Text and Interview Aina Nur Sarah Photography Universal Music
“It’s been great! I get to do what I love everyday so the positives always outweigh the negatives,” that’s what Mabel had to say when we asked her how she’s adjusting to the rise in fame.
At only 23 years old, Mabel is making waves in the music industry. Her latest hit, “Don’t Call Me Up” entered the Billboard Top 100, giving everyone another anthem they can add to their empowerment playlist.
Believe it or not, Mabel only had a day to write “Don’t Call Me Up”. Her song writing process has been the same her whole life– she has a concept, writes it in her phone (be it lyrical ideas or something she wants to write about), then plans it into a song. “Every process, like my process is the same, but every song comes about in a different way. Like sometimes it takes days and sometimes it takes hours, it’s kinda like magic. You can’t control it,” she adds.
Mabel’s musical talents isn’t only a gift but might also be hereditary as she comes from a very musical family. Her mother is Neneh Cherry, famous for her 1988 hit Buffalo Stance, and her father is music producer Cameron McVey so it’s no surprise that Mabel is uber talented. Mabel even writes her songs with her older brother, Marlon Roudette, Mattafix‘s frontman.
When asked if there were any competition between her and her siblings, Mabel says no and that they keep family and work separate. “He’s just my brother. But when me and my brother do write songs together we keep it professional. It’s two very different things,” she says.
“The only pressure I have— or the only thing/person that can pressure me is myself. I happen to come from a musical family but it has nothing to do with my artistry or who I am as a song-writer or a singer. I’ve always been my own person y’know.”
Mabel takes inspiration from her surroundings, her family and her friends. “Some of my friends will be going through something really crazy but they don’t write music so I’ll be like ‘Hey lemme write this song for you’,” she laughs, “But it’s all real things like its all real emotions.”
Mabel also adds that music is a way for her to learn how to cope with things, express it and understand it.
When it comes to influences, Mabel cites Destiny’s Child as her biggest influence and made her want to write songs that would be empowering to other people. “Growing up I was massively into 90’s R&B. I think the biggest influence for me in life was probably Destiny’s Child because they really sent that message of being an independent woman and being a survivor and not needing a man. And all those things, I think you can kinda hear in my music.”
Mabel’s empowering tune isn’t the only thing that catapulted her into fame. She was the opening act for Harry Styles on the second leg of his European tour. Working with Harry was incredible for her, “It was my first time going on the road so doing shows like that every day. All of his fans were so welcoming, cause I would go on and hour or so before him and they were so supportive. So it was so good and such a great learning experience for me.”
Before music, Mabel ran her own fashion blog and even sat front row at a Stella McCartney show. When it comes to her style, comfort is key. She loves mixing up patterns, and shapes to make it more her. “Like there’s no rules. I like mixing like street things with more elegant things and really high end brands with really low key brands. Or like a dress with sneakers and then I’d wear tracksuit bottoms with heels,” she explains.
Mabel’s debut album “High Expectations” will be out in July.