Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO is she?
Me For Queen is Mary Erskine, a London-via-Scotland pianist, singer and songwriter.
“I started playing piano when I was 5, with the Suzuki method, where you learn by ear. I was totally in love with my teacher and just thought she was the most magical person in the world, so I got pretty into it from an early age. I loved having music as my “thing” – I’m the youngest of 5 and I soon worked out it was a fairly reliable way to get some attention. So it all started from showing off. Which is odd because I wouldn’t say now that I’m an extrovert. But as a child, I’ll be honest, I was pretty insufferable.”
“I started writing songs around age 12 or 13, but I didn’t like my voice so I never sang anything in public until 10 years later, at an open mic night at uni..”
WHAT is the inspiration behind her songs?
“I think most of us are trying to find a voice for what’s going on inside our heads… I’m really interested in the subconscious – quite often stuff will come out in a song that’s about a year or two ahead of where my conscious, thinking head is at. Which I always find interesting. I’m fascinated by people and how we all get along.”
“Musically, I’ve finally accepted the piano as my instrument and I’m much happier writing songs around the piano, after having fought it for a while.”
WHERE did she grow up?
“I grew up just outside a small village called Kingsbarns, right by the sea, in Fife (Scotland) – no one would believe me as I hardly have an accent, but there we are. I am inspired by the countryside – I do think that growing up in a slightly wild place with freedom to just wander around for hours without talking to anyone does shape your worldview in some way… I have lived in London for seven years and have recently decided it’s time for a change, so I’m actually moving to Porto next year! I studied Languages and I loved living in France/Italy as a student – I love how much you can learn from just being in a different culture. Maybe I’ll come back as a Fado singer…”
WHY is she called Me For Queen?
“I have no idea. I just liked the sound of it. ME is my intials. I’m sorry there’s not more of a story. A few people have asked whether it came from that picture of me (on the EP artwork, as a small child) as it looks like I’m sitting on a throne. It’s a complete coincidence.”
WHEN can I see her live?
3 November – Bristol, Old Bookshop
6 November – Glasgow, Broadcast
7 November – Newcastle, Head of Steam
8 November – Manchester, Fallow Café
9 November – Leeds, Oporto
10 November – Birmingham, Sunflower Lounge
The new EP from Me for Queen is available to pre-order through Pledge Music. Support her music here.