William Maus
Photo: Carina Allen

Music Premiere: William Maus Drops Debut EP ‘WHO YOU’RE TALKING WITH’

NYC-based LGBTQ+ alt-pop songwriter William Maus introduces his debut EP, WHO YOU’RE TALKING WITH.

Maus shares, “I didn’t know how to be honest with myself for almost eighteen years. Or honest with everyone else around me. ‘WHO YOU’RE TALKING WITH’ is my willingness to confront self-suppression, the acceptance of hate, and the power in prioritizing my own needs and wants before others. And trusting the difference between self-worth versus selfishness. To accept myself is to be honest with myself, and that is only possible if I question everything around me.”

Originally from Minnesota, William Maus is a 20-year-old cat mother, musical theater student, IBS activist, and occasional Uber Eats customer. While growing up in a conservative town, when Maus was twelve, the music director of his church was forced to resign for marrying a man.

The incident led to Maus squashing his own sexuality, and ultimately, the guilt of watching it occur and not saying anything. In his senior year of high school, he traveled around the country competing with his original speech confronting the stereotypes of gay men having “gay voices.” He was named the 2020 Harvard International Champion in Informative Speaking, as well as the NSDA National Champion in the same category.

Yet the acknowledgment of his own sexuality was still fugitive. In 2021, Maus moved to NYC, began therapy, and discovered himself in songwriting. Releasing his first single, “BENEFIT,” at the beginning of summer 2022, the song was streamed in more than 40 countries in the first two weeks.

Maus says, “It was the ignition of the ability to see my own boldness and avoidance of the truth.”

William Maus made his live show debut with MajorStage at The Meadows in Williamsburg on October 18th.

Encompassing six tracks, entry points on the EP include “IS THAT ENOUGH?,” a tender, melodic song about truth, self-acceptance, and the damage of remaining silent. Maus’ velvety falsetto imbues the lyrics with profound emotional authenticity.

The low-slung alt-pop flow of “BENEFIT,” along with Maus’ evocative vocals, infuse the tune with creamy textures tinted by gleaming guitars. Jazz flavors give the rhythm delicious accents, adding passion to the tune’s cadence.

The title track opens on a gentle, shimmering guitar rolling into a dreamy melody infused with luscious savors of R&B. Swirling sonic leitmotifs conjure up indulgent washes of lush coloration as Maus’ rich, silky tones imbue the lyrics with stylish surfaces.

Simultaneously unflinching and genuine, WHO YOU’RE TALKING WITH reveals the songwriting gifts and expressive voice of William Maus.

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Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.