Back on March 10th, I named newcomer Mavrick’s song “Funeral” our #songoftheday and here we are three weeks later and I’m still listening to it every day. It’s such a massive and addictive song that all it takes is one listen to get you hooked. From its boisterous beats to his emotive vocals to the chorus of the background vocals, everything about the song is absolutely perfect. To my ears, he’s what M83 would sound like if you could actually understand the vocals. (Seriously, I love M83, but I usually can’t tell what he’s singing.) Or MIKA on some serious steroids. He’s not destined to be a one-hit wonder either. “Funeral” is actually his second single, the first being “Remedy,” which is a subtler and more soulful song, but not one bit less contagious. Spotify needs to start promoting these songs stat. They deserve to be right there when you launch the player, just waiting to grab ahold of you. With a little push, Mavrick could be the next Robbie Williams or Will Young. Whether you like mainstream or more artsy pop, his songs should appeal to you. Do yourself a favor and check them out below and read this interview and get to know the maestro who created them.
MM: Do you work with co-writers or producers or are you writing and producing your songs entirely yourself?
MVRK: Some songs I write by myself and some I write and produce together with two other guys, Fool Street.
MM: When you sing “letting you die” on “Funeral,” are you singing about letting someone go or is it about someone who literally died? If it’s neither, could you explain what it’s about?
MVRK: Funeral is about letting someone down, the very last person you ever want to let down. It’s about being out all night, being fucked up, to come home and look at the most beautiful thing in the world knowing that you’ve hurt that beautiful thing once again. Simply being a dick (dick is such a great word for someone who’s unpleasant. Women are very rarely unpleasant, it’s always dudes).
MM: Who did the background vocals on “Funeral”? It sounds like you’ve got a whole choir of women there, it’s so majestic.
MVRK: I was fortunate enough to have some of the best vocalists in Sweden in the studio. They all come from gospels choirs around Stockholm, sort of a dream team.
MM: At the very end of “Funeral” someone in the background sings a lyric but I couldn’t understand it. What is the lyric?
MVRK: I asked them to freestyle one by one over the track and I honestly don’t know myself what they are singing. But it doesn’t matter cuz it’s beautiful.
MM: Who does the backing vocals on “Remedy”?
MVRK: It’s three friends of mine Bishat, Linda and Daniel who all are super talented. Then it’s also me and the guys just doing different voices.
MM: How many tracks did “Funeral” wind up being? If you’re not sure, just give us a rough idea.
MVRK: Haha I’m not 100% sure but I think that it’s at least 120. The kick drum for example is nine different tracks. We always put way to much stuff on tape.
MM: How does the songwriting process usually work for you? Do you start with the beats or the lyrics or…?
MVRK: It’s both but most often it originates from a beat or a track. Then I constantly write down lyrics on my phone so I always have an archive of stories that I can choose from.
MM: How old were you when you wrote your first song? Do you remember what it was called?
MVRK: I started out quite late, I think I was 19 or something. It was called “Lord Knows”, classic singer songwriter guitar douche song
MM: “Remedy” is just as good as “Funeral,” but one can hear how much you’ve progressed already between the two tracks. Were you trying to out-do yourself with “Funeral,” to make something bigger?
MVRK: I always try do out-do myself and make something bigger, I don’t want any song to be like the other! The common thread is always going to be pop music, but I don’t want it to be ordinary.
MM: I really liked the drum n bass sounds in “Remedy.” Who are your favorite drum n bass artists?
MVRK: I like Noisia and Prodigy of course but I honestly don’t know the name of that many artists. I just love the rhythm!
MM: Who else would you cite as influences?
MVRK: ABBA, Prince, Massive Attack and gospel music. I love gospel! But the list can be long.
MM: What was the first album you ever bought with your own money?
MVRK: It was Broder Daniel – Forever. That’s my teenage anthem and is still one of my absolute favorite albums of all time.
MM: I know “Remedy” was a big hit. Just how high up the charts did it go? Was it #1 anywhere?
MVRK: Not that I know of but it would be a very nice surprise.
MM: In what countries are you the most popular so far?
MVRK: I get a lot of love from Brazil! But I don’t think that I’m that popular anywhere haha.
MM: I really liked the stripped version of “Remedy.” Is that you playing the piano on it? If so, how did you learn to play the piano?
MVRK: I’m self-taught but I’ve got a lot of help from my friend Gary Medel. But playing the piano is something I really wish to get better at!
MM: Will there be a stripped version of “Funeral”?
MVRK: It might be! Then I would like to do it in a church with a big choir and an organ.
MM: Are there going to be any remixes of “Funeral.” If so, who’s remixing it?
MVRK: There will probably be some remixes but I don’t know who’s going to do it yet. Anyone who wants to give it a try is more than welcome to get in touch.
MM: What software do you use to produce your music?
MVRK: I use Logic Pro, but I’m terrible with computers so often feel like it’s Logic Pro who’s using me.
MM: What programs or drum machines do you use to make the actual beats?
MVRK: Some are samples but mostly we use Nord Drum.
MM: Do you use samples at all? If so, what have you sampled?
MVRK: I mostly sample drums from different packages but otherwise we play everything ourselves.
MM: Have you done any performing live yet?
MVRK: Yes I’ve done a couple of shows. I love playing live! The live set is much rougher than the recordings, more punk-like
MM: Do you DJ in addition to making your own songs?
MVRK: No I’ve never done that, it’s not my thing. I do the dancing instead.
MM: Are you profitting more from legal downloads or from streaming services?
MVRK: Haven’t seen a dime yet so I don’t know haha! Ask me in a year and I’ll probably have a better answer.
MM: What do you think about stream services in general? Do you use them? If so, which one(s)?
MVRK: I use them all, but mostly Spotify. It’s incredible to have such an easy access to almost every single song there is. To me music is not about making money so anything that makes my music accessible for people I’m happy!
MM: Vinyl has been making quite the comeback during recent years. Are you into vinyl at all?
MVRK: I love vinyls! My apartment is 250 square foot and probably more than half of it is full of vinyls.It’s going to be a nightmare to move.
MM: Are there any plans for your songs to be pressed on vinyl?
MVRK: When the full length is coming out I definitely going to push for it to be pressed on vinyl. That would be a dream come true.
MM: What is the next step going to be for you? For example, will you release another single or are you going to do an EP or just focus on a full-length album?
MVRK: There’s going to be one more song out before the summer and then an EP or a full length during fall.
MM: How many songs do you have finished that you could release right now if you wanted to?
MVRK: Maybe 12-15 that could be released tomorrow and probably as many on it’s way.
At the end of our interviews we always ask some random questions. Here are yours:
MM: Have you received any bizarre gifts from fans yet? If so, what was the strangest?
MVRK: I actually haven’t got any bizarre gifts yet but I’m really looking forward to it!
MM: Have you ever, or would you like to, do some acting?
MVRK: I’m a terrible liar so I’m not sure I would be any good at it but I’m not scared of giving it a try.
MM: Name three of your favorite movies?
MVRK: Home Alone 1, 2 & 3
MM: If someone was giving you a million dollars to donate to a charity, which charity or cause would you pick?
MVRK: Right now helping the refugees in Syria and the middle east. The world need to take some fucking responsibility and that doesn’t mean going to war.
MM: Do you prefer cities or the country?
MVRK: As much as I would love to be a country man, I’m a city boy.
Thanks to Mavrick for taking the time to do this and to James Barker for arranging it!