Following a two-year hiatus, Mae Krell made their return in early 2020 with a string of soft, folk-pop singles. Influenced by revered singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan, Phoebe Bridgers, and Gregory Alan Isakov, Krell writes intimate reflections about confronting past struggles, self-love, and personal truths.
Their most streamed release to date, “wash,” has garnered over 600,000 Spotify streams in less than a year.
At age 17, Mae wrote and released their first two singles, “Monsters” and “Scars.” The tracks garnered hundreds of thousands of streams, leading Mae to then release their debut EP, Anabasis, in 2018. Currently featured on Spotify’s “Queer as Folk” editorial playlist, Anabasis tells the story of their ascent from a dark place within themselves over the course of four tracks. Most recently, Mae has teamed up with artist and multi-instrumentalist Jakob Leventhal for their new break-up ballad “colorblind.”
How long have you been creating your art?
I started playing the guitar when I was around 17 and started writing songs around then as well. It was definitely a bit later than most people I’ve met who make music, but it’s been a good ride. I started working as a photographer when I was younger, so my introduction to art did come earlier than my late teens, but I only came into music around 17.
Where are you from? How does that influence your art?
I was born and raised in New York City. I wouldn’t necessarily say it really influences my art or songwriting too much, but I do think that it influences my mindset in relation to making and pursuing music as a career. Everything here moves so quickly—there’s a belief that if you aren’t constantly working then you aren’t doing enough, and I think that can become very toxic very quickly. When I was younger, I was convinced that if you haven’t “made it” by your 20s it wouldn’t happen, but that’s a mindset that’s so negative! I’ve worked over time to get out of it as much as I can and focus on making art that I’m proud of rather than making more of it.
What are you currently working on or recently finished?
I’m currently waiting for the master of my next single so we can schedule the release. In the meantime, I’m working on more music with Jakob Leventhal who also produced my new single, “colorblind,” and I’m super stoked about it!
What is your inspiration? And why?
Life and the people around me, mostly. Sometimes stories I’m told or movies I watch. I think you can take inspiration from absolutely everywhere if you’re looking for it, which is something really special about songwriting in my opinion.
Why is music important to the queer community?
I think that it’s important to see yourself in the things you love. Just like how as a queer person you want to see someone who looks like you in a movie, it’s super important in music as well. When you go to a gig or open Spotify, YouTube, etc. you want to have that representation.
What do you hope to achieve as an artist?
I want people to feel heard and understood. If I’ve done that for one person then I’ve succeeded.
Who are your top 3 major influences?
Bob Dylan, for sure. Otherwise, it’s definitely difficult for me to narrow down. At this moment, I’d probably say Ethel Cain and Fenne Lily.
How can we all support your work, talent, and gift?
Would love to have you follow along on socials and streaming platforms. My music is online anywhere that you listen under “Mae Krell” and my social media handles are all @maekrell. My new single, “colorblind,” is also out now and you can stream that here.