for a few years now, and hearing it finally come to life has been the most amazing thing. It’s a pop song fundamentally, but I took a lot of inspiration from people like Daniel Ceaser and other contemporary RnB artists in terms of the sound and harmonic content.
What is the meaning behind the single?
The song is about being in an unbalanced relationship, where you crave the attention of someone who gives you small moments of validation that feel so important and intense. It’s a situation I’ve found myself in an embarrassing number of times throughout my life, that infatuation and obsession that is made so potent by inconsistency. That kind of love feels so inescapable and addictive – ‘Why do I feel so free, I’m trapped in your arms’. The songs been with me for quite a few years now, and I find it such a sweet little window into my teenage mind – and a confirmation of the fact that these kind of patterns are hard to break!
What was the writing and recording process like?
It sounds so contrived but the only way I write is just by sitting at a piano and letting it all come out. With this song there wasn’t even really a process to writing it, once it happened it was just there and there was nothing I could do to change it (hence the song being inconveniently 5 minutes long). I wrote the song on piano and brought it to my band who all picked it up instantly and knew exactly how I wanted it to sound. I find it hard to record because I tend to get super in my head and end up recording the same lines a million times, so doing this with my producer rather than alone was really helpful.
Describe the track in two words.
Sentimental pop. (God this is hard one)
Who did you work with on the single?
My band – Gemma Watson on drums, Reuben Savage on Guitar, Alex Bresh on bass. The track was also produced, mixed, and mastered by the Noah Curran who couldn’t have been more thoughtful and committed if he tried!
Pre save When You Hold Me Here
When You Hold Me by May Payne – DistroKid
Will we see a Music video for ‘When You Hold Me’, what can we expect from the creative process?
At the moment I’m not really considering doing a full-blown music video, but I’ve got plans to do a live session of the song which will be videoed and recorded to be released in the near future, which is super exciting.
Will we see an EP or Album and if so, can you give us a teaser of what to expect?
I’m planning on releasing a couple of singles and an EP, which will be a compilation of the best of the songs that have been with me for the past few years, as well as some newer ones that I’m really proud of. It’s all in the works!
Do you have any live shows or a tour coming up and if so let us know where we can catch you at?
Yes! I’ve got a show at the Blues Kitchen on the 22nd of March supporting the amazing Rosie Frater Taylor. It going to be a really special evening for me!
What else can we expect in 2022?
More music, more shows, as much as I can possibly do! I’m starting to work on my next single soon and I can’t wait
Will we see any collaborations and if so can you tell us more about them?
I really see every part of my music as a collaboration with my producer and my band, but I’d love to collaborate with others aswell, co-writing especially is something I’ve dabbled with in the past and I think it’s the most special thing.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I’d love to have released a couple of albums by then, and touring would be incredible! More than anything I just really hope that I’m getting to enjoy music as much as I can, all of the parts of being a musician that are validating and gratifying have been out of reach to me for quite a while and now I’ve got a taste for it I really hope I can keep chasing them.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
I don’t have a good quote or catchline, but one thing I always try to remind myself of is the fact that the stories you tell yourself define how you experience your life
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
1. Letting myself enjoy it and savour it while it lasts
2. People aren’t ever analysing you to the extent you’re analysing yourself
3. There aren’t any rules about how to perform, do what feels right
4. You don’t have to project yourself into the audience, you can bring them to you