- Words Cal McIntyre
- Photography Mafia Mashi
Austrian alt-pop artist Mavi Phoenix has created a sanctuary within their glittery world of music where freedom is for all and labels are for none.
Blazing their own trail, Mavi Phoenix’s ability to blend genre-fusing rhythms and eclectic pop riffs within their three EPs to date has launched this young Austrian dweller onto a global path of self-discovery and freedom. All the while making you dance to the beat of Mavi’s drum.
With their latest release, ‘Bullet In My Heart’, sees Mavi tackle the issue and stigma surrounding gender dysphoria – something that Mavi has previously discussed very openly, and uses this moment to use her visuals as a tool of education. An artist of the truest sense, Mavi’s talents spread into the mediums of writing, producing, singing and rapping. Successfully cultivating a buzz behind her, Mavi has spread their inspirational and fly tracks throughout festivals and live gigs around Europe.
From humble beginnings in a quite conservative town in Austria, Mavi felt the urge to release their feelings around gender dysphoria and tackle them head-on openly. Specifically, with ‘Bullet In My Heart’, Mavi stated that “This shit feels weird for me to post. I’m anxious about it. I feel not ready but at the same time I don’t wanna waste another minute on this earth not being my true self. Life is just too short. might be cringy but these are my intentions. I just wanna be happy. I felt like educating you on gender dysphoria, as it’s something I’ve struggled with since I was little. What probably isn’t much of a big deal to someone who’s identifying as a woman, to me is. I tried to “ignore” my gender for my whole life and not make a big deal out of it… But that’s not enough for me anymore. People are quick to make assumptions about others but have no idea what they’re fighting with. I needed to be honest and get this off my chest. I’m on a journey, finding out who I am and who I want to be. It’s a process and for now any gender pronouns are okay with me.”
Check out Mavi Phoenix as our latest Internet Crush below!
What was it like growing up in Austria?
It was good! I had everything that I needed and more. My mum raised me as a single parent for my first years of life. But I remember that I was so into Disney Channel and everything U.S. related from an early age. Aged 12, 13 I dreamt about moving to LA or NY and be “free”, whatever that meant. I felt like where I come from people wouldn’t appreciate me or my art.
How much did your childhood impact your music?
I always wanted to “break free”, that was a huge motto in my music at the time. It still is, but back then I didn’t quite realize what it meant or why I wrote the stuff that I wrote. I guess my childhood impacted everything that I am to a very big extent. I always felt kinda out of place.
What inspires you to create the musical world you have established?
‘Bullet In My Heart’ deals with gender dysphoria – what advice would you give to younger kids around tackling this issue?
Gender dysphoria and issues around being trans are nothing like anything else – you can’t compare it to being depressed or having anxiety. I don’t want people to think that it’s “trendy” or some bullshit. There’s nothing to glorify about being trans. If you struggle with your gender identity – and I’m not talking about not liking the size of your boobs or whatever – if you really struggle with identifying as the gender you were assigned with, go talk to someone about it. I kept it in for so many years. Once you speak about your feelings they take form and you’re not able to suppress them as much.
What does it feel like to perform on stage?
It’s always good to breathe life into your music. That’s what happens when you’re on stage I think. I like bonding with the audience.
What’s the sound of your Summer right now?
Honestly? I guess my own album demos. (laughs) That’s what I’m mostly listening to right now.
What does being in love feel like to you?
Best feeling in the world. Point-blank.
What is your creative process like when it comes to making music and creating your glittery world of freedom?
I try to listen to myself and find out what I really wanna do. Sounds easy but it’s so hard to blend out all the noise and listen to what you’re feeling.
What’s next for Mavi?
You tell me! I don’t really know. I’m trying to make a killer album. 3 EP’s are enough. It’s time.
Favourite life motto right now?
I always have this Drake line stuck in my head. “It is what it is, trust me you get what you give”. That’s all I can think of right now, but it kinda fits. (laughs)