Maïa Davies Drops Powerful Indie-Pop Anthem ‘Fuck You I Don’t Forgive You’
Maïa Davies, a Juno-nominated and award-winning Canadian songwriter, recording artist, and producer, has set out on an incredible journey of self-discovery through music. Her life has been committed to making music since she was born in Montreal. She first rose to prominence as a member of the Warner Music-signed folk band Ladies of the Canyon. Following that, she recorded two solo albums in French and created over a dozen top-ten commercial radio singles for well-known Canadian musicians such as Mother Mother and Serena Ryder. Her travels across Canada, California, and Europe allowed her to reconnect with creative friends and compose genuinely honest music, springing from the wounds of a tragic history that need time and space to heal.
Maïa Davies has released her latest single”Fuck You I Don’t Forgive You.” It is a powerful and emotionally driven song that perfectly blends melody with empowerment. The song’s depth is evident right away, with a deep bassline, beats, and gloomy keys all combined into a rich and immersive soundtrack. However, it’s when the guitar riffs kick in that the song truly comes into its own. Maïa’s vocals stand out, delivering a performance that is equally emotional and passionate, yet softened by moments of softness.
“Fuck You I Don’t Forgive You” by Maïa Davies is a self-empowerment song established as a melodious expression of righteous anger. It’s a musical declaration that says, “I’m moving forward, and you can’t hold me back.” Listening to this song feels therapeutic, allowing you to express your emotions and declare that you are free from people who have mistreated you.
We recently had an opportunity to have a conversation with Maïa Davies about her latest work and beyond. Keep reading to know more.
1. Congratulations Maïa Davies on your new release “Fuck You I Don’t Forgive You.” The production, the vocals, everything is perfect! With the song’s deeply resonant theme of empowerment, did you always envision a mellifluous indie track?
A: Merci! I consciously tried to not box myself in with pre-conceived arrangement or instrumentation ideas on my newest work, I’ve done that in the past and I wanted to jump off a cliff this time instead. I took the opportunity to learn from my collaborators and give space to all my influences, dive into the song in studio and see what happens. As I had a different co-producer on each track, I did pair each song’s essence with a like minded collaborator, sometimes just spiritually even. I love the light hearted fun feel of this particular lyric despite the subject matter, so we mirrored that in the music, combining fun retro analog drum machines with indie rock fuzz bass; we chose an upright piano for this track to have a more casual and indie pop feel as well. I do come from Montreal which is one of the birthplaces of indie rock, so it was an easy flow into that sonic direction, it’s a genre I know a lot about and love, especially the early eras.
2. I read that “Fuck You I Don’t Forgive You” is produced by you and Andy Stochansky. What was collaborating on this project like, and how did your partnership enhance the song’s production?
A: Andy is closest to the definition of true artist as you’ll ever meet. He lives completely in his creation space, without distraction. I admire that in him a lot and just let that soak into me; he gives you permission to be your most unique musical self, so it was easy. Andy is an accomplished drummer also, so he did most of the drum programming – I think we layered over a dozen drum machine tracks, both analog vintage machines and digital samples.
3. I learned that the song was written on a piano once owned by iconic Burt Bacharach. Could you tell us more about how the history and energy of this piano influenced the song’s composition?
A: The abridged timeline goes like this:
Narcissist man blows up my life, I do a lot of crying and breaking down, I decide eventually to move to LA for a while and change my life, spend time with my Venice Beach friends who I think are the kindest, coolest people I’ve ever met. They have these small but epically cool get togethers at my friends backyard music room often where I was asked to entertain with my latest creations, hosted by my friend Victoria; she’s the one you can’t help but adore, everyone does. She’s a tall, wise, mystically feminine soul that looks right out of Joshua Tree or something. She’s a healer and an artist, a magnetic spirit and often receives thoughtful gifts from her fan club; this is just an LA type story as well. She knew the person handling the posthumous estate sale of the man who has been one of the original builders of the batmobile; it was his piano, but we later found out it had previously belonged to Bacharach. It’s no wonder that between kind friends re-awakening me, the cool California energy and the magic piano, that I sat down and wrote this song in only a few minutes, it was very joyful and electric for me, to connect with such a burst of healing through music. And Bacharach of course is the quintessential pop writer, I know my admiration for him and the instrument computed the writing session, I could just feel touching the keys.
