When one listens to Liverpool-based singer/songwriter Helen Maw, the first word that ought to come to mind is feeling. She makes us feel things. At 22, the Liverpool-based singer/songwriter is already making strides in enkindling our deepest vulnerabilities and compelling us to face them. The unbridled honesty in her vocal delivery makes for a soothing auditory treat, and she oozes a passion -an unvarnished emotional depth- that is almost palpable in her debut single “Your Little Secret”.
The opening piano chords offer a soul-stirring kaleidoscopic view of the overall sombre tenor of this powerful ballad. Maw sings with the seasoned tone of a sorrowful woman who has been in love and has had to endure the pain of her love being relegated to nothing more than a clandestine affair. She is an inconsolable survivor of the treacheries of love, but a survivor nonetheless, and is resolved in her decision to not “be your little secret”.
They say hell hath no fury as a woman scorned, and this moving piece is a testament to that adage. The impetus of “Your Little Secret” continuously finds its genesis in melancholic keys that cleanly buttress the emotional urgency of the song. The lyrical maturity displayed by Maw is potent enough to ignite ardent flames in even the most emotionally disengaged.
An unembellished and uncompromised presentation of one of the most significant yet trivialized human experiences, heartbreak, is what Helen Maw so effortlessly and unrestrainedly surrenders in this beautiful love song. This little lady sings the Blues, and we love her for it!
Listen to "Your Little Secret" here and get to know more about Helen Maw below.
Helen, it has been great speaking with you. Tell us a little bit more about yourself.
Thank you! It's been really great working with you guys too! So, I am a singer/songwriter from Liverpool in the UK and I have been performing and writing my own songs for a few years now. I studied Music at Liverpool Hope University and graduated in 2017, then I went back to study for a Popular Music Master's Degree which I graduated in January. I have been playing and learning music since I was a child and it has always been something I have loved doing! I feel very lucky to be from Liverpool as it is such a vibrant city with so much going on and there are so many amazing artists that have come from Liverpool who are a real source of inspiration for me! In my spare time, I love reading, listening to music, photography and supporting Liverpool Football Club.
You have an undergraduate degree AND a master’s degrees in Music. Impressive. How has being formally educated in the language of music helped your creativity?
I think it's been very important for me to receive formal education in music. By going to university, I have been able to learn so much that I didn't know before, especially in areas of music that I am not overly familiar with. Also, just being in that university environment and being surrounded by like-minded people was really beneficial to me and definitely helped me to be more creative and push myself out of my comfort zone when I'm writing songs. I think it's so important when you are a creative person, to learn as much as you can about the type of music that you make but also the other types of music that are out there too.
Your Little Secret” is so raw and seems almost personal. What inspired this song?
Thank you! I think it is a very personal song for me although it isn't written about one specific person. I think it is more about experiences that you have throughout life when you meet people and although you give them your all, they don't always reciprocate it. Again this isn't necessarily in a romantic sense but even if you consider yourself as someone who is always trying to please everyone around you, sometimes it is too much and you aren't always appreciated and it's that feeling that you get when that happens, that I'm sure everyone has felt at some point, which inspired me to write this song. So I definitely feel that it is one of the most honest and personal songs that I have written!
You have played at the prestigious Liverpool Philharmonic Hall; what was it like to perform in front of such a large audience? How does performing live compare to recording in the studio?
I would definitely say that performing at the Philharmonic was one of my proudest moments. It is such an iconic venue in Liverpool and so many amazing artists have performed there. When I performed, it was for a local charity event and it was so amazing to step out onto the stage and see so many people in the audience. There is no other feeling like performing live! I think you get different feelings when you are performing live, compared to recording in the studio. When you have performed live, you get such a rush of adrenaline and excitement and it is one of the most thrilling experiences you can have! When I am in the studio, it is a different kind of excitement. I always get a sense of pride when I am recording as you are piecing the vision you have of your song together and it's such a rush of emotions when you hear the song back, all mixed, for the first time.
Now that you’re releasing more material, what’s next for Helen Maw?
Well I have my first single coming out on June 29th! I'm very excited as this is my first release so a lot to look forward to! For the rest of this year, I am going to keep writing, performing and recording my music and hopefully keep releasing it. I have a lot of performances coming up over the summer in and around Liverpool so I am really looking forward to those. Thanks so much for speaking to me.