Hi, I’m Mae Challis
I’m a singer, songwriter and musician from the Isle of Man.
This year has been incredibly busy for me so far! I was fortunate enough to secure some sponsorship which has enabled me to take time out from all other obligations so that I can concentrate on my song writing, musical technique and development. I have also been able to focus on my acoustic set.
I’ve played quite a few live acoustic shows on the Island and in the UK so far this year. It’s been so well received, I feel that I’ve definitely improved and developed my own style now and I’m really looking forward to getting out there more!
I recently spent time in Wales working on some of my songs with top producer Steve Bush (Stereophonics, Ocean Colour Scene, Corinne Bailey Rae). I then flew to Malta to record a duet of one of my songs ‘Is It Strange’ with Maltese star Joe Roscoe. To have someone else singing one of my songs was truly magical. Something I never thought I’d achieve!
I also recorded and filmed one of my acoustic shows which was released on CD and DVD. It’s called ‘Mae Challis Live at Bath and Bottle’ and I think it represents my sound perfectly! I’m very proud of this album, it was an opportunity to be completely me and showcase all the hard work I put in leading up to the evening of the recording. Performing live is my favourite setting so for me, this was perfect. I hope you enjoy listening to the recording as much as I did performing it!
Love Mae x
MY STORY . . .
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love music, it’s always been there. Whenever there was a song on the radio that I knew the words to I’d be singing along to it.
I begged my Mum for a guitar when I was 4 years old and eventually she gave in. Nobody would take me on for guitar lessons because I was too young, so my Mum sat me down to play at least 10 minutes guitar every day and slowly but surely I came into my own and I never stopped! I then got my first piano when I was nine, purely through luck really as one of my parents friends had an old piano that they didn’t have room for any more so we said we’d have it. Mum got me a few lessons and I quickly fell in love with playing.
I never really had a good time at school, music was always my escape. My happy place. When I played music I had self-worth, I felt I was good at something. I never felt like that after a day at school.
I joined a group for young, music-minded people called Soundcheck when I was 14 and they gave me the opportunity to play and get used to being on stage with an audience. Soon after that I started to write my own music, to express myself in the best way I could.
I entered and won an Island-wide talent competition called ‘The Next Big Thing’ when I was 15, performing one of my own songs, and after that I recorded an EP of 5 original songs called ‘Released’. At last a CD I could call my own!
Once my EP was released, I formed a band with some of the best musicians on the Island and for the next couple of years I played everywhere I could, performing in pubs, clubs and festivals with my band, building my confidence in the way I wanted to perform and sound. I will always be grateful for having the opportunity to work with such skilled and experienced musicians and for them to take me seriously.
I had lots of life experiences over the next few years: first boyfriend; first heartache; arguments with my parents; all the normal teenage angst, but that was more than enough to get the ball rolling with my own material. I am now just focused on playing and writing and writing and playing, all the time. Developing my own sound and who I want to be. I love music being a big part of my life, and I’d like it to take me as far as I can go.
When people come up to me after a show and tell me that it really made them feel something or that they can relate to my lyrics or just that they enjoyed my music. There is nothing more rewarding.
I am very aware that when it comes to putting out original material, timing is everything. I want to make sure I get it right. I want to make sure that my music is always me and something that I can stand by and be proud of. I want to be authentic and honest with my music. And if my music can help anyone through a bad time, give them a good time and it stays with them for a long time, then there’s nothing more I can ask for.