The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.
MoPOP Sound Off! 2022 - Meet the Artist: Maceo Sky
MoPOP’s Sound Off! gives up-and-coming artists mentorship from industry leaders, entrée into an artistic community invested in their growth, connections with peer musicians, and the chance to showcase their original music in MoPOP’s iconic Sky Church venue.
This years’ three live showcases — set for February 19, February 26, and March 5 — raise the bar for an all-ages show with a first-class experience at MoPOP for performers and the audience alike.
Maceo Sky is a Seattle-based artist, intent on delighting the brain and twisting the familiar. His music is an auditory adventure, with lyrics that drift from poetic, to playful, to conversational, and a sound that combines the sophisticated rhythms of hip-hop, the addictive pulse of dance music, and the colorful textures of rock, in a marriage officiated by story.
We took some time to get to know Maceo Sky ahead of the artist's Sound Off! 2022 performance on February 19 at MoPOP. Check out what they had to say!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an artist!
Maceo Sky: "My name is Maceo Sky and I'm from Seattle, Ballard-ish area. I would say music is like my first language. I think in a lot of ways, it's like everybody's first language. I feel like it's the thing that I understand the most."
What led you to apply for Sound Off! 2022? What was your reaction when you found out you were in?
Maceo Sky: "What I think is really cool about Sound Off!, what drew me to it is that there's people here thinking the same way that I think. I don't run into a lot of people who think the way that I think. Like-minded people. When I found out I got in, it felt like I was dreaming a little bit. I was kind of shaking when I first got the call. I was like, 'Am I about to wake up?' But yeah, it was great. I was trying to remember everything that they were saying on the call and I was like, 'I've got to write this down.' I was like really excited."
How would you describe your sound?
Maceo Sky: "I would describe my sound as any way that I can tell a story. I'm going to tell that story through the sounds and nothing is a off limits. Nothing isn't allowed, right? So if I'm going to put a tea kettle screaming sound in there, if it creates the right emotion or if it creates the correct feeling that I'm trying to go for, or tells the right part of the story, then that's what I'm going to do. There are no rules other than how can the story feel its best? How can I express the emotion of the music the best?"
How much experimentation goes into creating your music?
Maceo Sky: "It's all experimentation. Yeah. I'm never not deciding to do the opposite of what something feels like. It should be just to try it out, because I love that. If I'm making a song that's sad, it's like, 'OK, what about it can I make not sad?' To bring context almost, and be like, 'Listen to how sad this part of it feels' when you listen to this section of it, which is evoking energy of happiness."
Why do you make music?
Maceo Sky: "I just have to. I have to make music. I make music because I have to, and if I don't, then I'm just a guy who eats and sleeps and that's it. Just eat and sleep and stand around like an extra in someone else's story."
What are you hoping to achieve through your music?
Maceo Sky: "I'm trying to get people on a similar emotional wavelength. I's not that I'm trying to get energy or give energy, but I'm trying to plunge us into this ocean of shared energy that we can feel together – I feel your energy, you feel my energy, and we create this new energy through the performance."
Outside of music, do you have any pop culture passions?
Maceo Sky: "I love food. Food is great. All kinds of food. I really like cooking. We should all eat amazing food. I really like making stir fry, Chinese stir fry. It's really fun and it's pretty simple, but the flavors are great. I could go on a full tangent about cooking."
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE AT SOUND OFF! 2022...
We know you may be curious about health and safety protocols, so here are the extra steps we’re taking for these in-person Sound Off! showcases in our 140,000 square foot museum:
- Performers will be separated from the audience by a 20-foot buffer.
- All guests 12 years and older will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to the event.
- Masks are required for guests 3 years and older.
- Please only bring what you need as coat check is currently closed.
- There will be no concessions sold during Sound Off! events. Please come hydrated and consider eating before you arrive.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the museum.
More information about our COVID policies is available on our website.
Can't attend the live Sound Off! showcases this year? You can still support MoPOP's youth artist development programs by making a gift.
Special thanks to our Sound Off! community partner KEXP.
Learn more about Sound Off! 2022 + for contests, the latest news, and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
If you like what you see, support our work by making a donation or planning a visit to our nonprofit museum today!