PAUSE Meets: Mullally



Talks Marvin Gaye, Kanye West, André 3000 & Adidas

Photographer: Reuben Selby // @reubenselby
Stylist: Jen Eleto // @jenelectro
Assistant Stylist: Kojo Hammond // @k.o.j.o
Interviewer: Johnson Gold // @JohnsonGold
Artist: Mullally // @mullallymusic

Performing since 16

Meet Mullally, from Norfolk England – his voice has captured ears since the age of 16. Inspired by Ed Sheeran, verified on Instagram and performing to thousands – Mullally is set for the big world at just 21. We at PAUSE sat down with Mullally to discuss how he started his career from young, how music Legend Marvin Gaye inspired his career and using social media to share music.

Two-piece: Huf, Bum Bag: Eastpak, Sneakers: Adidas

Let’s rewind to the beginning of your music career. When did you start and what inspired you to start?

I first picked up a guitar when I was about 16 years old, and it was because of Ed Sheeran. I saw Ed Sheeran doing it five years ago, when he was, he was a bit younger than me. And I was like, wow if this guy can do that, then maybe I should try it out too. I mean he inspired a lot of people like that. I just started playing guitar, started a band with three of my best mates and we went up and down the country doing festivals until I was about 18. Then, I went to Access to Music for a year. Halfway through my year at Access to Music, I met my management and moved to London.

How did you meet your management?

Oh, they just found me… I did this Sam Smith cover on the guitar and put it on YouTube. I had like, all my dreads hanging out the top of this hairband and I was singing Sam Smith — it was quite a weird combo. They saw me and they were like, “Oh, shit! Maybe we should like, jump on that”. And we’ve just been working together ever since. And you know, we’ve built everything we’ve done together so far.

You’re 20 years young, right?


So, it seems like you’ve got it together and you’re ready, already, as a young artist. I mean, you’re verified on Instagram, as well. How important do you think it is for an artist to be verified?

I think it helps in the kind of game that artists play with each other in terms of trying to connect with one another. It helps if you’ve got that kind of seal of approval from Instagram that says, “This person is doing bits and is trying really hard.” And I think it works on that level, and it makes other people from the outside see you as someone who’s doing well. So I think it’s a really nice kind of recognition from social media that shows you’re trying really hard to do what you’re doing.

As an artist, what is the best online platform for sharing your music and why?

I would say it probably started with SoundCloud, but now there’s been a big shift away from SoundCloud over to Spotify.

Tracksuit: Diesel, T-Shirt: Sergio Tacchini, Sneakers: Adidas

Can up and coming artists be on Spotify?

Yeah. That’s absolutely how I did it. I think there’s two kinds of up and coming artists. There’s up and coming artists who are really trying to do it, and there’s up and coming artists who call themselves that because they’re still trying but they haven’t quite found the ways to do it. And there’s people who are the same size artist, but are doing slightly different things based on the environment around them and who they’re working with. But yeah. The team at Spotify are really into new artists and they help a lot with young artists. I think obviously SoundCloud is good because its free. And YouTube, because it’s free and it’s such a big user platform already.

How would you describe your music?

Um…like…wonky soul sort of thing? Like, just take soul music and pop music and all the good things about that kind of soul-pop music that we have and just sort of wonk it a little bit. Just tip it on its head, slightly, which gives me a lot of opportunity to come in at it from different angles and to drop different bits in.

Do you feel like now you’ve found your sound?

I think part of my sound, as an artist, is the fact that I will keep on finding bits of my sound if you know what I’m saying. Like when you look at the artist that everybody aspires to be next to — Bruno, Beyoncé, Drake, Kanye, all those people — they don’t have a name for their genre. They just have they’re name. So people say, “Can you make this sound more like Bruno?” Or more like Drake; more like Kanye. They don’t say “Can you make it more hip-hop with an infusion of this and that” — no, they just say Drake or Kanye or Bruno. Do you know what I mean? I’m striving for that sort of thing.

You’ve done a lot of live shows. I see a lot of confidence in that. It’s like you’ve been geared for that. What do you love about performing live?

I feel like performing live is that point where — as singers and songwriters we all create songs we’re proud of. But to convey what you’ve created across to people live and to do it at the top of your ability and get that atmosphere going…there’s just nothing…to tell the story that you originally set out to tell, but live to 5,000 people…that’s just the most amazing feeling you could ever have. So that’s what I love. I love sharing it with the crowd and feeling that atmosphere.

Jacket: G-Star, Top & Bottoms: Sergio Tacchini, Sneakers: Adidas

What’s the best festival in the UK?

WHOO! The best festival in the UK? Secret Garden Party has just finished this year. That’s an amazing festival.

That’s the best one in the UK?

Whoo…I might have to go with a little top three…I can’t decide just one…

No, you have to choose just one.

