Mullally is the perfect example of why the internet is so influential in the careers of up and coming musicians. Almost overnight, Mullally was rocketed into Spotify sensation status, with his tracks accumulating over 2.5 million streams this year already; not bad for someone still right at the start of his career.
The 20-year-old Norfolk resident is the new master of an edgy soulful sound, with his raw and honest lyricism making for super-catchy, upbeat tracks that are completely infectious. With influences ranging from the soul greats to American R&B legends, Mullally mixes soulful melodies with pop-y production and emotive lyrics to create a sound that sucks you in from the very first beat. Writing his tracks with his friends, Mullally always opens up and plucks lyrics straight out of the heart – there’s not feigning of emotion here.
His newest single “Wonderful” touches on the beauty of realising just how amazing someone is. Wanting to avoid the over-the-top love songs and the explorations of heartbreak that spring to mind when “love song” is mentioned, Mullally focused on creating a celebratory track that is full of mellow soul melodies and emotive lyrics, full of positivity and catchy beats. For a sound so slick and well-crafted, it’s hard to believe Mullally’s only just starting.
Sum up your sound in four words?
Edgy zesty neo soul
When did you realise that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
I reckon it was when I joined Access to Music in 2014… I was about 18. As I learnt more about the music industry it just made sense, it got to the point where I couldn’t see myself doing anything else, so I decided I wasn’t going to.
What’s it like being a Spotify streaming sensation?
That’s a weird question to answer, I don’t know if I am a ‘sensation’. I’m just really, really glad that people are feeling the music. It’s a fantastic feeling to put your all into something and receive a good response, which I’m so thankful for.
What was your experience at Access to Music College like?
I loved Access to music, I still do. It’s the kind of place where hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. All the teachers are so dope too, I’m still friends with most of them now. It’s a totally different vibe to most education, everyone is motivated and chilled.
Can you tell us about your track “Wonderful”?
Wonderful is a song about realising how wicked someone is. So often songs are written about heartbreak, or love or pain; and I just wanted to write a celebratory track. It’s quite tricky to write a happy song without it getting corny, so I’m really glad it didn’t come across like that. The thing is, the production in the tune sounds pop, but the chords and melodies are Sunday soul. I’ve been rehearsing with a full band recently to prepare for the live shows next year and the tracks are sounding super soulful. I’m really excited.
What’s your writing process like? Who do you collaborate with in the studio?
I like to write songs with people I feel like I’m friends with. I think when you can feel comfortable with a mate rather than feeling professional with a producer, you can open up and make the song more real. That being said, I just love making music; I do it all day, every day, so as long as I’m creating I don’t mind how the creative process happens.
What are some common themes you like to explore through your lyrics, and what kind of emotions do you want your listeners to feel?
Obviously I love soulful, emotive lyricism, but I think one of the most important qualities for lyrics is that they feel real and honest. People can always tell when you don’t mean your lyrics, whether that’s on the record or live. I really like using interesting words too, I try and slip the odd word in that shouldn’t really be there.
You played some festivals over the summer – what was that like and how do festival performances compare to normal gigs?
I love festivals. The thing about festivals is you have to work for your crowd… There’s not always a big crowd in front of you so you have to put on your best performance just to win people over to your stage. Of course, normal gigs are wicked, but there’s something extra satisfying about winning over your crowd.
Who are your influences and how do they inspire you?
My musical influences range so widely, but my main influences are the soul greats; Marvin, Sam, Al Green, Otis Redding. Im currently obsessed with 1990s/2000s American R&B; names like Mario, Ne-Yo and D’angelo fill my playlists. I try and draw a little something from all of the artists I listen to, I think it’s important to be a well rounded artist and hit all the different spots.
What’s your favourite thing about making music, and the least?
My favourite thing about making music is that I can’t get bored of it. Every if I get bored of one song, I can write, produce or just listen to another. There’s so much you can do with music, just so effin dope. My least favourite thing is the frustration of writers block. When you just can’t think of that next line or melody, no matter how many different angles or perspectives you look at it from, man that is just the longest feeling.
Do you think the industry is supportive of young artists, and how integral do you feel the internet is in helping artists forge their careers?
No I don’t think the industry is supportive. Labels don’t help young artists, they just get them to the next level. There’s a HUGE amount of work and pressure that a young artist has to go through before the industry starts to support them. The internet is crazy helpful though. It’s opened so many doors that would have been permanently shut for a lot of artists and fans. Discovery is such a huge part of the music industry now, we love anything fresh and new. I think the Internet is the main cause for that.
What’s next? Tour? Album?
Woah woah woah, we’re only in month ten here guys… Nah I’m playing. The next step is to try and show a more soulful side to the music, so there’s gonna be a few more releases and some bigger live shows before the EP drops next year. I’m so excited and so thankful for all of the support so far, so I hope I can fulfil some of the amazing praise that I’ve been lucky enough to receive.