Ladies and gentlemen, more than 100,000 views have greeted the dazzling neon-themed music video for Ryan Stewart produced “Need You Now” by rising Canadian recording artist Gelsea Mae. Based in Vancouver, the pop dynamo recently launched followup single “Shoulda Known Better,” and it is with great pleasure that we present to you our recent interview with this delightful superstar in the making.
1. Gelsea, can you tell us a little about the process of writing and recording your new song “Shoulda Known Better”?
I started writing “Shoulda Known Better” 2 years ago, on a plane ride back from a trip I had taken to Malaysia. I remember those exact words just constantly repeating in my head, so I ended up writing them down, which eventually became the hook of the song. It was one of those difficult situations where you’re fighting between your heart and your mind and in this case I chose to go with my heart, which led to a broken one. When I got back to Vancouver, I approached Ryan Stewart with the song, who then agreed to produce it and the rest was history! The song actually took an entire year to finish, as we had left it undone and started working on “Need You Now,” which ended up being the first single we released.
2. The music video of your last song “Need You Now” surpassed 100,000 views. What is your response to this remarkable achievement?
I am pleasantly surprised with the amount of positive attraction it has gotten in the short amount of time it’s been released. I think by having Spotify Canada discover me and featuring “Need You Now” on their top pop playlists has definitely helped me with views and I am very grateful for their support.
3. What was it like working with Ryan Stewart who has produced many big hits?
Working with Ryan was amazing. He’s extremely talented, which is why he has been so successful with the artists that he has worked with. I remember the first time working with him, it felt like a therapy session because I introduced myself, showed him my song and then told him the entire back story of what happened, which was so personal. It’s such an odd but inspiring experience to be able to turn a negative situation into a positive one, which in this case, we ended up creating a beautiful song.
4. With your singles doing well, are there plans yet for an EP, or full-length album in the future?
Yes, absolutely! The past few months have just been constant meetings with different producers and songwriters from Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, United Kingdom and Australia. I was trying to vibe out who I thought would make the best team and I feel like I have found it. I’m hoping to release an EP by the end of the year.
5. How would you describe your musical style to someone who hasn’t heard your music yet?
As of right now, my music is in the Pop category with a bit of EDM. I definitely want to stay in those categories, but I am still in the midst of discovering my sound and type of artist I want to be known for, which is what my EP will hopefully showcase.
6. The CMB focuses on Canadian artists, so can you tell us who are your favourite Canadian artists and what you admire about them and their music?
I grew up listening to Avril Lavigne and Shania Twain. I admire how unique Avril was. She knew who she was and didn’t care to “fit in” like many of the other pop artists in the 90s. She had her own brand of being edgy/ pop rock, which was a breath of fresh air. She was also the first concert I had ever been to and I remember just being in awe of how fearless she was on stage. After that, my Dad bought me my first karaoke machine and I pretended to be a rockstar, while singing “Complicated” on repeat. As for Shania, I remember hearing “Up!” for the first time and immediately became obsessed with her. It was one of the first CD’s that I had ever bought and as a kid I would just sit in my room memorizing her lyrics. As I grew older, I remember reading tabloids and realizing how she persevered through difficult times and beaten all the odds, ultimately succeeding in her dream and that’s something that I really admire about her.
7. Your fan base is growing rapidly. What advice would you give to other artists who are trying to succeed? Is it just a matter of having a magnetic personality or is there more to it?
There honestly isn’t a magic formula with success, I think a lot of it has to do with luck and timing. However, I do know that in order to stand out in such a competitive industry, you must have something unique and special to offer. Make sure you have really good material to showcase, know how to market yourself, be likeable and work really damn hard and be okay with failing.
Gelsea Mae Links