To Maisy Kay, music is the ultimate form of shared humanity. “I think there’s no stronger way to connect to other people from all over the world,” she says. “It transcends language and distance and I think that’s something very special and unique.” The polyglot has sung in a variety of different languages, including Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. “I traveled a lot growing up and loved seeing and learning about the different cultures in different parts of the world. I found I had a fairly decent ear for language, and it’s been so fun to sing in all the different languages and connect with so many new people.” But one dialect that really captured her heart was the fictional language of Na’vi from the film Avatar, which dominated many of her childhood interests. “Avatar came out when I was 10, and I was absolutely obsessed with it. Seriously. I started to learn archery because of it. I would climb trees and shoot arrows and say I was ‘becoming one with nature.’” She became especially determined to teach herself Na’vi. “That was one of the many ways I expressed my love for the movie. At the time, there weren’t a lot of resources for it, but I would print out Na’vi worksheets and do them after my regular homework!”
She has always taken equal parts inspiration from authenticity (like her brutally honest single, “Emotionally Unavailable“) and the fantastic (as showcased by her recent Halloween-inspired EP, Psycho). Her latest single, “The Beast Within,” is no different, this time fusing her craft with her favorite film franchise. Maisy stays modest. “It’s really just a teaser. I have a 14 song album completed that I recorded at Abbey Road with a 91 piece orchestra. Each song is sung fully in English and Na’vi.” The music video was built upon the Avatar universe. “We wanted to sort of pay homage to the beautiful colors of Pandora, whilst also creating our own unique space to live in.” James Cameron himself is responsible for bringing the album to fruition. “He’s the reason we made the full album, really. I had written and recorded one song called “Dreamwalker” in Na’vi, simply out of inspiration, as I love the film and the language so much. The song actually made its way to James and he invited me out to his studio where he was filming the sequels, which was an incredible experience on its own. He then emailed me afterwards that he loved the song and I should do a whole album. I had access to Paul Frommer, who created the language, and a host of people involved in the score from the first movie (and now from the sequels). It was a once in a lifetime experience.”
Maisy discovered her identity through the breathtaking lens of Pandora. “Avatar definitely helped me find the truest version of myself as a child. It was the only time I’ve ever been that engrossed in something and it reaffirmed my love for nature and wildlife. That to me is the strongest version of myself.” She wants to give her listeners that same sense of agency. “I hope people hear it and realize they don’t need to conform to anyone else’s standards. There’s real power in being true to yourself regardless of what anyone else might think, and it’s incredibly freeing.”
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Maisy Kay’s Music Comes Alive Through Fantasy and World Building. Photo Credit: Grant Spanier.