“You have to be really open, I think,” Mabel tells Apple Music about the personal nature of her songwriting. “All the songs people really relate to, that’s because you’re being human and saying, ‘Look—this is the real.’” Born in 1996 in Spain, Mabel Alabama-Pearl McVey—daughter of Swedish artist Neneh Cherry and English producer Cameron McVey—has a knack for taking the intimate and relatable and turning it into spectacular, pumped-up pop. Mabel’s bright and beaming sound collects distinctive elements of music from the places she was raised, mixing sultry Latin grooves, irresistible melodies akin to Swedish pop, and the bold beats one might hear in London’s dance clubs. Mabel started releasing singles before she turned 20, but it was the lust-driven “Finders Keepers,” from 2017’s Ivy to Roses, that turned into her first big UK hit; the snapping and skittering drums, dreamy synths, and her smoky voice placed it squarely in classic ‘90s R&B territory. The success of “Finders Keepers” led to an opening slot on Harry Styles’ 2018 tour, and it wasn’t long after that Mabel had an international hit on her hands with “Don’t Call Me Up,” a track about leaving her ex in the dust that sways between hyper-groovy and soaring, spinning those real, heavy feelings into dance-floor gold.
BORNFebruary 20, 1996