IN CONVERSATION WITH PEYTON MARIE – THE EP “STRANGER TO MYSELF”

Peyton Marie is an 18-year-old singer and musician who plays piano, guitar and bass from Iowa whose main musical influences are artists such as The 1975, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift. She has been creating music since she was a child, conducting a band and also performing live several times, after which she left the band to pursue her solo career. She recently finished writing songs for her debut EP titled “STRANGER TO MYSELF”, written and recorded in her bedroom since she was 16 years old. Her songwriting is fresh and young, inspired by different genres and talks about anxiety, mental health and depression and what it’s like to be a teenager these days… Peyton Marie writes her songs for herself and for others and I’m sure many will find themselves in her words!


YMX: Hey PEYTON MARIE, how is it going? some of our readers might not be familiar with your project, how would you describe yourself, in a few words?

PEYTON MARIE: Hi! My name’s Peyton Marie and I’m an 18-year-old singer-songwriter from Iowa! My music mostly falls under the pop/indie-pop genre, but I love taking from other ones—because I never want any of my songs to sound the same or put myself in a box. Whatever vibe or sound I want to try I usually just do. My main influences when it comes to creating music would be Billie Eilish, The 1975, Declan Mckenna, and Taylor Swift.

YMX: Your current work is the result of a long journey; What first drew you to making music?

PEYTON MARIE: For as long as I can remember music’s been a part of my life. I got into it when my parents signed me up for piano lessons at the age of five. All throughout school I was always involved in choir and picked up more instruments like guitar and bass as I got older. I can’t think of a time where I wasn’t playing or singing something.

YMX: What would be your dream collaboration?

PEYTON MARIE: My dream collaboration would probably be The 1975. There are many artists I’d love to work with but The 1975 takes the number one spot, as they are my all-time favourite band and have been for the past few years now. Matty Healy is such a lyrical genius and is one of my main influences when it comes to songwriting. The band inspires me with everything from their visuals to their merch to their song production and general vibe. Just meeting them would be a dream come true.

YMX: You recently released STRANGER TO MYSELF. Can you tell us how that project came about?

PEYTON MARIE: I released my debut EP STRANGER TO MYSELF in January. I wrote Liar Liar and Blue Valentine when I was sixteen and wrote the title track Stranger To Myself a few months after I turned seventeen. I spent my entire Junior year of high school recording and producing it. Throughout the process, I ran into countless roadblocks, and I think my experience was a lot rougher than other artists. I didn’t have the equipment or knowledge to do it all myself, so my cousin (who plays the guitar solo in Liar Liar) helped me record most of it in his studio. After that I hopped from producer to producer, struggling to find someone to help me finish the EP. In the fall of my Senior year, I found a producer in LA, and we finished it in about two months. I gave her the vocals I recorded in my bedroom, the rough midi tracks I made in Logic, and what I did with my cousin, and we communicated over email and phone. And because of how my songs evolved throughout this two-year period of writing and then recording, I have about five different versions of both Blue Valentine and Liar Liar, and I re-recorded the vocals three times. However, while I was making the EP, it got to the point where I felt really discouraged. The songs weren’t sounding how I liked and after I turned eighteen, I stopped relating to these songs I wrote two years prior. I almost put a stop to the project a couple of times, but I had too much invested in it to just give up. And I’m really glad I didn’t because I learned a lot. I learned a lot about recording, producing and releasing that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

YMX: What inspires your songwriting work?

PEYTON MARIE: I’ve always seen myself as a songwriter first, and a singer/performer second. I’ve always been writing, whether it be stories or songs or journaling. What inspires my songwriting is the potential to help someone in the way music has helped me. Obviously, music is my outlet and my personal form of expression, but what really inspires me to write and create is that I can impact someone the way my favourite artists have. It’s all about the connection. I’m nobody right now, and I have three total songs released, but the idea that maybe one day down the road I can have those connections is what keeps me inspired. I’m doing it for my fans that don’t exist yet haha.

YMX: We are all missing live music at the moment. Once on the other side, which music venue would you choose for your first gig?

PEYTON MARIE: If I had to choose ANY venue in the world to play, it’d probably be something like Madison Square Garden or Coachella. I’ve only played gigs around my hometown for the past five years, so if I had my choice, it’d be a major venue like one of those!

YMX: What’s your band strategy in terms of music promotion? Direct-2-fans or via the “big dogs”?

PEYTON MARIE: Personally, I think connecting with fans and using social media is the way to go. In today’s world, platforms like Tik Tok have completely changed the music industry. I’ve seen other young artists like me grow crazy amounts and get signed within a year.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?

PEYTON MARIE: Right now I’m working on a new single! I’m really excited about this one because I get to show maturity in my songwriting and sound. And I get to apply what I learned from my last release. It’s called MISS ME TOO and it’s currently on track to being released mid to late May, but delays can always happen. It’s about being in a relationship with someone who loves themselves and their reputation more than you, and once they realize what they lost they try to come crawling back. It’ll be in the same style as Madison Beer, Billie Eilish, and Tate Mcrae, so basically pop with edge to it. Although I’m proud of the work I put into my EP, I’m excited to release new music!