Howya? – Elaine Mai

We’re having the chats with some familiar faces around town. This time up its the hugely talented Elaine Mai

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Elaine Mai and I’m an electronic producer, song-writer and singer.

How would you describe your sound, for those who haven’t heard it?

Emotive dance pop.

We know it’s been a few years since you’ve lived in Galway, but what’s the most thing you miss about the city?

I miss so many things, Galway has a magic about it that’s hard to find elsewhere. One thing I really miss is the pea and potato madras from The Bean Tree in the market. I also miss being close to the sea and heading to parties that go on too long.

If you’re down in Galway, where’s your go to spot for Breakfast?

Ard Bia. Such a beautiful spot with great food and a warm welcome.

Favourite spot for a drink in town?

Tried The Universal for a pint a while back and loved it.

Favourite spot to get away from it all?

A drive out Barna direction with no destination in mind.

How did you get into music and remixing?

I’ve been into music since I was young. I sang in a choir and played in bands in college. I got into remixing when I started to learn how to produce, it’s a great way to get you started producing. I initially remixed one of my own tracks and then released a remix of Daithí’s tune ‘Chameleon Life’. Remixing is super fun and I love that you can get totally lost in the process and reinvent a tune in a completely new way.

Who are some of your main musical influences?

Bjork, Robyn, Roy Orbison, Caribou, ABBA, Alanis, Chemical Brothers to name but a few!

Have you any pre-gig rituals?

More recently I’ve been trying to get away for a few mins to settle myself. It can be really daunting if you’re in the crowd watching the stage, or waiting side of stage to go on. So taking a few minutes to collect myself and take some deep breaths helps.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

There are so many, but one that stands out is having my remix of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’ named track of Electric Picnic 2017 by The Irish Times.

You released some new music recently, do you want to tell us about the release and your collaboration with Pillow Queens?

I’m a huge fan of Pillow Queens and I wanted to work with the gals for a while. I loved ‘Gay Girls’ from the first time I heard it, such a brilliant song. I knew I wanted to do something different with it and move away from the original. There are all these gorgeous nuggets in the vocal stems that are super catchy, but also show real vulnerability. The line, ‘roots for you’ and the main vocal cut I highlighted in the chorus are absolute gems, so they formed a large part of the remix. It was a brilliant project to work on and I’m delighted with how it turned out.

Photo by Ruth Medjber