On May 4th, Letter F got a chance to have an exclusive interview with Mac Ayres, the singer and self-taught producer from Long Island, New York. The 21-year-old artist was invited to A:M Festival as one of their special guests. As this was his first visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, we asked about his whereabouts and of course, music talks. Mac Ayres released his debut EP, Drive Slow, in August 2017 and the debut single, Easy, broke 1 million play within less than 5 months. His music is a blend of Soul, R&B, Jazz, to HipHop. Now time to dig in to his music and personality within five minutes read!
You just released your debut album last year, and you’re gonna release the new one this summer. Can you give us a little sneak peek about it? Like, about its mood, or maybe you have different message from the previous album?
“I think, I’m a little bit just more professional. And I have an extra year to practice, you know like instrument and song writing. And the new album is more collaborative, than Drive Slow, which I don’t have many features in it. But now I’m able to work with some great musicians for the next album. And the rest is probably different, you’ll tell me, when it drops.”
How about the process of each album? Did you find any difficulties between them?
“Not really, honestly. Music is like what I love to do and I dedicate 150% of my days to it. You know, I just wake up everyday and straight up make songs. I don’t really think it’s like getting into creative process though.”
Now talking about your debut album, Drive Slow, what’s pushing you to release an album, and what’s your motivation behind that?
“Really, the beginning of Drive Slow, it was, uh, to prove to my mom that I was just not cutting class or smoking weed all day. But, umm, it’s the idea that everybody’s life are too fast, and won’t able to appreciate it. And I’m very into that actually. And being here.”
Your favorite part from the whole album of Drive Slow?
“My favorite part of Drive Slow is how many people listen to it. Like I mean, that’s just amazing. And look where I am now, I’m in Jakarta, Indonesia, and I’m just a kid from New York – that’s crazy. And you guys are somehow managed to get me out from my computer in my bedroom. It’s still pretty crazy to process.”
As a song-writer, do you ever feel the writer block that prevent you to write a song?
“No, I don’t believe in that. I think that when you have thoughts like that, you’ll be affected by that. I’m trying to write something everyday. Whether it could be the worst thing that ever happened, or it could be the best thing ever. If you get yourself in a mindset, like ‘Oh I have writer’s block’, the you’ll suffer in it, automatically. You just have to move behind it and keep going. Even if your writing is a trash talk or something, just keep writing.”
And you already finished your Europe Tour a couple months ago. Did you ever feel stage fright?
“Umm I’d say the last time I felt stage fright, I was probably eleven or twelve. I used to play a lot of instruments. And on the summer job, when I was a kid, me and my drummer, Chris – we grew up together, would play at the local bar to make some money. So that the experience itself was like being on stage, although there was only two people eating a sandwich. I was having an experience as a band since then.”
Best stage ever according to you? And how did you feel?
“The best stage that I ever had probably the one in Los Angeles last March. And it was amazing. The show was sold out and everyone was singing along. That was crazy, I can’t even talk about it because it only gives me goosebumps all over. It was the greatest feeling in the whole world.”
What is your ultimate goal for your music?
“To have people all over the world to listen to it. I mean I’m living it right now, and you know it’s just amazing to feel that kind of feel in this life.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Editor: Olivia Elena
Photographer: Ganang Arfiardi
Photos courtesy of AM Festival