- Words Malvika Padin
- Photography Kate Bellm
Singer-songwriter Mabes turns the page on her creative evolution with a new single, starting a new chapter bookmarked by fierce passion and a clear vision.
Bringing the youthful vibrance of a girl from Essex with her lifelong obsession with Nashville’s authentic song writing, her music is a unique brand of pop crutched by elements of country, soul and Americana.
Refining her brand of fearless pop that first bloomed into existence at the young age of 15, Mabes underlines upbeat, sassy soundscapes with relatable lyricism on brand new single “Sugarush,” which sees her break free from the shackles of a “nice girl,” image stepping into something bolder and more mature.
Accompanied by beautifully shot visuals from Kate Bellm which calls upon the singer’s love for Americana culture, the track with its groovy 70s psychedelic vibe signals a rising star on her way to realising her true and complete artistic potential.
In conversation with Notion, Mabes speaks of the inspiration behind the track, her experience working with Kate Bellm, her sonic evolution, hopes for the future and much more.
What is the inspiration/message behind Sugarush?
I was hanging out with this guy I really wanted to commit to me, but he was playing it too cool and never did. It made me feel so shit, like, what’s wrong with me? Why will he give me only some of his time, why not exclusivity? He made me feel like I wasn’t enough. So I ended that little love affair and came out the other side feeling so damn worthy of myself. He was not worthy, I realise now. Sugarush is like, ‘look what you’re missing, dude’.
What was it like working with Kate Bellm on the visuals? Did you have any creative inputs for the video?
Kate Bellm has always been an inspiration to me, I love her trippy vibrant style and so when she agreed to work with me it was a dream come true. She was incredible to work with, and totally got my 70s psychedelic vision for the video. We spent a day travelling around Deia Mallorca capturing the island in all its sunny scenic glory.
The soundscape for this single is described as hinting at the “new Mabes.” How has your sound evolved over time?
I’m super excited to share this next chapter of my creative evolution. I’ve always written on guitar, inspired by Laura Marling from an early age. I guess now I’m growing as a person as well as a writer, I’m broadening horizons and wanting to experiment a bit more.
For the future, how would you like to improve or change further?
I think it’s time for me to break out the shackles of my once ‘nice girl’ country era and head in to my next phase of womanhood, embracing myself and finally owning some self-confidence.
Your music is a mixture of several genres and influences, are there any specific genres you haven’t yet experimented with that you’re interested in?
Country will always be the bare bones of my sound, and any genre I experiment with next will always be a hybrid.
In terms of song writing, do you draw your inspiration from the world around you or are you more introspective?
I draw inspiration from anything and everything, from my own personal experiences to stories of my friends and family, to past current world events. ‘Too Young To Love’ was about personal heartbreak, ‘Caught Up’ was about my dad and his girlfriend being separated over lockdown, and ‘Danny’ is about a soldier that goes to war.
If listeners could take away one message from your music what would you want it to be and why?
I want people to hear good hooks, good melodies, interesting and clever lyrics, and honesty.
What other passions or interests are you keen to experiment with that you haven’t yet had a chance to do?
I’d love to go on a hot air balloon at some point. Always been a dream.
What’s been the most surreal moment of your career so far? What’s on your bucket list?
Sharing the stage with Nile Rodgers at The Other Songs event was pretty surreal!! Being flown to Deia to work on a video with Kate Bellm was also a crazy experience! I’d love to play with my band at a festival next.
Finally what three words best describe your career so far and why?
Testing – because to do this you have to have a vision and stay focused. Unpredictable – because you never know how new music is going to be received. And exciting – because I have so much more new music in the pipeline!