Considering the small size of the Cayman Islands, a significant number of local musicians, artists and models have made waves in the international markets. Jason Gilbert, Selita Ebanks, Sarah McTaggart, Frank E. Flowers, Nik Stewart, Grace Gealey and Isy Obi have all enjoyed success in the U.S. and beyond, and now another is joining their ranks.
Arianna Broderick, performing under her artist name Maeve, has just released the first song from her new album. The track is called “Empty,” and according to thelineofbestfit.com, it is “a melting pot of exquisite experimentation and sounds like nothing you’ll have heard before.
“A strong debut that acts as a statement of Maeve’s creative intent and ambition as an artist and it’s anyone’s guess where her experimentation will take her next.”
Her video can be seen on YouTube and it doesn’t take long to realize Maeve’s talent. The song and her voice are both unique and completely different from anything I’ve heard before. She has created her own sound, which is what you need in this business to make your mark.
I personally can’t wait to see her career blossom, but in the meantime, here is an interview with Maeve, talking about what drives her and her hopes for the future.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Grand Cayman.
At what age did you realize you had a thing for music and what sparked the interest?
Music has always been a massive part of my life. I don’t have a first memory of it because it’s always been around me.
Growing up, my family always played music in the house and everyone sang and played instruments.
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I started teaching myself guitar when I was 14 and discovered songwriting. It was perfect because it combined the two things I loved to do the most – sing and tell stories. From then on, I was completely addicted and that’s when I started locking myself in my room to write music for hours on end.
How old were you when you picked up your first instrument?
I played the violin and cello when I was really young, but picking up the guitar was the most influential instrument for me. I got it for my 14th birthday and that day I started learning from YouTube videos and looking up chords online. Then I started playing at open mic nights and doing gigs around the island.
I then moved on to teach myself piano, which was around the time I picked up producing as well.
Initially, I learned how to produce because I found it hard to let people know in words what I wanted the music to sound like. Then, like songwriting, I became absolutely obsessed with production and it became another layer of creation in my music.
I write all of my own songs and produce. I have a little desk in my room which is my studio area and that’s normally where a song starts.
What inspires you?
Inspiration comes from all over. I draw from my own personal experiences, books, poetry, people I talk to, things that are happening in the world. I’m always writing lyrics whenever I get a chance. My laptop and phone are a mess of notes and my drawers are stuffed with scraps of paper.
I get really inspired by sound. I go around sampling sounds on my phone a lot. I’ve sampled sounds from all around Cayman and London which I have created instruments out of.
An intro to one of my songs is an audio sample recorded on my phone of my friends and me floating on a broken-down boat on the way to Rum Point.
I think it’s cool that I can embed snippets of personal audio from my life and my surroundings into my songs.
Who are some of your big musical influences?
I’m inspired by quite a few musicians from a load of different genres. I love Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack, Bjork. They’re all so different from each other but I’m drawn to musicians who create their own world and I think that’s what they have in common. I can get lost in them.
I’m also inspired by books and poetry. Patti Smith’s “Kids” had a big impact on me when I read it for the first time. Reading about someone dedicating all their life to their art so truthfully and the whole build up to her career really inspired the way I thought about music as a lifestyle.
What do you think is important for an artist to know if they want to make it big?
It depends on how people define “making it big” but even so, I don’t know that answer. I’m just going to keep on doing me and being honest with my vision and telling my story and I’ll see where it all leads.
I feel like a lot of people want to escape, to feel, to relate to something, to listen to music that puts their feelings into words and if I can do that for people that is my definition of “making it big.”
What is your dream venue?
I think being able to play all over the world is the dream for me. I think it’s such an awesome thing that you can travel and connect with people from all over the world through music.
Have you ever collaborated with another singer or songwriter?
I recently sang on Tokio Myers’ track “Angel” off his debut album. It was a rendition of a song by the Weeknd and he transformed it into this beautiful classically inspired electronic piece.
There are quite a few people that I think would be cool to perform with. Sometimes I have dreams about drinking whisky with Tom Waits at a piano in a dive bar and singing songs together.
What are your goals for the coming year?
There’s a lot of new music coming out this year. I plan to perform live loads and would love to gain some listeners who I can bring on my journey.
Who are your biggest supports in your career?
My family and especially my mum are a massive support system for me. They supported me when I first started writing songs and performing at bars and gave me the freedom to explore what I wanted to do. I also have a small music team around me who are amazing as well.
The people who listen to my music and get it are everything. It’s such a cool bond to have when I meet someone who connects with my music.