4. Given that the song serves as an anthem against betrayal, can you shed light on any personal influences that have played a role in shaping your songwriting?
A: Fiona Apple and Liz Phair, I think they were the two cheeky sweet demons on my shoulders for this one. Rhythmic melodic phrases and no filter lyrics; I think those two incredible women’s work was swirling around my brain at the time. They are influences of mine that encourage me to allow myself to be myself, ruffled feathers be dammed.
5. Could you share your experience recording the song in three locations: Los Angeles, Montreal, and PEI? Were there any challenges you encountered?
A: Well yes, I don’t know how I thought recording the songs all across the continent would be simple, but it turns out it was anything but logistically. Just the file compilation alone has been a nightmare, and I’ve made some mistakes and learned some big lessons on the tech side. What was cool was collecting different pieces of the musical puzzle from varied environments, and each place brings its energy (and unique instruments/gear) to my process. In LA we recorded at Secret Hand Studios, which is owned by friends of mine, one of whom is the drummer of the band A Perfect Circle. They had a TON of fun vintage toys to play with there and an epic vintage decor to boot. Sergey Varlamov who is mixing the whole album, runs a state of the art Neve centric studio in the PEI countryside, I recorded many of the album vocals there so i could collaborate with him in person on dialing in the best vocal sounds and performances on high end hardware and mics. I live in Montreal so always working from my portable studio there as well, just hours alone obsessing over minutia no one but me will probably ever notice haha.
6. How has your multifaceted experience in the music industry shaped your approach to creating music?
A: Well- I’ve learned a lot being a songwriter and producer for other artists- I give a lot of guidance and advice while working with artists based on my experience. And I did at the core rely on a lot of my trademark advice : say something true and communicate it clearly, and always better to be weird/unique rather than safe/boring etc. It was nice to be on the other side of it again – and I found I wanted to deepen my approach, now that i have the fundamentals of writing and musical arranging pretty engrained, I wanted to take any risk, go all the way down any path that presented itself. That’s also in response to my industry experience : I don’t care anymore what you’re supposed to do, I’m not scared of what anyone thinks anymore, I just wanted to have a visceral musical experience and capture it. I tried my hardest to let go of my concept of what’s perfect or “good”, and start trusting myself completely with abandon. And be ok with it being a learning process, falling hard or bravely meeting new versions of myself. So I guess you could say I stood on the rock of what I know, then hacked away at it til I made a new strange sculpture of sorts. I have a feeling I will continue this work full speed ahead now, I’m hooked on the authenticity of the experience.
7. You’ve had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of artists and producers. Can you share a memorable moment or experience from your collaborative journey that has impacted you?
A: I was fortunate to be part of the writing session with Mother Mother that birthed their song “The Drugs” a few years back. Ryan (lead singer /writer) just picked up an acoustic guitar and sat at the console recording it into a large condenser mic I believe, he just started scratching at the guitar, it was barely chords just weird noise that he altered with some distortion and weird effects as well. It sounded like alien noises to me and I was just mesmerized. He started singing some verse lines over it, and before we knew it we were all of us adding parts and found this strange collaborative magic, making that hooky unique one of a kind chorus. It all happened so fast and there was so much talent in that room, I remember thinking there hasn’t been a less than amazing idea thrown out yet; you don’t usually get that, it was really special, and the song became my first top ten song. That was a great day.
8. What’s from Maïa Davies next?
A: There are a few more singles to come that continue my tale of hardship and emancipation, and a full album in the spring with some gorgeous artwork I’m excited about. Each song is musically unique, but tells my story- the journey of loving a narcissist, and the dismantling that followed. The writing and recording of the album has been my healing, where I get to say whatever I need to, however I need to. Once the album is out, I plan to start playing a ton of shows, in beautiful and alternative venues, places and events where I can really connect closely to the audience. Everything I’m doing now and moving forward, I’m doing differently that I ever have. I’m following me.