Meet the sassy pop newcomer championing girl power.
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Although just a couple of releases deep into her career, those two songs are all you need to see that Mae Muller is something special. Dropping “The Hoodie Song” and “Jenny” last year, the 20-year-old North London native has proved herself a force to be reckoned with, with her R&B-tinged vocals and captivatingly playful lyrics reminiscent of those early Lily Allen songs that we all probably still know by heart (we do).
A clear pop sensation in the making, the songs are the first taste of her upcoming EP, “After Hours”, which is set to fully establish the newcomer as one to watch out for this year. Eager to learn more, we sat down with Mae to talk girl power, Gwen Stefani and what the future holds.
What’s your first musical memory?
My first musical memory was me at the age of six, dancing on my aunt’s table in her sitting room. I’m pretty sure it was “Murder On The Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis-Bextor that was playing, it was one of my favourite songs (and still is).
Which artists did you listen to growing up?
Gwen Stefani was my idol growing up! I made my dad download Love.Angel.Music.Baby and it’s all I ever used to listen to; The Sweet Escape was also one of my favourite albums. I would listen to “Early Winter” and pretend I was in a music video and try and make myself cry. I was a strange nine year old!
Would you say that she’s had an influence on your own music?
I wouldn’t say she influenced my music and songwriting, but after discovering Gwen I knew that I wanted to do what she did and music was definitely going to be a part of my life.
So when did you first start wanting to create your own music?
I always used to write while growing up, but it was about two years ago that I wrote a song and thought “I’m actually going to do something with this!” I have a family friend named Gully, and he’s a really talented guitar player and I knew he messed about with Logic just for fun, so I hit him up and asked him to help me out. The feeling of being able to make my words come to life was so exciting, and so new, and I just didn’t want to stop.
Where do you find your songwriting inspiration?
I find most of my inspiration with just my experiences of being a young female. From love, to heartache, to dealing with misogyny, and just girls having to stick together. It does sound slightly cliché but it is so important to me that us girls support and lift each other, because there are a million and one things that will try and put us down, and we should not contribute to that number, ever! I think that’s one of the things I feel most passionate about so, naturally, it comes through in my music.
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Your debut track “The Hoodie Song” came out last year. Can you tell us a bit about how it came into being?
I wrote the first verse when I was flying back from Milan. I’d been visiting my boyfriend and I felt all sad about having to leave, which I think is what gave me the urge to start writing a cute, smushy love song. In my next session, which was with [producer] Two Inch Punch, he started playing this really nice guitar melody, so I started singing the lyrics over the top, and then, four hours later, we had “The Hoodie Song”!
What made you decide to choose it as your debut?
The second I heard the finished product I knew it had to be released. I wanted my debut to be chilled, not too overbearing, and something that people could just relax to, and “The Hoodie Song” fits that criteria perfectly.
As your introduction to the music scene, what do you want people to take away from the track when they hear it?
I want people to be left with that warm fuzzy feeling after they listen to it. Like they just wanna call their boo and tell them to get their ass over here.
And recently you released your second track, “Jenny”. Can you tell us about the story behind it?
“Jenny” is about a guy that’s playing me and a number of other girls behind my back, and instead of me wanting him back or being heartbroken and hating the girl he cheated with, I actually run off with her! I just wanted to turn it on its head and make what would normally be a sad situation something playful and fun.
In both tracks, your lyrics are extremely honest and compelling. What draws you to this kind of songwriting?
I just love being able to tell a story when I write. I’ll have an idea, but I always think what can I do to make this different? How can I make this interesting? There is so much talent and amazing songwriting everywhere, so to stand out I feel like you have to be as honest as you can, and really tell a story. It has to be more than just a song.
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You tweeted the other day about the “weird jealous competitive shit” young female artists often face. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Well, I just feel like, in a lot of creative industries such as music and fashion, women are built up to always be comparing each other, and just through my experience, I feel sometimes that instead of people being happy for someone else’s success they see it as more of a threat. I understand, everyone wants to be number one and get to the top, but we really are all on this journey together. It’s always important for girls to support each other! It’s already difficult at times to be a female in this industry, so we have to try our best to lift each other up when we can.
Do you have any words of wisdom for those – like yourself – trying to break into the music scene?
My main bit of advice is people are probably going to tell you “no” a bunch of times, and you may feel like you’re not moving along as quickly as you would like but don’t ever let it affect your art. There was a few times when I felt quite fed up and thought no one was going to take me seriously as an artist, but you just have to block it out and have that tunnel vision. It’s easier said than done but you can never stop believing that you’re going to make it, because that hope and ambition will carry through the rougher times.
What can we expect from your upcoming EP? Any juicy details you can give us?
So the EP, “After Hours”, is out in early February and I cannot wait! It shows a lot of different sides to my personality and there’s songs to fit your every mood. I really think people are going to enjoy it, so I’m very excited to share. It’s been in the works for about a year now so I am so ready for it to be released!
Finally, 2018. What do you hope to achieve this year?
I kind of promised on my Instagram story the other day that I would be on Vevo’s dscvr’s ones to watch 2019, so that is definitely a goal! I would also love to sell out a few shows. I haven’t been performing live as much, so to do a few of those would be great. I really feel great about this year so I think it’s achievable. Fingers crossed!
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