INTERVIEW: MARYZE TALKS NEW SINGLE 'SQUELETTES,' COLLABORATING WITH BACKXWASH, TRANSPARENCY THROUGH MUSIC + MORE

Photo by: Élyse Laplante
Born in Vancouver and based in Montreal, this bilingual singer-songwriter uses her music as an avenue to shed light on raw and relatable topics from mental health to feminism to sexuality.

Maryze's haunting alt-pop music blends tantalizing beats with transparent lyricism in an experimental and horror realm hinged between angst and euphoria.

“Music helps me get closer to being able to talk openly about personal struggles.”


Most recently, Maryze teamed up with 2020 Polaris winner Backxwash to release their bilingual single “Squelettes” after premiering the track at her Pop Montreal sold-out showcase. The modern pop banger pairs Maryze’s signature blend of ethereal melodies and dark personal verses with Backxwash's metal-inspired rap and producer Margo's feverish beats. Together, the trio of queer Montreal artists create a unique genre-bending, deeply cathartic sound.

Thematically, “Squelettes” reflects on the topic of addiction and the way it can consume us – personifying addiction as an inescapable entity.

“The song came from a time when I felt quite powerless over self-destructive cycles.”


Already garnering much acclaim since her 2019 debut EP Like Moons, Maryze is set to release her debut LP this upcoming summer with Hot Tramp Records.

Though she is hopeful to get out on tour next year, one thing that's for certain is more alluring new music.

Q: Tell us about your new single “Squelettes”:


I started writing “Squelettes” almost 7 years ago! I used to play a stripped-down version with my former band Spectregates. I wanted to bring back the lyrics on my upcoming album, and when producer Margo sent me the beat I thought the intensity would fit perfectly. The song came from a time when I felt quite powerless over self-destructive cycles. My mental health was bad, I was depressed, drinking too much and not eating enough. The title (which translates to Skeletons), was inspired by how I felt I was becoming a skeleton of myself.

Q: How did the collaboration with Backxwash come about?


Backxwash and I met through playing shows together in Montreal. She always stood out as a truly singular artist and I wanted to collab from the moment I saw her perform! I sent her a couple potential tracks I was working on with Margo and this one stood out. I’m really glad it resonated with her.

Q: The track touches on the theme of addiction. What inspired you to be so transparent with your personal struggles?


To be honest, I don’t even feel like I’m at a point yet where I can be fully transparent! I’m always afraid to hurt those I love if I put it all out there. Music helps me get closer to being able to talk openly about personal struggles, but there’s a lot I’m still learning how to process. I’m getting there though.

Q: Do you have any advice for humans that are dealing with addiction/mental health?


If possible, don’t isolate yourself with your demons. It’s harder for them to win if you’re surrounded by folks who love you and who can help calm your mind when you’re spiraling.

Q: You two got to premiere the single at Pop Montreal this past September. How did it feel to debut the record while being back on stage during these times?


It felt surreal! Definitely bittersweet. I wanted to enjoy every moment of it but was also aware that it would probably be our last show for a while again. Montreal went back into lockdown right after. But that energy of connecting with folks even for a night kept me on a high for a while.

Q: What’s getting you through these unprecedented times?


Music and loved ones. Including my cats haha. I feel lucky to have amazing people I can lean on through all this and three little fuzzy pals to brighten up tough days. But if I didn’t have music as an outlet, I think I’d lose my mind. It’s been a difficult but super creative time.

Q: What’s next for Maryze?


Fingers crossed for a tour next year! We had to cancel all our US/European dates this summer, so I’m hoping some festivals will be postponed. But regardless of the state of the world, I’m definitely dropping my debut LP in 2021. The songs are still in a state of mutation and I feel like the sound could go anywhere from here. Which is an exciting place to be. :)



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