Producer Elaine Mai tells us how her song written with singer MayKay for The Ark Dublin’s festival celebrating children’s rights inspires the kids of Ireland to make their voices heard.
Electronic music producer and songwriter Elaine Mai’s enthusiasm for the community-building nature of music has never been never more apparent than in “What Will You Say?”, a new children’s song that was written alongside musician MayKay.
A special project in association with The Ark arts centre in Dublin, “What Will You Say?” explodes with energy from delightful vocals by the SuperTones youth choir and a marching band drum pattern that provides an empowering beat.
Mai has been dubbed a “vital Irish artist” and she draws from a variety of genres to create her unique sound. Mai is passionate about working with other music artists on collaborations and remixes, a fact that ties into her latest release which, excitingly, is something a little different.
We approached Mai to let her explain about how this track, released through RouteNote, ties into the Right Here Right Now! Festival of Children. The festival is a fantastic project focusing on inspiring the children of Ireland and around the world.
Right Here Right Now! runs from 23-25 February and encourages young people to learn about their rights through art, theatre, music and dance. What would they change about the world, if they could?
Read our interview with Elaine Mai below. “What Will You Say?” is out now!
First off, introduce yourself!
Hi, my name is Elaine Mai, I’m an artist and producer based in Ireland. My debut album Home was released in 2021 and I’ve been back writing recently and am excited to share new music this year!
Tell us about “What Will You Say?” – a little about the story behind the project, how you got involved, and the writing and recording process.
The Ark is a children’s arts centre in Dublin and late last year they contacted me about creating a song inspired by children around Ireland and the issues that are on their minds.
MayKay is an incredible artist, songwriter, and performer whom I’ve collaborated with previously and I knew she would be the perfect person to work with on this project.
Together, we wrote “What Will You Say?”. In collaboration with The Ark’s Children’s Council we created this anthem for children that we hope will inspire them to speak up about what’s important to them.
As we started creating the music, I was keen to incorporate The Ark’s (extensive!) array of percussion instruments to bring the song to life.
I knew that incorporating samples of these instruments would help to create a beat-driven track that would hopefully capture the energy and passion of the children’s message.
We recorded the vocals at Diffusion Lab here in Dublin, you’ll hear the amazing SuperTones youth choir on the track.
MayKay’s vocals and lyrics bring the whole project together and she was incredible with the choir. They absolutely nailed it, and their performance added a whole new dimension to the track.
What does music mean to you? Share why it’s important in your life, and what you hope it brings to others.
Music means everything to me. It’s been a constant in my life, and I can’t imagine my life without it.
Writing is cathartic for me, and when I’m working on a track I get totally lost in it, there’s nothing else like it.
The fact that my music resonates with people is something I never take for granted and there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing people connect with your music.
What other exciting plans do we have to look forward to from you in 2023?
New music is in the works, so stay tuned!
Elaine Mai and MayKay will be performing “What Will You Say?” live for the first time as part of the Right Here Right Now Rally at Meeting House Square in Dublin along with The SuperTones on 24 February.
You can keep up with Elaine Mai’s next moves on social media here.
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