Pairing dark, fatalistic lyrics with shiny, alt-pop arrangements, mazie’s music is as infectious as it is unpredictable, a playful take on modern malaise wrapped up in sugar-coated psychedelia. Her writing exudes a childlike innocence, but with an eerie, off-kilter twist, like watching old home movies through a funhouse mirror. There’s nostalgia in her hypnotic performances, to be sure, but it always comes laced with dread, with an impending sense of doom fueled by a world in ever-deepening crisis. And so mazie smiles as she steps into the abyss, because if the world’s about to end, why not at least have a little fun with it? Born in Albany, Georgia and raised outside Baltimore, mazie fell in love with singing at an early age and spent most of her childhood studying classical and jazz vocals. By the time she hit her teenage years, she was writing her own music and recording it with her neighbor, Elie Rizk, who was teaching himself to engineer and produce in his basement studio. The two were deliberate about their search for a sound, though, and spent years experimenting and collaborating before they landed on “no friends,” mazie’s breakout 2020 debut. Clocking in at less than two minutes, the utterly addictive single exploded online, earning widespread acclaim and quickly racking up millions of streams. In the months to come, the pair would follow it up with two more singles, the lilting “i think i wanna be alone” and trippy “sippy cup,” both of which arrived to similarly rapturous responses.