It’s hard to believe Remi Mae played her first show less than four years ago.
It’s also hard to believe that on her debut EP, released earlier this year, Mae has such a clear vision for the artist she wants to be and the influences she wants to honor, as she taps into various sounds and styles expertly through the duration of the EP’s six tracks.
From the rock and roll infused opening and closing tracks (with a bit of added punk flare on the latter) to the Texas country gold she offers on duets with Cody Canada and Sunny Sweeney to the southern-rocking badassery of “Electric Again,” there’s a flavor for everyone to enjoy on her self-titled effort.
We chatted with Mae all about her EP, as well as her early start in music, moving to Texas, the success of her debut radio single, “Washing Machine Song” and more!
Pro Country: Your bio mentions drawing inspiration from acts like The Eagles, Jackson Browne and Joan Jett. What was it about their style and songwriting that connected with you?
Remi Mae: The Eagles taught me layering and harmony, Jackson Browne’s writing is so literal, yet full of metaphors at the same time. His writing style and music moved me as a teenager. Joan Jett is unapologetically her bad self. She’s a rocker; she’s raw, she’s vulnerable and tough all at the same time. I’d love to wow people like she has.
PC: You began playing writing songs in your early teens and taught yourself how to play guitar. What was it about music and songwriting that struck a chord with you at such a young age?
RM: I was raised in a wildly music-driven family. I’ve always been bold in my style and personality, but with that came some inability to express myself in words. I started writing and performing as a way of self-expression and became free. The arts do that, and my parents always pushed us to express ourselves creatively.
PC: In a previous interview, you mentioned that you initially didn’t have the confidence to pursue music. When were you able to build that confidence to take the next step of deciding to actually pursue music as a career?
RM: I knew from a very young age that my dream was to become a musician/vocalist, however, I always assumed I didn’t have the talent, funds or opportunities to make it possible. It wasn’t until I started to play and sing for family and friends and received a bit of positive reinforcement that I gained some confidence. My very first show was opening for F.C. Westcott in 2019. I came off stage and instantly knew it’s where I belonged. From then on, I never questioned whether I was going to pursue a career in music. We’ve been taking baby steps since then.
PC: You packed up and moved from western Colorado to New Braunfels, Texas. What emotions did you feel moving so far away from home, and why was New Braunfels the right base for you in Texas?
RM: I had feelings of determination and excitement and independence. I knew the hill country was the right area to be in because of the demographic; so many kind, creative, musical, groovy people. I knew I needed to put myself in position for opportunity. I knew this would be a time of great self-expression.
PC: “Electric Again” was released in October of 2022, and served as your debut single. As someone who grew up in a musical family and had such a deep appreciation for music, what was it like for you to be releasing your own music out into the world for the first time?
RM: “Electric Again” is a co-write with F.C. Westcott, and is based off my poetry. To see the things I had turned over, formed and molded in the darkness of my space come to light and fruition was mind blowing. Dave Perceful , F.C. and everyone in the studio turned my black and white thoughts into colorful sounds. It felt like a long road of struggling to articulate being set free for others to hear and make their own.
PC: “Washing Machine Song,” which features Cody Canada, serves as the lead single to radio from the EP. Can you talk about how Cody became involved with the song and why you felt it was the right radio introduction from the EP?
RM: Cody has been so kind and helpful. I opened for him in Colorado before I moved to Texas when I was 19. He found out I was moving to his neck of the woods and graciously offered me a job at the School of Rock. The Canadas are nearly family now, and Cody so kindly accepted my invitation to sing on a song I wrote when I was 17 and helped make it what it is! We chose “Washing Machine Song” for my first single because of its Texas country sound and writing style. I thought people might also recognize a familiar name on a new song.
PC: As of press time, “Washing Machine Song” is approaching the top 20 on the Texas Country Music Chart. How encouraging has it been to see the song catching on at radio and seeing it continue to climb the charts?
RM: Extremely encouraging and reassuring! Wow! I still can hardly believe a silly little song I wrote when I was 17 is in the same chart as Cody, Wade, Randy, Charley Crockett and Parker McCollum. It has given me some gas to keep writing.
PC: Along with an appearance by Cody Canada on “Washing Machine Song,” Sunny Sweeney is also featured on “Classic Kind of Thing.” As an artist releasing music for the first time, how nice has it been to have two highly-respected artists singing with you, and what was it like to share that creative space with them?
RM: Firstly, Sunny and Cody have both been so gracious and kind. To have a kid come to you and ask you to sing on her songs (that could’ve been terrible for all they knew) and kindly accept just to help someone climb the same ladder they’re on is what it’s all about. I am extremely grateful and humbled to be joined by such good company and such creatives on songs I wrote.
PC: “Roll On” is our favorite song on your EP, and is a song you solo-wrote. Can you take us in the room and in your head and talk about how the song came together?
RM: Funny enough, I started writing this song before I had taught myself to play the guitar. Lyrics came first, and a few months later when I learned to play, I added music. It’s a song that’s near and dear to my heart, describing an ideal love and partner. It definitely pulls on the heart strings and highlights a woman’s yearning.
PC: What do you hope listeners take away from your EP after listening all the way through?
RM: I hope no matter what genre someone is into, I’ve given them something to love off the EP. I’ve got southern rock, I’ve got Texas country, I’ve got Americana and even a little punk. I hope I’ve left them yearning for more, because I’ve got plenty to say.
*Remi’s music is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*
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