Whoo…yeah…I would say Shambala, SGP or Glastonbury…or shit I don’t know…SGP.


Yeah, Secret Garden Party.

Who would be your dream music collaboration?

Damn…my dream? As in like, dead or alive?


I would love to do a song with Kanye. I would love to. I think that would be like…you know. Obviously, he’s recovering from whatever happened. But still. The way he pioneered his genre and stuff like that. I think he’s been an amazing person for the music industry. Or 3 Stacks André 3000. I think he’s like, the best thing to ever come out of America.

What’s your favourite song from Kanye West and André 3000?

I think I’d have to go with Through the Wire for Kanye, because everything that happened with that song — he leaked it from his record label because Jay Z wouldn’t let him release it and all that crazy stuff. They didn’t release it properly. Like, he made the video with his own budget and then leaked it to MTV, without anyone in the label knowing. That’s how Kanye broke. So the story behind that makes that my favourite song for Kanye. And I think for 3 Stacks just based on — I mean obviously you can go Outkast as well, right — so I think I would go Miss Jackson.

Do you have any music legends that have inspired your career?

Absolutely, Marvin Gaye. Basically the way I taught myself to sing was by listening to Marvin Gaye, flat out. And Al Green, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke and all of these old school soul legends that I listened to and taught myself how to sing. They have in a big way. Paolo Nutini has in a big way. I listened to a lot of him growing up. Of course, Ed Sheeran, because he inspired me, you know. Yeah, there’s loads. And there’s a big mixture as well.

How do you groom your hair? So what products do you use in your hair?

*Laughs* This is something…I don’t wash my hair, really. That’s what I do. My mom taught me about curly hair because she’s got really curly hair.

Tracksuit: Diesel, T-Shirt: Sergio Tacchini, Sneakers: Adidas

So you don’t use any products at all?

Well I do. Instead of like, shampoo and conditioner and all this stuff, you can do these deep conditioner things. Like olive oil conditioner, coconut oil — something like that. So once every couple of weeks, I wash with that. That’s it. I just wet it in the mornings in the shower. I don’t wash it.

Describe your everyday style in one word.

Uh…chill. I like trackies and tracksuits man.

What’s your favourite sneaker brand?

Adidas. Everyday.

What brands would we find in your wardrobe?

You’d find lots of Adidas, you’ll find Ellesse, you’ll find some of Sergio Tacchini. I’m quite into old school charity shop stuff. So like, old brands like Umbro and Fila and all that kind of stuff you can pick up for like three or four quid at the charity shop and they look battered but still cool. I’m kind of into that. But, if I’m honest fashion is definitely something that, since I’ve signed in the last six months, that I’ve taken more notice of because it’s never really been my world. Now I’ve taken one foot into it and its kind of cool to explore it. So I’m still finding out.

Any tips for a new artist going to do their first ever live performance? What should they prepare for?

Something that I always tell people is that the audience doesn’t owe you anything. Especially if you’re an upcoming artist it’s rare you’ll stand in front of a crowd of 500 people that are there to see you, know your songs and are going to clap after every single song you play. You have to earn the respect and you have to earn the applause. You have to earn the right to be on the stage. So I’d say just relax: you’re there for a reason. Earn the respect of the crowd.

Shirt: The Hundreds, Bottoms: Sergio Tacchini, Sneakers: Vans @ Schuh

What do you have in store for the rest of the year?

I’ve got a release coming this year; featuring someone very special, something very cool. And then I’ve got two headline shows: one on the 5th of October in Hoxton, which is now sold out, and then on the 3rd of October I’m doing a headline show in Norwich, which hopefully we can sell out too, hopefully. That’s where I’m from so there’s a fan base there so we’re catering to those guys. That’s about it. We’re doing loads more writing. I’m supporting Zak Abel on the 10th of October at KOKO, it’s going to be really cool.

And you said you started on YouTube doing covers. Would you say that today, for an artist, is that a good way to start? What advice would you give them to start in terms of resources and using the right platforms?

I would say the best way to do stuff here is…I mean, this is what I did, it’s all relative to you. Know what I’m saying? I mean, there are some people where their brand and image is a lot more to them as an artist than other people. Like when I started my branding and imaging, I didn’t have a clue. So Instagram was never a thing for me. But some people who start from the beginning with a really strong brand and image — Instagram is a really cool thing. So I would say…there’s so many platforms like SoundCloud, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Periscope — all this crazy stuff. And it’s like there’s a platform for everybody. And if you use the platform that’s right for you it can perform best for you. If you’re a beautiful girl and you sing amazing, cool visual stuff, do Instagram. But if you’re someone who’s more about live music maybe plug your music on Twitter more. If you’re just about the music, it might be SoundCloud, people blow up on SoundCloud all the time. So like, find what works for you is what I’d say.

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