Hump day is well and truly underway, which means the mid-week tiredness is setting in. And, that probably means that you are in need of a pick me up, right? Well, look no further, because Mauvey is back with a healthy dose of energy courtesy of his track, “CURFEW”. Despite the song being inspired by the heartache that comes with personal trauma and relationships, the single showcases the young artist’s intelligent melody and truly hypnotic beats, culminating in a track of true depth. A slow burner that gradually builds into a playful chorus and captivating synth, this one is sure to spend an eternity engraved in your mind.
Speaking on the track, the artist divulged, “Pouring my whole life into music meant personal relationships with my family and friends suffered. Beyond being hurt about failing people I love, I realised that the biggest issues almost always have something to do with communication. ‘CURFEW’ was inspired by the varying timelines we have with each other because of a lack of communication.”
Upon the release of his latest single, the artist took some time to chat all things music and looked to the future with Wonderland. Head down below to enjoy our interview with Mauvey…
Hey Mauvey! How are you doing? Can you tell us a bit about what this year has been like so far for you?
This year has been an absolute whirlwind. I started recording my debut album (can’t even believe I’m saying that) in January. I wrote and recorded it in Southampton, London, Berlin and Vancouver. I came up for air in March, then got a chance to go to SXSW in Austin, Texas for the first time. I came back to Southampton and finished the album in April. Then back to Vancouver to hand in the album to my label, prepare for my UK tour, and got a chance to Open up for easy life and Snotty Nose Rez Kidz in the same week. Then, I played a few gigs at The Great Escape Festival, which was a dream come true. After that, I flew to Toronto to perform at Canadian Music Week, before heading back for a crazy week in the UK and France. The band and I got a ferry to the Isle of Wight for the Isle of Wight Festival and the next morning, I flew to Paris to play my first ever show in Paris. Now, I’m back in Vancouver, playing a string of festivals to welcome the summer in.
Let’s start at the beginning, you were born in Ghana and raised across the UK and Canada, how did you get into music? Have the places that you have spent time in influenced your sound?
I got into music out of tragedy. My best friend was killed, and it changed my life. I knew I had to make some big decisions about my career, but instead of being scared, I told myself every day, ‘I GET a chance to dream and execute, I GET a chance to use my time on earth wisely or waste it’. My best friend no longer had that chance. So, I quit everything, moved back home and started writing – it wasn’t even music, to begin with. It was poems, short stories, essays. I turned the poems into folk songs, then spoken word poetry, then rap. Eventually, my sisters pushed me to go to an open mic where I gained confidence performing in front of people. I didn’t know how to sing, rap, write, record, or perform, but I knew music was what I quit everything for. So, I taught myself everything. I told myself very early on that I wanted to be considered one of best to ever do it, I have no idea how to be the best to ever do it, but I know how to work my hardest every single day. And my mum always told me, and still does, that if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you can never go backwards.
Congratulations on the new track “CURFEW”! Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired the track?
One of the things I did in the writing phase of the album was evaluate all my relationships. Pouring my whole life into music meant personal relationships with my family and friends suffered. Beyond being hurt about failing people I love, I realised that the biggest issues almost always have something to do with communication. “CURFEW” was inspired by the varying timelines we have with each other because of a lack of communication.
What would you say are the most important themes that you wanted to come through in the single? Is there a message you want to relay?
Being on different timelines can be the best thing to happen to a relationship. It’s only the worst timing if you don’t do anything about it. The key as with most things is communication.
You have previously said that you take inspiration from the likes of Michael Jackson, Kayne West, Oumou Sangare, Prince and Labrinth. Which qualities do these artists have that you particularly admire and try to reflect?
These artists are all giants! I love everything about Michael Jackson, his stage presence, his vision and performance in those epic music videos and his re-invention from album to album. Kanye West is one of the most complete creative artists of all time and that’s something I admire and am working towards. Oumou Sangaré is a Queen. She has the love of a whole continent – in such a divisive world, it’s almost impossible to be loved by almost everyone. Her music is uncontrollably unifying. Prince was a perfectionist and in my opinion, a perfect songwriter and producer. I loved reading about how he would only accept the best and never settle. Labrinth is cinema! His vocal ability is unbelievable. It’s remarkable how many things he has been a part of. There are many other artists I love; I am desperate however to create something uniquely Mauvey.
Throughout your career so far you’ve taken to stages at BBC Radio 1s Big Weekend, SXSW, and you have even supported easy life. Has there been a particular experience so far in your career that you’d cite as a highlight?
Honestly, every single thing is a highlight. I am so grateful to be doing this. I have never and will never take any of it for granted.
Now, we all know you to bring big energy and emotion to the stage, do you have a personal method you use to prepare and get in the zone mentally before a show?
I remind myself that, in my own little way, I get this crazy opportunity to change the world tour by tour and song by song. To tell every single person in every single audience that they are important and that they are loved. I don’t really need much more motivation than that. But I do try to stay still as much as possible. My show takes a lot of out of me, I do everything I can to preserve as much energy as I can, before giving it all away on stage.
What is next for you this year?
More, more, more festivals, releasing more singles, my debut album is coming in autumn, and I’ll be hitting the road on tour for more gigs.