KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Talented singer-songwriter liesl-mae takes fans on a journey of self-discovery with the release of her latest single, “The Trip.” Simple, vulnerable, and authentic, liesl-mae’s analogous approach to storytelling reveals an old soul steeped in awareness far beyond her age. The Kuala Lumpur-based songstress is signed to OFFMUTE – Sony Music Entertainment’s Southeast Asian label – and is one of four artists that the label announced upon its launch on March 19, 2021.
“The Trip” begins stripped down and intimate as liesl-mae details the starting point of a journey she’d like to embark on. Eager and excited, everything around her seems to imply the time is right to charge towards her goals and ambitions. However, living in an age where people are constantly being inundated with the thoughts and opinions of others, liesl-mae highlights the importance, now more than ever, to check in on oneself; ensuring that the expectations we set for ourselves are indeed important to us and the goals we strive to achieve are in alignment with our values.
The sparse instrumentation, a nod towards limitless potential and endless possibility, is equally daunting in its expanse as it is exhilarating. Symbolic of the balancing act involved in deep reflective thought, “The Trip” is, in essence, an exercise in maturity and self-understanding – an antidote to the unrealistic expectations promulgated and exacerbated by social media.
In dealing with the mental exhaustion and burnout that typically ensues, “It’s important to look back at all the things that have made us who we are, the things we are thankful for; the people, experiences, and memories… And realize that there’s more to life than the hardships we go through”. Instead of allowing ourselves to be defined by our struggles, “Life can only get better when we’re here to make it better,” says liesl-mae.
Personal growth and exploration are strong themes that undergird the entirety of the project; from the initial conception of the song to working with producer Jose Ong to bring it to life. “[Jose] made me feel comfortable throughout the entire process and really pushed me in terms of finding my identity as an artist for this song in particular. He was super receptive to my feedback and helped me learn a lot in our few studio sessions together – from sing[ing] more expressively, to building harmonies, and just overall encouraging me to try things I’d never tried before.”
Translating the track’s metaphoric nature to its accompanying visual components was of the utmost importance to the music video’s director, Dexter Anthony. “Since The Trip is all about mental health and what [liesl-mae] has gone through, I didn’t want to stray too far away from her own story.” Tastefully highlighting key lyrical moments with strong visual cues and motifs, the music video conveys an affecting sense of restraint; one that allows liesl-mae’s mellifluous storytelling to breathe and occupy its due space.