Mabel McVey comes to Birmingham's O2 Institute as part of her UK tour, performing tracks from her much-loved EP Bedroom, including the extremely popular Finders Keepers feat. Kojo Funds. A child of the golden-age of r’n’b, Mabel nods to her idols Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah whilst channeling the vocal stylings of musical legends like Minnie Ripperton.

New chart sensation Mabel is definitely one to watch following the release of her fantastic EP Bedroom this year. Born in Spain before moving to Stockholm, Sweden, Mabel spent her childhood studying at the prestigious Rytmus Musikergymnasiet where she found solace in her music. Daughter to legendary producer Cameron McVey and singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry, Mabel fuses her musical sensibility inherited from her parents with a modern blend of soulful rhythm and blues. In no way does Mabel's young age prevent her from making her mark on the music scene - quite the opposite. The 21-year-old musician has a well-developed, original and contemporary sound, as well as a unique sense of style that sets her apart from many other singer-songwriters her age. Revealing her musical inspirations and ambitious career aspirations, Mabel spoke to Cornfield’s Evie Kissack in a truthful and unabashed interview, giving insight into the mind behind the incredible music and lyrics of Bedroom. 

Words by Evie Kissack

Can you tell me a little about the ideas and inspiration behind your EP Bedroom?

The Bedroom EP is about power play. About how you can be in the driving seat one minute and then how that situation can flip. Over the last couple of years I've been in a few situations work wise and relationship-wise that have been completely out of my control and vice versa and I’ve learned a lot from those experiences. 

 

Your songs deal with female empowerment, and you often talk about trying to find ‘love without ownership’. Do you think this message is important to communicate to other young women?

I want to make other young women feel the way my role models made me feel (Beyonce, Aaliyah, Lauren Hill) growing up. I feel so blessed to have grown up in the era of the “independent woman” and “survivor” mindset and I want to carry on that message. Love is great but we shouldn't need another person to make us feel good. 

 

You travelled a lot during your childhood. Do you think that had a big impact on your music?

I strongly believe that where we are affects what we are creating. I see my mixed heritage as a great asset to my music because I have so many places to draw inspiration from. 

 

Do you culturally identify with London more strongly than Stockholm? 

It’s impossible to pick one but for what I am making right now London couldn't be more perfect. It’s such an exciting time for British music, especially R&B and I feel really excited to be a part of what is happening here right now. 

 

Are the lyrics behind your songs based on personal experience?

I’ve been writing songs since I was 5 and all of my songs are based on personal experiences. It would be impossible for me to have it any other way because if I don't believe the words I’m singing why would anybody else. 

 

Has your family’s connection to music influenced your personal sound?

The choice to become a musician was obviously inspired by my parents and they've made a lot of great records that I love but my music and sound is very much my own. 

 

You’re extremely current and embrace the music of your generation, but also nod to other musical eras. Which artists would you say influence your music the most, and do you have any musical icons?

The 90’s are an important musical era for me and artists such as Destinys Child, Aaliyah, Lauren Hill and D’Angelo have influenced me. 

 

What are your aspirations for the future?

I’m not in any way embarrassed to express my many ambitions. I want tour the world, sell lots of records and be very well known for my music. 

 

You have in no way relied on your family’s ties to the music world, and have self-constructed your own career. Being so young, was this a difficult journey?

Of course it was hard, the music business is a difficult one but it was worth it. I’ve always been a very determined person. So I was willing to put in the work that was necessary. 

 

You’re very open about your childhood experiences of anxiety. Do you think it’s important to be honest, and create discussions about mental health?

I hope that the more I talk about it the more other people will want to talk about it. It’s not something to be ashamed of and now I see it as a good thing. Sensitivity is often frowned upon but I think being more open and feeling lots actually makes you a stronger person. 

 

Do you find playing gigs night after night in different cities creatively demanding, or is that something you thrive on?

Playing live is something that used to scare me but now it’s actually my favourite part of what I do. It gives me a chance to do something different with the songs and to see the people that listen to my songs singing along is the best. 

 

Mabel will perform at the O2 Institute, Birmingham as part of her UK tour 4th October. Grab your tickets here: www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham/.

@MabelMcVey

http://www.mabelofficial.com

 

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