Rising star Mae Muller talks staying in style, ex-boyfriends and the artist that’s shaped her career


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“I haven’t got dressed yet.” Today, like the majority of the population, singer-songwriter Mae Muller is leaning into her first week of self-isolation. “I’ve got my fluffy slippers on that I bought while I was on tour. Some striped pyjamas and a Ben Sherman T-shirt. I wake up in the most random clothes,” she laughs. While increased boredom is admittedly settling in, the 22-year-old rising star is enjoying watching people singing their hearts out to spark joy in these uncertain times, from Italian citizens performing ballads from their balconies during a national lockdown to artists sharing concerts live from their living room on social media. “It may sounds obvious, but music really does bring people together.”


"I think if you need a little boost in any way, inspiration or just a little kick up the backside listen to 'lungs'"


Creative stimulation was in no short supply growing up: her mother works in theatre costume design and her aunt is a music video director. There was no Plan B: music was always the endgame. “I would write songs in my diary all the time [but] nobody would ever see them,” she says. “Until I was 19 years old and released my first song to the world on SoundCloud.” Her music, which she describes as “tongue-in-cheek” R&B, often draws from her own experiences in love and life. She co-wrote her latest track, Therapist, to help empower other women who may be going through a similar situation she found herself in in a previous relationship. The lyrics are pretty self-explanatory: The more I listen and I listen / The more I'm thinking / You don't need a girlfriend / You just need a therapist / You got too much drama / I'm not qualified to fix.

“It was based on my own experience, but I think it’s the case for so many women,” she explains. “You know when a guy is like, ‘oh yeah they [my girlfriend] are so good to me – no one else can put up with me?’ That’s a red flag to me. Why does she have to put up with so much s**t. Why can’t you just be nice to her? I learned the hard way, but it’s just realising you are worth more than that. It’s hard for me [because] I just want to give people love and I’m like ‘I can fix you. I can be the cure to this!’ But really they need to find happiness in themselves.”

Below, the one-to-watch shares the artist who has lifted her up and inspired her the most.

“Florence and the Machine was one of the first concerts I saw live, when I was in Year 7.

I was screaming - I literally knew every word. I was like ‘this woman is not human?!’ I used to listen to Lungs on repeat and cry over boys – I was 11 years old, so I have no idea who I was crying over [laughs]. I was just so in awe of her.

Even though our music is quite different I just love how theatrical she is and how every single song is so visual. That’s always something I say with my music, ‘I want people to be able to see it.’ With Florence [Welch], you listen to her music, close your eyes and you just get taken to a different world and you really see it, and believe everything she’s saying.

I think if you need a little boost in any way, inspiration or just a little kick up the backside listen to Lungs - it’s just bursting full of energy and different ideas. I would listen to it in bed, headphones on, with the light off. My favourite song of hers is Cosmic Love – it just takes you to another realm. So, if you want to be taken away from reality for a little bit, this is the album.

Also, music aside, in terms of her style she always looks really comfortable in what she’s wearing. It’s very authentic. I still feel like I’m still figuring my personal style out, but I’d say maybe it’s casual-glam: I love accessorising, but I'd pair big earrings with a cool tracksuit. I wore a corset on stage once in Berlin and kind of regret it - I was like ‘I can’t actually sing in this!’ Of course, there’s quite a lot of pressure to look your best all the time but I think as long as you're comfortable that’s the main thing.”

Mae Muller’s single ‘Therapist’ is out now


Listen to Mae’s feel-good playlist below.

Portraits by Rosaline Shahnavaz
supporting imagery | shutterstock

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