In our interview with Maz O’Connor earlier this year, she revealed that as well as her love for playing music she also has a passion for contemporary dance and ballet (read it here). She was also very open when talking about her passion for music which can be easily eclipsed by all the other pressures of working in the music business. One statement stayed with me after reading it “I’ve realised that I’ve got to keep my love for music alive, not matter what”.
If that whisper was the sign of preparing for a bold new step, then her new video for ‘Skin‘ is surely the most visibly heartfelt and striking to date, binding her love of contemporary dance and her myriad musical influences she has created a powerful and moving song and image, one that bodes well for her future, in whatever musical direction she takes. The video was directed by Hunter Allen and Sami Ibrahim and choreographed by Annarita Mazzilli (Mazzilli Dance Theatre). She’s one very talented lady on what looks to be a journey that maybe only just starting.
Talking about her future, Maz shared “I’m 25 and living in one of the world’s most diverse cities. I listen to everything. Why would I put limitations on my music? It’s taken me a while to figure out what kind of artist I am and want to be, but now I’m finally making music which feels like me, and I can’t wait to share it.”
It was the death of David Bowie earlier this year which sparked O’Connor’s new drive of creativity. She said, “Bowie’s death reminded us that artists should have the courage to be authentically themselves. His subversion of the status quo was much bigger than music; it’s about offering an alternative to the establishment.”
It was after reading this I was reminded of Bowie’s words of “Never play to the gallery” which seems to ring true in the direction Maz is now taking…being true to herself…
While broadening her musical horizons, O’Connor isn’t turning her back on the genre that has brought success. “Folk songs will always be in my bones,” she said, “but so is Bowie, so is Joni, so is Nina Simone. I’m a musician, and for too long I’ve limited myself to being a folk musician.”
One thing that remains unchanged, however, is O’Connor’s skill in creating something intensely personal which taps into a collectively felt experience.
Talking about her new single, O’Connor said, “‘Skin’ wasn’t easy to write, but I needed to write honestly about what it’s like to be a young woman in this society. Our bodies are scrutinised and we’re under pressure every day to be perfect. And it’s hard to be a young person in this country. I hope the song will offer a catharsis to people.”
‘The New Moon Tour’ began on 2nd November at Liverpool’s Philharmonic and ends on 11th November at The Pound in Corsham.
The tour dates has seen O’Connor introduce her new band, featuring John Parker of Nizlopi on bass and Tom Moore of Moore Moss Rutter/False lights on strings and drums.
Maz O’Connor’s remaining dates for ‘The New Moon Tour’ are as follows:
8th Nov: The Stables, Milton Keynes
9th Nov: Bush Hall, London (part of London Folk & Roots Festival)
11th Nov: The Pound, Corsham
Tickets are available from www.musicglue.com/mazoconnor