Following up her latest project “High School High” released in 2018, New York City-based artist Maude Latour is back with a brand new single entitled “Superfruit”.
Written by Latour and produced by Melvv, the new single “came from a feeling”, says Latour. “It's partially about being sick of small talk, admitting how lonely I am (and everyone feels all the time despite being constantly surrounded by people), but still feeling wonderful. It's about a crush, it's about summer. It's about the feeling of pop rocks and orange juice, a frozen dream of driving down a high way in a car with my ponytail blowing in the wind. It's about realizing bad guys are overrated and being afraid of death-- but it's all a wonderful feeling: the fact all of this can be true and it can still be summer time,” explains Latour.
Along with the song, Latour revealed the visuals for "Superfruit". Directed by Fergus Campell, the music video was shot at Latour's college dorm.
The 19 year old singer/songwriter is painting her own musical path, by creating fun and personal records.
“Superfruit” is now available worldwide.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
My name is Maude Latour, I grew up mostly in New York City, but I've moved a lot with my family. I was born in Sweden, moved to London, moved to New York City, grew up in Hong Kong, and then moved back to New York again for high school. A lot of moving around, so I definitely don't have a concrete answer as to where I'm from. My father is Dutch, and my mom is American-- I speak Dutch and Mandarin.
What's your story?
I am just a kid trying to save the planet. And squeeze every ounce of transcendence out of the human condition while I'm at it.
Could you describe us your childhood a little bit? What were you passionate about?
I was the kind of kid who always spoke to adults, and always found my way to the center of attention. That's part of why I love languages and words so much, I really just love turning the intangible into the tangible. I always kept a journal, which has completely defined my entire existence. I told everyone in 3rd grade that I would be president, and used to draft plans for running the world on solar power. I wrote letters to politicians I wanted to thank (based on my childhood knowledge of politics), and fan mail to authors I loved. I was energetic and would always raise my hand. Not too much has changed.
When did you realize you could sing?
I first sang at my second-grade talent show. I practiced every day on the school yard and every night to a karaoke track on iTunes, and it was probably the best show of my life. Probably. I think I fell in love with it on the spot, and never stopped singing again.
When did you decide to pursue music as a career?
I don't know if I ever made an active decision to do it. I just keep putting out music and I just keep having ideas for songs. I fall in love with the stage harder and harder every time I perform, and I've started to realize who I am through my music. I guess I decided to take things more seriously after I put out my first song. It was absolutely mind-blowing to me that something I wrote between my bedroom and the piano room on the 4th floor of my high school could be on Spotify.
Who was the first person to ever believe in you?
I think my dad has always been my biggest fan. He and I are very similar people, and he's always deeply understood the joy I get from music, as well as my philosophical exploration of the world. I hear my sister belting the lyrics to my unreleased songs in the shower, and she is the first person I come to for opinions. Her reactions is what I live for. My mother, too, has been the person to get me through my lowest moments of writer's block (she's an incredible writer herself). My family is incredible. Other than that, I do really have to thank my best friend Morgan, as well as the entirety of my high school graduating class, because this whole project literally came to life because of their support. My grade would come to all of my shows and created an environment that encouraged vulnerability. So many people I am grateful for.
You released your first project High School High in 2018. What did this experience teach you as an artist?
A lot of my high school friends say the songs remind them of exactly who we were in senior year. I forget that there are people on the other end of the process who consume the final product. It taught me that the music I put out doesn't stop on release day, rather it becomes a part of other peoples' lives and belongs to all of us. I created HSH without a single eye on me from the industry, and it pretty much gave birth to what I consider my life now-- and it's important to remember how much I owe purely to luck (the Spotify playlist my songs were randomly put on, that completely changed my life). It's hard to resonate with your old work, because I feel so different now. I rarely listen to my old music, but when I do, I treat it as paying homage to my own growth. Every phase is a journey with being grateful for. Some songs are still painful for me to listen to, they've had the effect of freezing time.
You’ve just released your new single "Superfruit". What's the story behind this song?
This song came from a feeling, and I think the song feels exactly like that feeling. It's partially about being sick of small talk, admitting how lonely I (and everyone feels all the time despite being constantly surrounded by people), but still feeling wonderful. It's about a crush, it's about summer. It's about the feeling of pop rocks and orange juice, a frozen dream of driving down a high way in a car with my ponytail blowing in the wind. It's about realizing bad guys are overrated and being afraid of death-- but it's all a wonderful feeling: the fact all of this can be true and it can still be summer time. We are so complex, happiness is so special. Superfruit. Yes. I know what it means for me, you can find out what it means to you.
When did you start working on this song? Who did you work with?
