Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Birmingham’s Eliza May. Together we discussed their inspirations, their time busking, their latest single “Edge of This” off their upcoming EP, and so much more! Check out the interview below!
1. Mustard would like to thank you for joining them! How are you doing?
I’m doing well, thank you! It’s a pleasure to be having this interview with you! Thank you for having me!
2. Artists such as Tori Kelly, Hayley Williams, and Frank Turner are some of your inspiration. How do these artists influence your music?
I’ve been massive fans of these artists for quite a long time and the way they write music is so inspiring to me. Tori Kelly always comes up with gorgeous vocal melodies and vocally has an incredible range. Frank Turner writes from the heart and his lyrics often have a lot of meaning behind them. Hayley Williams has inspired me in many ways over the years. From her dress sense to her hair to how catchy her songs are. Overall she’s just a massive inspiration. Whenever I write my own songs, I often try to use elements from all three of these artists to create tracks that are fun, meaningful and pleasant on the ears.
3. You recently announced that you and your band are supporting Kate Nash on tour. How did it feel to receive that initial email?
It felt completely surreal. When I received the email from Kate’s tour manager asking us to support I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was stood with my boyfriend and we immediately started jumping for joy. I then rang my mum and messaged the band to tell them the good news and everyone was shocked and so excited. I immediately replied saying that we’d love to support Kate on the Birmingham date of her UK tour and from there I was counting down the days until the gig! It’s one of the biggest opportunity we’ve had as a band so far and I still cannot believe how amazing that night was.
4. Mustard is curious about your creative process.
When it comes to writing songs, my creative process often varies. Sometimes I’ll start with lyrics and have a line will pop into my head. When this happens I’ll jot it down or quickly record it on my phone. Other times, I’m just noodling away and experimenting on my guitar or keyboard and end up starting with the instrumentation. It really depends on what mood I’m in and how inspired I feel at the time. Once I’ve written a song in an acoustic format, I usually test it out on my audience by playing it live at gigs and if it works well in a live performance setting then I take it to the band and we start figuring out the rest of the instrumentation. Once we’re happy with all of the parts, then we start recording.
5. Mustard has seen humans play as busking simulated humans in The Sims. When did you first begin busking? Do you have any interesting stories?
I first started busking when I was 17. At the time, I didn’t really know how to get gigs or where to find open mics so I took to Birmingham New Street and started playing covers to earn a bit of extra money and share my love of music. The first few times I went I was a bit nervous but once I got the hang of it, I really loved going out and busking. It made me more confident as an artist and performer as well as in my day to day life. Busking is a massive part of who I am and I wouldn’t be the artist I am without it. Now that life is starting to return to normal, you’ll be able to find me busking around parts of London and Birmingham so keep an eye out.
I definitely have quite a few interesting busking stories from over the years. One of my favourite moments was when my friend, Wejuah (@wejmakesmusic), and I were busking in Falmouth one evening and a lively group of people walked by. They enjoyed our music so much that they started singing along and dancing. One man got really into in and started doing the worm on the cobbled floor of Falmouth high street and then gave us a £20 note.
6. You’ve performed at Brighton Pride and inside The O2 in London. Could you share more about these shows? What in your mind makes a successful tour or show?
These shows were some of my all-time favourites. I performed at Brighton Pride back in 2018 on the weekend of my 21st birthday. Myself and my drummer at the time got the chance to play on the Sheila McWattie Women’s Performance stage alongside many other amazing female artists. We did a half an hour acoustic set and the audience were so friendly. The crowd cheered after every song, listened so attentively and when we had finished our set, they asked for an encore. AJ (the host of the stage) and the rest of the audience made us feel so comfortable and welcome. For my first ever festival, I’d say it definitely couldn’t have gone any better!
In November 2019, myself and the incredible Amelia Wallace (@ameliabanana) travelled down to London to perform inside of The O2. We’d seen a post from the music charity Nordoff Robbins asking for musicians to play inside the O2 to help raise money. Myself and Amelia both applied and they asked us to perform for them. It was a busking style set up where people could donate whatever they liked. It was the first time I’d ever played in London before and I had the best time. It was amazing getting to play somewhere outside of my hometown whilst meeting other amazing musicians and supporting such a great cause.
There are a few different factors that make a successful tour or show in my opinion. Having a great crowd who are up for interacting and getting involved is a big factor for me. At my full band shows, I usually get the audience to interact so if they’re up for getting involved it makes performing for them a lot easier and the show is a much more enjoyable for everyone. The reason a lot of musicians play shows is to connect with people and share their love for music so to me a good crowd is everything. I think that working with good promoters and playing shows with musicians that you get along with also plays contribute to whether a show is a success or not.
7. In 2019 you released your first EP “The Fall” and during the pandemic began work on your second. What can listeners expect from your second EP? Will it be connected to “The Fall?”
My upcoming EP “Candy Heart” is slightly different to “The Fall” and is a completely separate story this time round. The “Candy Heart” EP is a collection of songs all about love and heartbreak. These stories are told through the use of groovy guitar riffs, funky bass lines, enchanting keys parts and lyrics that come straight from the heart. The songs off the EP were all written at completely different times but when put together, fit perfectly. Expect intricate harmonies, contagiously catchy melodies and all-round sunny indie pop vibes.
8. How was it being featured on BBC Music’s Introducing?
It was amazing to be featured on BBC Introducing. It’s always been a big goal of mine to have my music played on their show so to have been played on both BBC Introducing WM and BBC Introducing Cornwall is a massive achievement! Having the support of your local BBC Introducing team holds a lot of weight in the industry and once you’ve been played on their show, it can often bring about more opportunities including the chance to play at big festivals which is amazing for upcoming artists like myself!
9. “Edge of This” is your first single off your upcoming EP. It mentions not knowing what you have until it’s gone. Was this song inspired by actual events? Is this lead single a good indicator for the rest of the EP?
Yes, this song actually was inspired by real life events. The whole song is about the transition phase between an old relationship and a new one. When I wrote “Edge of This”, I had just gotten into a new relationship and was reflecting on how much better I felt with my current boyfriend in comparison to the last one. The song is a bit of a sassy one, especially the line about not knowing what you have until it’s gone but I feel like it perfectly captures how I was feeling at the time and encourages more people to know their worth when it comes to relationships. It gives big “glow up” energy.
10. Additionally, in “Edge of This”, you claim that sometimes life can give you lemons or love. Does life give out these two things often to humans? How do you know which is which?
Well in my life, I’ve definitely been given a mixture of lemons and love! I think the only way to tell the difference is to trust your gut and go with the flow. The lemons will always leave a bitter taste but true love will give you butterflies and will be a magical experience!
11. Where can readers listen to your music?
You can find my music on all online music platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon, Soundcloud, etc. All you have to do is type in “Eliza May Edge of This” or “Eliza May The Fall” and you should find me! You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at @elizamayofficial, on Twitter it’s @elizamaymusic and on TikTok it’s @elizamayofficial_ . I also have a new single called “Candy Heart” dropping on 15th July, which is available to pre-save now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and Deezer! I hope you enjoy!