I’ve been great! I’m writing and recording a lot, the weather is warming up in Sydney, all is well!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hell or High Water”?
Yes! Hell or High Water is one of the most Gospel sounding songs I’ve ever written. I usually gravitate towards pop sounds, but this song has an energy I haven’t been able to recreate since, so I felt like it was special. It’s a song about the kind of love that weathers every storm.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I was going through a rough time, and my brain tends to work the fastest (and slowest?) during those periods. I was reflecting on the ways love had showed up in my life even in the dark. Eventually my brain slowed down & sped up enough to realise, real love is what happens when you have the courage to be vulnerable and let yourself be seen. We’re worthy of love because we’re imperfect, not in spite of it. So I tied a neat bow around that realisation and wrote Hell or High Water.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
There will be a lyric video, and perhaps something more in future!
How was the recording and writing process?
SO MUCH FUN! The writing process happened fairly quickly, and then I took it to a trusted friend and producer, Ryan Miller, who helped immensely in getting the song from worktape level to release ready. He really helped me lean into the Gospel nature of the song and take risks with the production.
What role does Sydney play in your music?
I think Sydney is a bit of an underdog when it comes to amazing artists, especially independent artists! Sydney creators really inspire me to keep improving and trying new things.
How has Hozier and Matt Corby influenced your writing?
Their Soul sensibility for one! I also think that even though their music has mass appeal, they both maintain something really special and unique to them that keeps their tunes feeling unique and personal. That sentiment is something I strive to achieve with my music.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
It sure does! It seems like nowadays there’s such an appetite for more music, more often, so I’ve been getting really stuck into recording! I will likely be releasing single tracks regularly now, so stay tuned for that!
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
February next year. That’s all I will say for now! *Winky face
What aspect of love and other themes will you get to explore on this record?
Another theme I’m really excited about exploring is Friendship.
As far as love goes, part of learning about love is learning what is NOT love. Based on where I’m at now, I’d say the music you can expect from me will be a flip between love, happiness, confidence, clarity, and the other side of the coin, which is more about instability, distrust, and general messiness.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’ll be playing Lazybones Lounge in Marrickville on the 7th of October, then I’m heading to America for a hot minute! I’ll be playing in Newcastle in January and announcing some other shows in November.
What else is happening next in Peta Mai’s world?
While creating Hell or High Water I’ve also been able to realign myself with what truly makes me happy. I’m enjoying my writing so much and if I may say, I think I’m writing better songs than I ever have before because I’m in a better mental place. I can’t wait for you to hear them. Thanks so much for interviewing me!