Five Minutes With: Calgary Folk-Pop Singer-Songwriter Maclayne

Maclayne is a singer-songwriter artist based out of Calgary, Alberta. With a style often compared to artists like Sara Bareilles, Olivia Rodrigo and Regina Spektor, her brand of folk-pop is authentically quirky and theatrical, featuring relatable, heartfelt and emotive storytelling, punctuated by honest, deep and soulful lyrics.

Her debut six-song EP, Off The Deep End (summer 2024) is a project born out of a profound and transformative six-month journey through Nicaragua and features the newly released single “Sing” (March 8, 2024), in addition to “out of the city” and “if you let go” (summer 2023), which received radio airplay on CKUA, CBC, and regional campus radio. “The intensity of selling my belongings, losing relationships, and travelling with little plan led me to process the experience through writing songs. The journey taught me a lot about surrender, trust, and letting go, which are all themes woven throughout the record” says Maclayne.

After being featured in several artist showcases (Calgary Songsmiths, Canada’s Music Incubator, Ranchman’s Local Vocals) Maclayne played over 40 shows around Calgary in 2023, including selling out her first release show, and gathering sizable walk-up crowds while busking near Prince’s Island Park.

Maclayne currently practices as an accredited music therapist after earning her Bachelor of Music Therapy from Capilano University in Vancouver (2020). Growing up, she attended her jazz pianist grandfather’s (Ray Petch) big band shows and studied classical piano. Maclayne also taught herself ukulele and guitar before going on to study operatic voice performance at the University of Calgary.

Maclayne

Name:

Stage name – Maclayne. Full name: Maclayne Eva Simone

Genre:

Singer-songwriter folk-pop that I’m always being told sounds like it could be in a Disney movie

Founded:

Started writing music as a teenager, started playing shows and recording music in 2022

# of Albums:

Debut album coming this summer

Latest Single:

“Sing” (out March 8, 2024)

Latest Video:

Favourite musician growing up:

Mika!!!

Favourite musician now:

Hozier

Guilty pleasure song:

The original Broadway cast recording of When He Sees Me from Waitress. It’s so FUN. It’s not the coolest thing ever but what’s better than dramatically belting and acting out a show tune??

Live show ritual:

Lots of tea! If I’m nervous I shake my body out and start moving in weird goofy ways or dancing. Then I just try to quiet my mind, connect with the songs I’m about to share, visualize doing well, and see the audience receiving the music with openness and love! Positive self-talk helps me get in the zone. I’ll usually do a little bit of box breathing too (in for four, hold for four, out for four, hold for four), and play through a few songs.

Favourite local musician:

Kaylei McIvor. Amazing songwriter with a crazy cool voice. She doesn’t have any music out yet but watch out. I was lucky to have her play bass and do harmonies for me for a live performance video filmed at the National Music Centre in November. She also helped me design my recent cover art for my single, “Sing”.

EP or LP?

Right now I’m working on a 7 song project… so I guess somewhere in between?

Early bird or night owl?

Both, and neither. I love the mornings because they feel hopeful, open and inspiring, and I love the nights because they feel cozy and creative and focused.

Road or studio?

At the moment I’d say studio, just because I don’t have much road experience! Though I am planning something between a tour and a long road trip, where I’ll be doing a ton of “pop-up shows” and busking this summer for 6 weeks throughout BC to build my audience and promote my album.

Any shows or albums coming up?

I just dropped my third single from my upcoming album. It’s called “Sing”. It’s a narrative folk-pop song with a cinematic feel, about finding authentic self-expression. It’s available to stream everywhere!

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | TikTok | Youtube | Bandcamp | Facebook

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Rapid Fire Local Questions:

What is your favourite local restaurant?

Ten Foot Henry (the tomatoes and whipped feta with sourdough omg)

What is your favourite street in your city and why?

Not sure if this can be considered a street, but I love the Riverwalk so much. Walking or riding my bike east along the bow river, starting at 14th st bridge, passing by10th st, then peace bridge, then prince’s island park, and all the way to the east village is one of my favourite things to do ever. I’ve written so many songs on that bike ride and met so many great people. And I LOVE busking there too. Definitely some of my favourite “shows” I’ve ever played.

What is your favourite park in your city and why?

Griffith Woods has a special place in my heart. I grew up going there, and still often do. So many adventures, great conversations, and days hanging out in the sun and swimming in the river.

What is your favourite music venue in your city?

My very favourite place to see live music is at house concerts. There’s something so special about them. But in terms of a more official venue, I like the Calgary Folk Club because it’s such a wonderful listening audience who are truly there to support live music, and is completely run by volunteers.

What is your favourite music store in your city?

Long and Mcquade is definitely my go to but I admit I haven’t explored many smaller stores that much!

 

About Demian Vernieri 561 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.