Photo by Josh Aberman
Fresh off the Mighty Hoopla main stage, Mae Muller is positively glowing in a green Dolls Kill co-ord and platform boots, as she comes over to chat all about her new music, her festival outfit, and what’s next for her as an artist in the age of social media and instant access. It’s easy to tell that Muller loved her Mighty Hoopla debut, calling it one of her "favourite performances" because she felt so comfortable on stage — so comfortable, in fact, that she even had her “cheeks out” on stage, which she laughs about as she reflects on it. From her set, it was easy to see that Muller belongs on stage, and that performing is second nature to her; she even braved an ABBA cover after being inspired by the ABBA Voyage show. The crowd lapped it up as she gave the song a quintessential Mae Muller twist, and even included her own “Madonna moment” in the mix.
Hot off the heels of her UK headline tour, Muller admits that she is slightly more nervous when approaching festivals, as she is aware that unless you’re a “main main headliner”, not everyone is going to be there to see you. She admits to feeling a pressure to draw people over in a way that is less intense on a solo tour. “It does make it more exciting though,” she is keen to add, as a new audience can add a fresh perspective to a performance and can bring different energies, which her extroverted nature thrives on and is why the festival environment suits her as a performer.
One thing that Muller keeps commenting on is her love for other artists, whether that’s ABBA and Madonna, or the other artists on Hoopla’s lineup — she claims that she was ‘fangirling’ over Anastacia backstage. Muller is keen to pay homage to those who came before her, and wants to embody their success of simply making good music that everyone can enjoy. Muller is currently teasing her fans on social media about her new single, ready to drop this summer, which she refers to as a ‘summer bop’ and is something that people haven’t heard her do before. I can feel how much she’s buzzing with excitement about it from where she’s sitting next to me. Typically, Muller’s tracks belong in the soft-pop genre with blues-influenced vocals, and so it’s intriguing to see how Muller’s artistry will evolve as her musical status also rises. She wants to do some “real pop star sh*t”, she says.
Photos by Josh Aberman
Her humble beginnings as part of the SoundCloud generation, who had “no ins and no idea” of how to navigate the music industry, leads her to describe her current life, where she performs at festivals and has her own tour, as a “literal dream”. She uses her background as a way of keeping herself grounded and connected, so as to avoid comparisons with other artists or to keep herself away from a negative headspace. Now Muller is always looking for the “next thing” as an artist: from gigs, to festivals, to media appearances. Her summer schedule has been packed so far and looks set to continue that way, as after Hoopla she is set to perform at Parklife, the Isle of Wight Festival, and Barn on the Farm in Gloucestershire.
The graft Muller has put into her career was largely helped by social media; she sees it as key to her success as an artist, alongside her own grit and determination. She admits that Instagram really helped her initially to get her name and music out into the public eye, as she was able to connect with “producers and people who wanted to help”, and that she would “be in the studio every day with … anyone and everyone” until she was able to create her own catalogue to present to the world.
The artist also doesn’t hesitate to admit that navigating TikTok compared to older platforms like Instagram can be tricky and she used to really struggle with it, as she didn’t know if she had to categorise herself as a “funny girl, or be serious and just do music”. But, she says that “as cliché as this sounds, I just found my own thing…I post what I want to post”. Muller is nothing if not authentic both on and offline. She is adamant that artists “didn’t sign up to be TikTokers” or social media influencers of any kind, asserting that she won’t let “anyone tell [her] what to do”, and that she wants to keep her direct access to an audience without a “businessman in a suit”. Ultimately, though, she concludes with a comment on how many of her fellow artists have had their careers launched by using TikTok: “it’s a really an amazing thing”.
Being able to carve out a specific space for herself in the music industry is proof that Mae Muller is set for even bigger things in the future, earning herself legions of fans and sold-out gigs. Muller’s eagerness to remain as authentic as possible is a breath of fresh air in an industry that can often remain so stagnant and insular.
Photos by Josh Aberman
Edited by Talia Andrea, Music Editor