This past summer I had the privilege of talking to mazie — a 22-year-old singer-songwriter who is taking the music world, and maybe even the political one at that, by storm. While she is legally known as Grace Christian, her stage name ‘mazie’ takes inspiration from her great grandmother’s name (which I think is equally as cool as it is a heartfelt ode to family). Mazie grew up in Towson, Maryland where she cultivated her musical talent by practicing opera and piano. Mazie notes her first ‘it’s happening’ (see the Office, season 5 episode 14) moment when she recorded her first song in her friend/producer/neighbor’s studio: “I had never recorded my voice before. They played it back to me, and I literally wept. It was so life-changing.”
I asked mazie what was one piece of advice that she would have for her past self. She said she would tell her younger self to “keep going,” no matter what. I think this is something that everyone can relate to, especially when life gets tough. Fast forward to the end of November, and mazie has definitely kept going. Since we last spoke she has released an album (the rainbow cassette, which can be streamed on all platforms), performed at Governor’s Ball, and is now in the midst of opening for COIN’s North American tour leg.
If you haven’t listened to any of mazie’s music, I would like to issue you a formal apology — because you are truly missing out. Mazie is the next generation of music. She delivers a unique present for your ears; more specifically a mix between indie pop and synth magic. Mazie does this while combining what her fans call ‘weird-core’ music with relatable, politically-apt lyrics. My personal favorite (one that I have been head-bumping to long before reaching out for an interview) is track three on the album — “i think i wanna be alone.” As an introvert posing as an extrovert, this is a song that I relate to deeply. I cannot go without mentioning track two — “dumb dumb” — which is a testament to what happens when humor meets intelligence. Crafted during the 2021 United States Capitol attack, it is quite simply a lyrical meme. The lyric “I just wanna be the comic relief” stands out to mazie most, she notes: “Wait, democracy is actually crumbling in front of our eyes… So then we just started having greater conversations about how we can participate… It just prompted a bigger conversation.” Mazie took a day full of so much hate, injustice, and violence and transformed it into art.
During my final minutes with mazie, we played a little lightning-round game of questions known as “Grace’s Gags” (its title is just one reason why I have never written music myself). For my final question, I asked mazie if she would wear the classic Adam Sandler outfit — a superman tee shirt paired with tasteful baggy basketball shorts — in public. As if mazie could not already be one of the coolest people I have ever met, she answered yes, making her, in fact, the coolest.
Humor aside, I really enjoyed getting to know mazie. She has a passion for music that becomes obvious upon first listen, and a personality that will make you laugh and feel completely at home all at the same time. So, don’t be surprised when you see her name on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the next few years. Personally, I can’t wait.
Grace Duregger is a cohost of “Marigold & Green” on Wednesdays from 4pm-6pm. When she isn’t busy petting dogs and drinking gallons of coffee, you can find her curating new playlists on Spotify: @gradureg
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