Lola Schroer interviews Mae Muller
If you have been paying attention to the charts during 2020 and the never-ending month of that is the January of 2021, you would have noticed that one artist climbing it swiftly, is none other than Mae Muller. At the end of the year that shall not be named, Muller achieved a milestone by releasing her Ep titled befittingly, ‘no one else, not even you.’ Confident, empowering and never shy the singer songwriter’s EP shows just why Muller’s creative mind and artistic efforts are being lapped up by millions. I sat down with her over Zoom on a sunny afternoon in London, to discuss the tracks off the EP that she cannot wait to play live, friendship and even her dream Met Gala look.
Similar to many of you reading this, Muller has been doing a lot of zoom sessions in this third lockdown, and it was clear to me just how grateful she is, to still have the opportunity to connect with talented writers and producers, resulting in music being made. Even though, she admits, “It is a weird way to create, compared to what we are used too.” Any fan of Muller’s would know that she is currently passing her time, in a creative manner, by deciding to learn the Ukulele, “I’ve perfected four chords and I have realised you can actually do quite a bit with four chords.” Whilst learning any instrument in a lockdown is undoubtedly impressive, Muller insinuated that she is taking this new musical endeavour quite seriously and finds that, “It’s a great way of taking up my time. I prefer to put my energy into that instead of being on my phone, scrolling nonstop. I also want to be really good at it.”
Confidence and sassiness seem to be an innate part of Muller’s DNA, with the lyrics of the song ‘nails too long’ epitomising this: “You were just holdin’ me back/ Boy you got way too attached/My nails so long, they cut you off/It might be wrong but it’s like that.” When asked about how she is able to be so confident, and in turn inspire others to be, she told us that, “Self-work and confidence is a journey. I love being sassy but I haven’t always been like that, it took me years to love myself and feel like I could be open about saying that.” She gives the advice that, “Being confident is waking up every morning and choosing yourself, choosing what’s right for your mind and soul. To try not to waste the day away. If I want to sit around and do nothing, that isn’t wasting the day, it’s completely fine, as it is what I know is best for myself on that particular day.”
“Being confident is waking up every morning and choosing yourself, choosing what’s right for your mind and soul.
I pause to reflect on what she said, because it’s an important message for students to hear and will, just like her music, empower them. Especially in this time where mental health is at an all-time low. I make a comment on the Zoom call, hoping the audio doesn’t cut out, about how the Ukulele is what she is focusing on at the moment, as the thing just right for her and Muller automatically agrees and express that, “Picking up the Ukulele instead of my phone is me choosing to build on something, and ultimately leading me to feel more confident about what I am doing.” This genuine response from Mae Muller is why she is so loved by her fans, and the honesty is refreshing to see.
It is also clear to see that Muller is excited about the future and the prospect of getting back to normality. When asked what her female empowerment song was at the moment, she instantly that she loves Best Friend by Doja Cat and Sweetie. She explained that, “It makes me want to go out, make money and drive around in a tesla with my best friend. I feel like when you’re looking around and seeing your friends succeed and achieve their goals and dreams it is just as good as achieving your own. The future is going to be great.” Not only is Muller excited about the success of her friends in the future, but also her own live shows and possible choreography for some of the songs.
In her most recent music video for ‘dependent’ she attempted choreography for the first time, which she says were, “Baby steps, I’m not quite whipping out the front flip yet. By the time we can do live shows again, I want it to be a party and if I want everyone to be dancing it’s only fair for me to be dancing as well. So, choreography is here to stay.” Another song, she emphasised, that she was excited about performing live was, ‘work like that.’ I could hear the excitement in her voice when she spoke about already envisioning how it will look and what it will sound like. To my welcome surprise, she asked what song I would be most excited to see live off of the ep, and without hesitation I knew it was ‘plot twist’, which she exclaimed was, “Such a special song to me! Kenny beats is an amazing human and specially to work with.”
By the time we can do live shows again, I want it to be a party and if I want everyone to be dancing it’s only fair for me to be dancing as well. So, choreography is here to stay.”
In the middle of our interview, I decided it was important to me as a woman and a creative, to know if her experiences as a woman influenced her music and whether lockdown affected her processes of creatively writing about these experiences. Rather perfectly for this question Muller was on the zoom call surrounded by the beautiful Regents Park, a place where an interview would most likely not have taken place before Covid-19. As an artist who writes from experiences, I could tell that she thought Covid had stunted her creative inspirations, yet she did say that, “It has definitely made me think more and delve into myself, even the past. I think about things from different perspectives and can truly realise how I feel about different experiences in my life. It has made me feel the magnitude of things that I haven’t before.”
Before answering the other part of the question Mae paused for a moment of reflection and said, “Being a woman, you have to work twice as hard to get the recognition. Other women reach out to me and tell me about their experiences, so when I write my lyrics and go through the process of making a song, it is not only about me, it’s about others as well, their stories. The best part for me is hearing that people are finding my music relatable, then I know I am doing something right.” On a more mysterious Muller expressed that she was a blabber mouth, yet there are some things in the past that she doesn’t want to write about yet, “All my songs are sassy, great and fun. There are some deeper things I want to write about, but there is a time for that and it will happen when it is meant to.” I am certain that when she does write music about these subjects, they will not only be wildly successful, but also resonate with her ever-growing fan base.
“The best part for me is hearing that people are finding my music relatable, then I know I am doing something right.”
As the interview was drawing to a close, I wanted to ask Mae Muller a couple of fun questions about two of her favourite topics. Food and fashion. As a fellow Londoner, it brought me a lot of joy to see that Muller’s acoustic cover of ‘so annoying’ was filmed at the same Italian restaurant that my baptism party many many years ago took place, which Mae couldn’t believe, exclaiming, “OMG stop it! That’s literally perfect. They made us so much yummy pasta for lunch.” In that moment it was easy to see why her success is only increasing, as even over zoom she holds an infectious positive and confident energy that makes you feel very comfortable in her presence.
Muller herself stated that she likes to be comfortable at all times, and therefore pasta is the ideal food for comfort and happiness, yet when discussing her favourite cuisine she likes to take the fancier route, “If I’m feeling fancy and want to look cute, I’ll take the sushi route!” By taking just one look at her Instagram you can see that this UK pop queen is a fashionista, so when asked about who she would wear to the Met Gala, you could sense that she already had an answer to this question. Muller decidedly said, “Mugler definitely. They specialise in really structured corsets and amazing shapes. They made this all in one for Dua Lipa for her studio 54 live show and I feel like at the met they would not only make you look snatched but also bring it to that level the met requires.” I agreed to manifest this for her. Yet, for some reason I feel that her star is already rising and she might not need my manifestation.