Mabel 19 London
Categories: Music, Musician, Performer

Posted: 8th November 2015

Earlier this week when we heard nineteen year-old Mabel McVey's track, My Boy My Town, we were transported back to the year 2003 and more precisely to the first time we heard Sugababes' 'Too Lost in You' and to scribbling notes in double maths about what Chris said to us on MSN last night- basically to school, the leisure centre, to being sat in the back of our parents' cars, to siting in the chippie, to when girl bands were everything and pop music was brilliant… and to ever crush we've ever had.

You see, that's just what Mabel's slinky voice will do to a girl. Her music is an ode to all your favourite late nineties, early noughties front women: to Lauryn Hill and the whispering Alliyah, via Lumidee and Neneh Cherry- which makes sense, because, that's her mother.

Ok, so let's get this bit out of the way sharpish because it's already becoming cliched to talk about Mabel within the framework of her family. Mabel is Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey’s daughter. She's also sister to BabyFace honey, the brilliant Tyson McVey, whom she cites as the person she most admires. What her upbringing did mean, was that Mabel was surrounded by music from a very young age and recalls a lot of time spent in the studio and the sound of deep base sending her to sleep still.

Nope she's not where she currently is because of any firmly pulled strings (she considered being a doctor just to buck the trend). In fact she's only been in London for a year, and didn't even fess up to having any interest in going into the family business until the grown age of sixteen. Before moving to London, Mabel had lived for ten years in Sweden where she went to music school and studied singing/songwriting and learnt everything from singing, performance and production.

One listen of her music confirms an adult and tender grasp on the arc of the romantic relationship that will speak to anyone who's ever been in love. Her silky voice and we-want-your-whole-wardrobe style has already garnered her an army of fan-girls (us included) and low-key boy ones too. The super sleek monochrome video for My Boy My Town drops next week and it's her first official foray into fully fledged songstress life. In the meantime we'll be performing acapella renditions of My Boy My Town on the 149, if anyone's interested.

HOW WOULD YOUR FRIENDS DESCRIBE YOU IN A SENTENCE?I asked my besties and this is what they said: An ambitious goofy bean with strong feelings for Drake. WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU GET UP?I try to not look at my phone first thing. It's easy for me to get really stressed out in the morning and blow things out of proportion so I always make sure there's time for a yoga session or even just a quick stretch.WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?It sounds cheesy but definitely when I'm making music. It's probably the only time I'm not overanalysing. And when I'm eating with my family. Everything revolves around food in my family... What we're gonna cook, who's gonna cook it, where we're going to eat, how long it's going to take etc etc etc WHO DO YOU ADMIRE?My big sister Tyson for always just being her amazing self and Beyoncé (I don't feel like I need a reason for that one). WHAT'S YOUR CURRENT OBSESSION?Lip liners! I basically just want to be Aaliyah. WHAT’S YOUR BEST ADVICE?Whenever I make any decisions be it career or personal I always stop and ask myself whether the decision is one that I can stand behind 100%. I try to not think too much about the logistics of everything and just be honest with myself about whether it's going to make ME happy. Oh yeah and make sure you stay moisturised and don't date rappers.WHAT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?Coconut oil! I cook with it, moisturise with it, use it as brow gel... The list of coconut oil wonders is infinite. BOOK CLUB RECOMMENDATION?Americanah- Chimamanda Nygozi Adichie SONG TO BE PLAYING AS YOU ENTER THE CLUB?Headlines - DrakeTIME YOU LAUGHED THE HARDEST?I don't know when I've laughed the hardest... I feel like I'm pretty much always hysterical about something haha. Just yesterday I was laughing so hard I nearly peed. My friend and I were making a casual silly dance video (as you do...) and she fell over. I probably should've helped her but I was in stitches. WHAT'S YOUR SIGNATURE DISH?Sweet potato and okra stew with coconut rice.ONE ITEM OF CLOTHING THAT BEST SUMS YOU UP?Baggy jeans.WHAT WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVERUSE?Sick (It's probably the most contagious word out there).WHAT THREE THINGS WOULD BE ON YOUR RIDER?Oreos, pickled onion monster munch, a scented candleWHAT'S YOUR PET HATE?When someone makes you a half assed cup of tea. Like when they just leave the tea bag in. Don't ask someone if they want a cup of tea and then only go 50% of the way! MAKE IT WITH LOVE.WHAT'S NEXT?I'm going to start playing live in the near future and I'm working away on my album. So just music music music music. AND FINALLY...WHO IS YOUR NEXT BABYFACE GIRL SUGGESTION?Who: Grace Ladoja and Madeleine Ostlie.
Why: They are incredible strong women out there bossing it up. I have the privilege to work with both of them and they're always inspiring me.