Mae Muller | Camden Market Unlocked
Back in 2020, we welcomed Mae Muller to Camden Market to perform an acoustic set in our iconic Stables market.
Her performance was a part of Camden Unlocked; the first series of live music events to take place in the UK since the COVID-19 lockdown. At the time, we caught up with her to hear all about her inspiration.
Superlatives come easy when you first come across newcomer Mae Muller. Whether you’ve just tuned in to her songs for the first time or you bump into her on the street, there’s something as familiar or relatable as a warm cup of tea on a cold day.
It’s partly down to the honest braziness you first come across when you hear Muller’s lyrics, coupled with the fact she sings exactly what’s on her mind. It’s also down to the fact she’s got a raw, passionate message to get off her chest with some of the best storytelling in town.
Muller is still only 21, but she describes herself as a “late bloomer,” having only penned her first song two years ago. That track, “Close”, remains on her SoundCloud to this day, a symbol of where she has come from and a reminder of the raw emotion she puts into each of her relatable pop bangers.
Putting that song online, alongside short Rihanna and Frank Ocean covers on Instagram, helped Londoner Mae get her first music industry attention. Fast forward through a whirlwind 18-month period and she’s released two EPs (After Hours & then Frankly) and has formed the sound of a versatile young artist who speaks directly to and for her generation.
Take “Side Piece”, for example from recent EP Frankly, which is a louche slow-jam inspired by a subject many shy away from: female sexual empowerment. “It’s me saying that being intimate with someone is not always a big, emotional thing,” Mae says. “A lot of woman just want to have a good time.”
It mirrors a similar sentiment Muller put under her microscope on “Jenny” from her first EP, After Hours. This time she talks-up about female unity in the face of a man’s dishonesty. “Everyone has an experience of being fucked over by a guy,” Mae says of the songs origins. “I wanted to personify that and make it funny. It’s easy to demonize the other woman. I want to deal with the real problem; the man.”
On the flipside, you also find a counterpoint to her writing in the stripped-back song “Maybe”, where she lets fans go behind the scenes, singing: “Baby I put on a front but I’m cravin’ your touch.” It’s a song Mae admits is her chance “to show I have a heart” and that “I don’t always have the answers but writing music gives me the answers I need. The hardest things to write about often end up being the best songs.”
Music for Mae begun when growing up in Kentish Town, North London, where it was always a part of her life but not necessarily as a career path. “The music was something I was always interested in and loved, but I didn’t go to music school or anything. I did it for fun. I’ve always enjoyed creative writing, but I only started writing song 18 months ago.” she recalls of her younger days. In fact, working behind her local bar convinced her to pursue music further. “I had a few shitty jobs and worked in a pub. When I was at the pub I kept thinking, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’ I uploaded a song that I’d written to Soundcloud and that is when it all started. It was very quick.”
Those early days remain a constant influence though: “North London shaped me as a person and as an artist. Every time I feel my accent slipping I have to cut it out immediately.” Mae admits that her lack of experience writing songs worried her when it came time to working on her EP, explaining “There was nobody to tell me I was crap before, so I thought I was fabulous.” However, she took to life in the studio with ease and now works through her feelings by penning lyrics. “I use music as a way of protecting myself,” she says, listing H.E.R, Lily Allen and Julia Michaels as influences. “It’s my weapon. If I’m feeling down I won’t write a sad song, I’ll write a bad bitch thing like, ‘I’m going to fuck your life up.’ It’s my way of feeling strong.”
Still in a formative period of her career, Mae has been in the studio with producers including Two Inch Punch, Mark Ralph, and Fred Ball. Between them, the producers have had recent cuts with Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Years & Years, Clean Bandit, Kali Uchis, and Rex Orange County.
Understandably, this can make people wary that they might end up between her lyrical cross-hairs. They need not worry though. “I’m not @-ing you”, she insists. “It’s just music and my emotions.”
As both an artist discovered on social media and simply a young woman in 2018, Mae admits she is “addicted” to her phone. Her relationship with Instagram is a complicated one though. “I don’t think I’d be where I am without it”, she concedes. “But then it puts a crazy amount of pressure on you. It’s always there to look at and everyone is having the best time and has the best body. It’s impossible not to compare yourself constantly.”
Though many of her most memorable lyrics are an emoji away from being the perfect Instagram caption, Mae also wants her music to act as a reminder to fans that online life is not reality. “I want women and young girls going through hard shit to put on my songs and feel better”, she says. “We’re going through this together. Don’t worry about anyone else and have fun with life.” Speaking of pressure, Mae lists Brit Awards, Grammys, and a world tour on her slate of dream achievements. “I want to do it all”, she laughs, before returning to her trademark confident tone and stating, “I’ve got all the ingredients to win. Now it’s up to me.” All things considered, it’s a statement that is hard to disagree with.
You can watch Mae Muller’s Camden Market performance here.
In March 2023, Mae was announced as the UK’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest. Find out more.
Mon 13 Mar
Discover The Camden Market Music Scene
Camden Market Music Icons Tour
Camden Market has always been known for its live music venues, record stores, and for being the jewel in the crown of North London’s music scene. We’ve always been home to vinyl hunters, reggae lovers, rockers, punks and musicians. So if you’re looking to take a tour of the market’s most musical spots, you’re in the right place.
Fri 10 Feb
Explore Our Most Iconic Fashion Spots
Camden Market Fashion Tour
First time to Camden Market? This tour is where to start. Discover our most iconic fashion retailers, and explore Camden Lock, Stables Market, and see all of our stalls selling vintage, upcycled pieces along the way.
Mon 16 Jan
January Deals To Get Your Teeth Into
Dine In Deals
Beat the January blues this year with exclusive dine in deals from our North Yard restaurants.
Wed 28 Dec
Happy Hour? Happy Days!
Happy Hour at Hawley Wharf
Beat the blues with happy hour deals 4.30-7pm, at our Waterside Halls food courts. Get beer, wine and bar snacks for just £4, and cocktails for £6.
Plus, we’ll be open until 9pm every evening. Happy days!
Click here to see 15 participating traders
Wed 28 Dec
Our Eco-Conscious Container Market
Camden Market Buck Street
On Camden High Street, just a few doors down from the Underground station, you’ll find Camden Market’s eco-focused container market, Buck Street.
It’s home to a host of new, up and coming street food traders, many of which have a focus on vegan and vegetarian options, as well as ethical fashion and retailers. Head to the rooftop for independent food traders, and don’t miss the mini market on the ground floor for some unique finds.
Tue 13 Dec
All your favourite independent shops are just a click away
Camden Market is Now Online!
Catch The Action At Camden Market
Discover Our Festive Food & Drinks
Winter Warmers at Camden Market
Big Treats for Little Ones
Santa's Little Helpers Gift Guide
Essential Gifts for Chilling Out
Silent Night Gift Guide
A Little Dusting Of Christmas Sparkle
All That Glitters Gift Guide
Eat, Drink, Experience