Maius Mollis – Kickstarter Campaign Interview

Hi Maius Mollis. How are you doing and how has 2022 treated you?
It’s been great thanks! Lots of change and challenges coming my way. I’ve been busy writing new material, and getting ready to wind down for Christmas, bit can’t wait to share my plans for 2023…

We understand that you’re doing a Kickstarter campaign. What is it, how does it work, and what is it helping you to achieve in 2023? 
I’m super excited to have been selected as part of a cohort for Generator’s Youth Music funded programme ‘First Notes’ to record new original music. Funds will go towards the making of art, photography and a music video for my first release through this programme. 

With the Kickstarter, how can people help? What can people do (both financially and non-financially) to help it reach its goal? 
The Kickstarter has just 11 days to go! Please donate if you can, and share with your friends if you can’t. I’ve been blown away by the generosity shown so far and any support is greatly appreciated. 

How has the Kickstarter process been so far? Would you recommend it to other artists & creatives as a way of helping to finance projects? 
Being completely honest, launching a Kickstarter is very nerve wracking! It’s an intense and exciting process so be ready for that. If you don’t reach your set funding goal you don’t get any of the funds donated. There is also the added discomfort of asking for people’s money in a struggling economy, but I reminded myself regularly that I love being part of other artists’ journeys and that no one would donate if they weren’t able. I am so grateful for the kindness and support I have experienced throughout this process.

My tips for launching a Kickstarter:
1 – Snoop on other peoples completed Kickstarters…Some would call this market research! Look at other artists at a similar stage to yourself. What were they able to raise? What was their goal?

2 – Make your goal achievable. This is key. You want the funding goal to be a small challenge, but not something unrealistic that will set you up to fail.

3 – Read the Kickstarter guidance when you set up your project. They have lots of useful tips.

4 – Ask questions. Ask other artists who have set a Kickstarter up, google things, look up FAQ’s. Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions. 

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Original Photo Credit: Rob Irish Media

Artist Interviews

Artist Interview: Maius Mollis

Hello. In your own words, how would you describe your sound and style?
I always find this a hard one to answer! I would say tonally and texturally that my sound is sparse and intentional finger picked guitar accompaniment, and restrained vocals. Restrain is a theme with my music- never quite giving it all away punctuated by brief release- either with straight to the point lyrics, or musical builds. My foundational musical influences are in folk revival artists- and though I still honour these subtly, I find myself moving more and more being drawn to and swayed by contemporary pop influences.

You’ve just released your debut single titled “The Tide Turned”. What is the story behind the song and its lyrics? Furthermore, what themes and ideas influence your music and writing?
I wrote ‘The Tide Turned’ following attending a Hudson Unearth songwriting workshop led by Emily Portman. The topic of the workshop was writing influenced by ballads and fairy tales, specifically siren stories. Emily recited a siren story, depicting a tale of a mythical creature stolen from the sea by a man, forced to marry him and bring up children in a foreign land. She lives this way unhappily for years, before finally stealing away secretly and escaping, but with the bittersweet taste of leaving her children behind. From there we were set an automatic writing task- to reflect on the story and write freely for a matter of minutes. At the time I was processing a lot of grief in my own life, something about the story resonated with me and words came pouring out. It was a fast turn around, the words coming together with melody and chords that same week. When arranging the song to record, I was inspired by cumulative builds in songs- particularly as seen in ‘End of the Affair’ by Ben Howard. This is also seen in ‘Saved These Words’ by Laura Marling ‘I Know The End’ by Phoebe Bridgers. All pieces that start off unassuming before cascading into emotion and sound.

We have seen the music video that accompanies your single. What ideas went into the video and how was it filmed? How did you find the experience of recording the song and filming the video?
I was fortunate to be selected to work with brand new label, Both Sides Records on this release. BSR is a Brighter Sound project aiming to support women and marginalised genders in the music industry. One of their aims was also to ‘demystify the recording process’, meaning essentially to reveal what goes into making a record. I loved this ethos and decided to take influence from this when approaching videographers, and sketching out the final product. I specifically chose to work with videographer Megan Savage because I knew her passion around creating transparency in content creation. The school of thought behind this is improving accessibility to the arts. If young artists/emerging artists, and particularly people of marginalised intersections can see what goes into making a record/creative product, they might feel like it is more possible to do it too, know what to expect- what the challenges might be and how to approach them. The music video is an impressionist reflection of this- in the sense that it shows my process from start till the end of the day; warming up, the more intense parts of recording, and the lighter moments in between too. The day was emotionally charged, and being filmed while recording certainly added a layer of pressure, but not an unmanageable one. This is part of the balance of recording for me- just the right level of pressure, and the right types of pressure. I fully trusted Megan which made it objectively a breeze.

Do you have any plans for the year ahead that you would like to share with us? Also, what would you like to achieve in the upcoming year?
I have plans forming to release a kickstarter to fund an EP, so keep an eye out for this! I am also hoping to apply for funding/residencies/call outs and keep growing my following and developing my sound.

What advice do you have specifically for other north east artists? And what advice do you have for artists in general?
For Northeast artists, link in with the local resources, they are invaluable! My personal faves are Generator and Sage Gateshead. There is also a growing scene of excellent promoters in the Northeast. Show face, stick your neck out, and if you are booked by promoters ask how you can help them out, either by promoting shows, recommending other acts etc. There is nothing more satisfying than a symbiotic promoter-artist relationship. And for artists in general – create yourself a support network. Despite performing being a social environment, the behind the scenes upkeep can sometimes be isolating; the admin, the late nights coming back from gigs, writing blocks. This could be in the form of starting a regular meet-up to do admin, a writing group, or session. And most importantly, create space in your life for things in your life that are not music. Being freelance can be a roller coaster, so it’s important to have other sources of joy. Trust me, in the long run this will also improve your relationship with creating and performing!

Lastly, what artists are on your radar that you would recommend others listen to & see live?
I am currently a huge fan of Lovely Assistant, Martha Hill, and Me Lost Me – all performing prolifically in the Northeast. 

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