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Elaine Mai releasing her Home album

Elaine Mai – Coming Home

Since 2014, Irish electronic artist Elaine Mai has amassed over 3.5 million streams on Spotify, breaking 100,000 listeners on the platform in 2019. 2021 single ‘No Forever’ garnered widespread acclaim and achieved 12 million impressions across Irish radio, hitting #2 in the Irish Radio Breakers chart and peaking at #6 in the Viral 50 Ireland Spotify chart. 

Connect with Elaine Mai on Soundcloud | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

The music of Elaine Mai is rich with a lived-in experience. Released earlier this month, her debut album ‘Home’ represents a patiently beautiful, immediately rewarding celebration of an artist that has poured their life into an endlessly compelling craft.

Could you introduce us to your musical background? Are you classically trained in any instruments? 

I sang in a choir when I was younger, which gave me a real love for music. I also play the guitar and have done it since I was about 15, but with my move into the electronic sphere, I don’t really play it anymore. I’ve always loved creating harmonies and layering pieces of music and vocals and I think that experimentation with software has led me to the music I’m creating today. 

What motivated you in the first place to get into production? And why did you lean towards electronic music? 

I fell madly in love with electronic and dance music in my 20s, so it was always the kind of music I wanted to make if I could. I find production so enjoyable and fun. There are so many possibilities and there’s really no limit to what you can do. Production is always changing too, so you’re also always learning. I think it’s exciting to think that your sound will just continue to evolve over time. 

Production is always changing, so you’re always learning.

When did you start recording the music for Home and how long was the process?

Most of it was recorded at the end of 2020/beginning of 2021 and it was a little tricky with covid restrictions. We had to be flexible and change and move things, but honestly, it was a pretty depressing and difficult time and having the album to focus on was a huge help. 

There’s a variety of music on the album, but every track seems to convey a strong sense of emotion. Is that an important part of your writing process? 

100%. For me, it’s the most important part. With dance music, it can be hard to make an emotional connection with the listener and I really wanted to do that on this record. I’ve used chords and sounds that I think work well at evoking an emotional response. And of course, the vocals play a huge role in helping to create that connection with the listener. 

Can you tell us about your setup in the studio? Do you have any go-to pieces of equipment that you used a lot on the album? 

I use Ableton to write and produce music and Ableton push and some midi controllers to perform live. I use a lot of digital plug-ins for writing and you’ll hear U-HEs DIVA and Repro a lot on this record. I also just recently added a Moog Grandmother to my set-up which I LOVE. Expect to hear more of it live and in future pieces. 

How has your return to performance been after so long away from it? Was it nerve-racking, or did it all come back to you very easily?

It was so nerve-wracking! I get nervous at the best of times, but this was full-on for me. I hadn’t played since the end of 2019 and I was playing mostly new music with a new set-up, so I was very stressed. However, as soon as I got up there for the first time again it was amazing and I remembered why I love doing this. 

We read that there will be a live launch for the album… is there anything more you can tell us about it? 

It’s going to be in Dublin on the 29th of October in a new venue, The Workmans Cellar. I actually just announced today that I’ll be joined by MayKay, Ailbhe Reddy and Loah on the night, so I’m super excited about it. It’s also almost sold out. The last remaining tickets are available here. 

Now that the album is out, something that has been such a personal project for quite some time, how do you feel? 

I feel a little sad but overall great. There’s a bit of an empty feeling as this thing you’ve been so focused on for so long is now finished – it’s all you think about for so long, but the reaction has been incredible. I’m really happy people are enjoying it and I can’t wait to play it live more! 

You’ve worked with so many great artists on Home, but is there a dream collab you’d like to work on down the line? 

Working with Bjork would be an absolute dream come true for me. 

Finally, what’s the record – other than you’re own – you’ve listened to most this year? 

Houseplants – Dry Goods. Check it out

Thank you.

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