T.H.E Interview – MAURY111
Berlin-via-Paris electronic pop artist Benjamin Ruby, or better known by his musical persona Maury111 shares his captivating new single ‘All Out’, out now on all streaming platforms.
Naming Björk, Thom York, RY X and James Blake as his biggest influences, Maury111 draws from his combined influences to create his own brand of “mysticosmic” pop music. His distinctive sound has a bewitching and mystical quality to it, paired perfectly with his incredibly dreamy vocals; the track captivates the listener from the very first note.
We spoke to MAURY111 to learn more about how 2021 was for him, his new single, plans for 2022 and more.
Aditya – Hey Benjamin, happy new year! Glad to have you for the interview. How was 2021 for you?
MAURY111 – Merry new spin around the sun! Thank you, I’m pleased to be playing the Q&A game with you. 2021 has been an odd one. I finished my album and started releasing it, then got the typical baby blues one can have after releasing work that has been worked on for years. I also spent a lot of time stuck in the north of Italy due to this peculiar virus but because it was in those beautiful mountains, it was the best place to be stuck in.
Aditya – Your newest release ‘All Out’ sounds fantastic, sublime & experimental. Could you share the creative process of the track?
MAURY111 – These words are fantastic to read, thank you. So it all started with the first note of the song, I was going through the sound presets of a synth (Serum) and I played this one note with this one sound and I directly heard the rest of the melody. I recorded it, excited as one can be when these moments happen, and found the melody of the voice right after. I was very much into Arca’s music during the period I composed this song and it influenced me a lot for the sound design. I recorded falling chains to use as a very textural rhythmic element. The voice melody of the chorus didn’t come as easily as the verse, what I often do in this case is to listen to the instrumental in the public transport and come up with several melody ideas. I remember finding this one waiting for the metro in Hermannplatz in Berlin. I went all the way to the end of the station, as far away as possible from people and noise, to sing and record the melody on my phone.
Aditya – What’s your message behind this track?
MAURY111 – It’s about how healthy it is to cry, to not keep it all in, and how I’ve struggled with it for many years.
Aditya – ‘Mysticosmic Pop’ genre is your creation, what do you define the genre & style?
MAURY111 – I’ve got songs about the oneness of the universe, about black holes, epiphanies, and mostly about how important the discovery of a personal spirituality is. So it’s quite introspectif and far-out. It is pop in the structure and in the voice treatment but the subjects and the moods are mystic and cosmic.
Aditya – Who are your biggest influences and why?
MAURY111 – First of all Björk, she many times reached the perfect balance between pop, experimental and electronic.
Second of all Tom York, his sensitivity is resonating vividly with mine.
Third I would say Aphex Twin, because whatever he does, be it ambient or hardcore, there’s always heart felt melodies.
Aditya – I see that you have a chain of pedals, what’s your rig like? I’d like to know.
MAURY111 – So I composed with loop pedals a lot. I used to use these Digitech JamMan, I had one for each element : baritone guitar, voice, synth and drum pad. Then I switched to the Boss 505 and 202 in order to be able to sync to a drum machine. Nowadays I do ambient live sets with a drone, baritone and voice. The drone is made with an unknown magic little device called the “Dhruva electronic shrutibox”, supposed to mimic the indian acoustic instrument called shruti-box. It only has three oscillators that one can tune. Very simple, very effective but very raw so I add a lot of pedals to it like a Big Sky reverb, a Wahwah to use as filter and a Moogerfooger phaser. This combination makes the sound constantly evolve and I can tame it or raise hell with the Wahwah. For the baritone guitar I use the Boss Harmonist a lot, to get very high pitched noise or extreme low basses right at my fingertips.
Aditya – What’s the ideation behind your stage name ‘Maury111’
MAURY111 – Maury is the name of the hamlet lost in the countryside of France where my mother grew up and where I go every summer. So it is basically one of my roots. The magic number 111 refers to a moment of oneness with the universe that I have experienced and that pushed me to start this solo journey that is Maury111.
Aditya – You’re part of several bands in Paris, could we listen to anything from the bands?
MAURY111 – Of course! Here is my jazz/groove band Beware The Dogz (Unfortunately the band no longer exists since I moved to Berlin).
There is also Épiphanie, an experimental electronic project I have with my two best and oldest friends with whom I started music. We don’t live in the same city so every year we spend 10 days jamming in isolation with as many instruments as possible plugged together. We will release new music soon.
Aditya – You’ve toured across major countries in Europe, which is your favorite country to play and why?
MAURY111 – I’ve met some wonderful people everywhere I’ve been so it’s hard to pick. The one I’m looking forward to returning to is Switzerland though. I have made really good friends, the people were very receptive to my music and the Swiss mountains are so incredibly beautiful.
Aditya – Lastly, what do you look forward to in 2022?
MAURY111 – Ok, it’s time for some self-prophecy. So:
Collaboration is the big word in my head these days. I’ve done a whole album completely on my own and it was great, I needed it, but now it’s time to mix my universe with other artists. I already got a list of people I want to work with. One of them is MSJY (check her out, she’s pure talent).
Also, in 2022 I will find the people to work with on the career development side of things (manager, agent, label…), I will spend a little bit less time alone in my studio focused on my craft and more time getting it to the people that can be moved by it.
2022 will be about opening to the world.