The youth remain at the forefront of music in 2018 and Mallrat, the 19-year-old singer from Brisbane, is no exception. We first heard the Australian artist after the release of her debut EP, Uninvited, in 2016. Blending dance beats with poignant lyrics of teenage woes proved to be a winning formula for her. Mallrat seems to be picking up steam as she heads into the rest of 2018. With a new EP on the way and some upcoming U.S shows, this could be a serious breakout year for her.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Mallrat in Los Angeles and talked to her about her entertainment inspirations, the direction of her new EP, documenting humanity through her lyrics, and more. Read our full interview with her below.
What first got you into music? Do you have other musicians in your family?
No! But my parents both have journalistic backgrounds and they really encouraged me to read and write.
What is life like growing up in Brisbane?
Brisbane is a great place to grow up but it’s also a small city. I’ll always love it, but right now I’m too excited about traveling to give Brisbane as much credit as she deserves.
What kind of films and tv shows did you watch growing up? Did they affect your approach to art and sound?
I was only little when The OC came out but I remember listening to its soundtrack all the time, and from a very young age. I love it so much! That soundtrack definitely had a big impact on my taste.
You are the self-proclaimed Princess of Brisbane. What responsibilities come with that title?
You have to know everybody under the age of 24 living on the Northside.
Your song “For Real” hit number 1 on Hype Machine. Are accomplishments like that a big deal to you? What are some achievements you’re striving for?
It was super exciting when it happened because I was working in a food court, and tangible success like that means so much when you’re a new artist. I still think it’s very cool but now that I have more confidence in myself I’m more excited by learning something new and less excited by approval from other people. One of my current goals is to release some music that I produce completely on my own, I’m still building my confidence in production but I can’t wait for it to be an equal strength to my songwriting.
What can we expect your new EP, In the Sky, to sound like?
The EP is very personal and also pretty catchy! The songs sound quite different to each other, but a lot of them are happy and sad at the same time; I’m very proud of them. I was listening to heaps of emotional electronic music (Burial, Bibio, Maribou State) while I was making it so I think that influence worked its way into the production.
You’ve said that you’re a big fan of Kanye West. If you could meet him and ask one question, what would it be?
I am probably his biggest fan in Australia! I have no idea what I’d say, but I hope we get to work together one day so I can pick his brains in the studio.
What advice would you give to young musicians that feel like pursuing music full time isn’t a realistic goal?
If you want to turn any passion into a career it can be very tough, but it’s not unrealistic at all! If you love what you’re doing you will have unique ideas and a perseverance that you wouldn’t be able to apply in other fields.
Please give me one song recommendation for everybody reading this interview to go listen to right now.
Fool’s Gold by Jack River.
You’ve said before that you use the lyrics that you do because you want to document human aspects of life. Why is that important to you?
I think it’s the complicated details of a person or relationship, rather than the general narrative, that people connect to. So when I’m writing lyrics I usually skip over the context and just talk about the little things I notice.
Stay tuned to Ones To Watch for more updates on Mallrat’s upcoming EP, In the Sky.