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MEET: Mabel, the rising R&B-pop queen

Posted on June 12, 2019

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The year of 2019 is for living your best life, and singer-songwriter Mabel is doing just that. Despite bursting onto the scene in 2015, this year has seen Mabel reach new heights. The R&B singer has positioned herself as one of the rising queens of music.

Photo courtesy of: mabel | Instagram

Mabel Alabama-Pearl McVey was born on February, 20 1996 in Málaga, Spain with music in her veins. She is the daughter of Swedish singer Neneh Cherry and record producer Cameron McVey. Mabel spent much of her childhood and formative years between London and Stockholm where she even attended the prestigious Rytmus Musikergymnasiet music school. She spoke about the impact moving had on her music and identity saying:

“I’d been really confused because I left London when I was really young, and you have to know about where you’re from to really know yourself.”

Releasing her single ‘Know Me Better’ on SoundCloud in 2015, Mabel has skyrocketed to mainstream success. The song quickly went viral after its release, and Mabel was signed to Polydor Records only one month later.

On May 26, 2017 Mabel released the single ‘Finders Keepers (feat. Kojo Funds)’. The song was featured on her debut EP Bedroom which included 4 songs and was described as “a fresh take on ’90s R&B with an Afrobeat touch”. ‘Finders Keepers’ went on to go platinum in the UK, spent 5 weeks in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, and earn Mabel a BRIT Critic’s Choice Award nomination.

Later that year, Mabel opened for fellow British singer Harry Styles on the European leg of his solo tour. She used the experience to prepare her for her future of performing on stage at her own shows. Talking to NME, she said:

“There’s not a lot of pressure on me but to just see it as a rehearsal, in a way, which is what I’ve been doing […] I want to be playing those places one day. I’m figuring out how to gas 20,000 people when they’re not there for you. It makes me think, ‘One day when they are here for you, it’ll be a hell of a lot easier!”

Mabel released her mixtape ‘Ivy to Roses’ on October 13, 2017. It was later reissued on January 18, 2019 to include six singles which were released after the original. The move to re-issue the mixtape also saw Mabel release her most successful single to date, ‘Don’t Call Me Up‘.

The single launched Mabel to international heights, Billboard hailed it as an early contender for song of summer 2019. It’s hard to walk around and not hear the song at least once. The song debuted at #11 on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #3.

The song is to be included on her debut album, High Expectations, which the singer announced would be released on August 2, 2019. On June 7, 2019 she released the second single from the album entitled ‘Mad Love‘. Speaking on her long anticipated debut album, Mabel told HypeBae:

“The self discovery that comes with writing an album is amazing. I really feel like I know myself better than ever because I’ve dug so deep to write these songs! But at the same time writing about past experiences and picking at old wounds can be painful.”

Mabel is about to embark on her solo tour which begins on June 16, 2019 in Coventry, UK before going across the pond to North America.

Do you have a favourite Mabel lyric? Have you seen Mabel live? Let us know! – @umusic