I wrote this song by myself in January. The word 'superfruit' had been buzzing on my mind for a week. I knew the song existed in the universe and I was waiting for the moment it would appear. I suddenly felt the moment coming after drawing doodles of fruits for hours and bursting with the feeling that ‘Superfruit’ describes. It completely spilled out of me, I sat down at the piano in my house and the song streamed from that holy place every artist knows to the page in front of me in a matter of minutes. The next day I had a recording session with an incredible producer Melvv, who completely understood the vision for the song and helped me bring it to life. We made it in one day.
What do you like the most about this song?
I just think it is completely true to the feeling it intends to describe. I like how it juxtaposes the true happiness with the true reality. I am sick of songs that are about nothing. This song contains my captured experience of how I feel when I'm free.
What can you tell us about the music video? Where did you get the inspiration?
I couldn't imagine making a music video with a crazy budget, putting on amounts of make up and smizing for a camera. I've done that before and it feels wrong every time. I am wearing my favorite outfit and I made it in my college dorm. My dear friend Fergus Campell completely executed and enhanced my vision for it, and he filmed it over a span of 5 hours, and we spent the following week in the library perfecting it. It is completely representative of who I am right now. A series of shots of me and my friends in the school we love, my messy dorm, our Alma Mater statue, and the library that I spend the majority of my time. It was fun every second making it and that's what I'm focused on these days. I'm making music for my friends-- and that's it. I'm done trying to fit into any form of what someone wants me to be career-wise.
What's your goal for "Superfruit"?
I want to dance down the sidewalk with my headphones blasting it during sunset on the upper west sideI want people to love it as much as I do, I want to play it over the summer on full volume in the sun and see people smile. I want to sing it on stage and dance with the whole room.
What message do you want to convey through your art?
I'm just trying to capture my own feelings and be as honest as I can about the realities of my human experience. From loneliness, pure happiness, my interaction with religion, my ideas for how the world should be run. There is a revolution happening that will unify us, a consciousness revolution of understanding ourselves and others. This runs through politics, religion, art. I want people to lean into their human experience and expose their fears and dreams for the world.
What appeals you the most about being an artist?
I haven't really chosen to "be" an artist, I am kinda just existing and this is what's happening.
Who's helping you create your visuals?
My friends at school and I make everything come to life. This is why I feel so blessed to be in college right now-- I am meeting so many people pursuing such different and wonderful paths. It makes the project so much more important to me and reflective of why I am actually doing this. Fergus Campell with the video and filming everything (kindred spirits), Lola Lafia with so many pictures and dreamy conversations (a constant source of inspiration), Claire Easton with making images come to life, and Pedro Damasceno for late night photoshop emergencies, are few of many to thank. Wow people are so talented, it's amazing.
Funny story about the ‘Superfruit’ cover actually. The picture was taken by a parent volunteer leader of a Girl Scout community I was a part of in Hong Kong. She housed me for the summer when I was pursuing music five years after I left HK, and one day we saw this tennis court. I went back to LA about a month ago and all I could picture was that incredible blue tennis court... I asked Angela (this friends' mom) to let me take the picture at the tennis court she had access to, and she and I executed the vision beyond my wildest dreams. Funny how things work out.
How do you want to be remembered for?
I'm not sure yet. I'm not doing this to be remembered. This whole thing isn't really about me.
What message do you want to give to young women around the world?
Never dress like your friends, never try to look like people you see online. Question every single trend, it's not cool to be the same. Don't date people who treat you badly because you think that's love. The people you really love are the people who treat you well, you don't have time for anything else. Also raise your hand every time you think of something to say and force yourself to bring up the other side of the argument, you can do anything you put your mind to... and all that. Make a list of everything you want to do and then do it. Try not to feel sorry for yourself, there's always someone worse off. Get out of bed, go do it.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Meditating. Listening more. Sharing our deepest darkest secrets, letting ourselves free. Forgiving people. Bringing humanity back into politics-- putting empathy and human understanding into our philosophy on policy. Realizing that people who have different opinions than you are just products of their upbringing. Conversational governance among people. Understanding the nuances of difficult issues and being able to question your assumptions. Not talking your biases into situations. Realizing everyone feels just as self-conscious as you when you walk in a room. Being able to talk about how lonely we feel. Realizing how universal our emotions are. Prioritizing empathy always. We need green energy, like, yesterday. Need. That is a mission of mine I will never forget.
What biggest lessons have you learnt as a human being and as an artist?
Two contradicting things. To take a beginner's mind into every conversation, and trust my intuition. On one hand, to question everything I take as certainty and withhold judgement on all cognitive reality as best I can. To approach everything with curiosity and wonder and complete destruction of my preconceived notions. But at the same time, learning that having a bad feeling about something is the only instinct we can have. Our natural reactions are something to be treasured, Socrates called his a "divine sign". These are all things I want to be, I am growing and learning, but these are all the ideals I aspire to and hope to grow into. I have learned so much from my mistakes, my failures, my successes. I am ever-evolving but I truly am open to this universe, ready to change, be changed, and learn everything I can.
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