Maudjeani Pelissier, 18, made his way from Haiti to Nantucket to follow his dreams to create and write music, produce, and perform live. Pelissier is a former Nantucket High School student who now attends the University of New Haven in Connecticut. At college, he is studying music and sound recording. “It’s just been learning a little bit about recording and also writing more and more,” he said.
Since he has gotten back from school, Pelissier has been writing more music for a project he is working on, as well as practicing and performing with his band, The “M” Band. You may have seen him performing at The Lobster Trap or the Gaslight this summer. Even if you miss one of those live performances, Pelissier’s first single will debut on August 18th, and will be released on all platforms.
The new single, “Even If” was a project he started last fall. The “pop” single is also mixed with inspiration from different genres, “for example, there are some aspects of it that I wanted to sound like a little bit of funk music,” Pelissier said. He was able to achieve the funk sound with an electrical clavinet, which is an electromechanical instrument that is typically used in conjunction with a keyboard amplifier.
“It was just like a melody that came to me, and then a melody for the chorus,” he said. It was a developing idea for weeks. “I structured it to be verse, pre chorus, chorus and then verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, chorus.” He has pulled inspiration from early Michael Jackson, as well as incorporating a little bit of R&B with the chords.
“It took almost half of a year, I’d say,” Pelissier said. He was able to get it mixed in the fall of last year, and it took all spring to record.
Being a student in college, and starting a career has helped Pelissier grow and branch out as an artist. “I feel like in certain aspects writing music in college kind of changed the way I write,” he said, “since then I've been writing songs that, are not emotional, but more personal.”
Pelissier is still creating songs that are energetic and make you want to dance, but since he headed college, he said that he is making more “chill and relaxing” music as well. As he gets more mature, his skillset continues to change and expand.
“I feel like writing and being a student is all about finding a good balance for setting a tone that I would want people to know.” However, in college, he is not writing as much as he used to, where he used to write almost every day and go to the Nantucket Community Music Center in high school.
“Even If” is about not letting what others think or say reflect how you see yourself. Since it is his first single he wanted it to be about things always working out and playing out the way they are supposed to. “In a way, it is a motivational song,” he said.
“For example, the first verse is ‘I am all for what you keep saying about me, and I am all for what you keep thinking about me then imagine what's in your mind’ which is basically saying that I won’t bother thinking about what others are thinking just because of the way I am.”
This song was a collaboration with the Nantucket Music Center. Floyd Kellogg was the engineer and then Pelissier told him what he wanted to hear. “I love working with him,” Pelissier said.
The two met and “kind of like dissected the song and put in what we wanted in each section” Pelissier said. As for the mixing, “I just waited on Floyd and learned what he is best at, which is awesome.”
Currently, Pelissier is getting funding from the Nantucket Music Center to record a whole project he has worked on. He is looking to release other singles as well throughout next year and this year, “and see what happens” he said.
Pelissier wants his family to be able to see what he has been doing on Nantucket because they are so far away from each other. Pelissier's family is still in Haiti while he lives in Nantucket with his Aunt.
Being young and achieving goals at a rapid pace has been surreal for Pelissier. “Sometimes I’m like, is it really happening?” he said. “Like maybe I’m mistaken, maybe I’m tripping for a second.” Pelissier said he is very thankful for everything that is happening to him.
This summer his band has performed at the Lobster Trap, The Gaslight, and a bridal party. “My favorite part of music is performing,” he said. “It is the most fun I have ever had.”
“Sometimes people tell me I always go crazy when I start performing,” he said. Most of the time he doesn’t even know what is happening when he performs, almost like he zones out. Almost like an out-of-body experience.
“A message I would want to say is thank you to the Nantucket community,” Pelissier said, “this song is kind of my gift to everyone feeling in the way that the words are.” This song is for people whose insecurities get the best of them.