By: Meera Eragoda, Features Editor
With his notable mauve hair and a pink and blue trench coat, Mauvey was hard to miss at the Commodore Ballroom on May 6. Combine his dreamy intergalactic aesthetic with his open exuberance and you get an incredible performance. Mauvey is a Ghanaian-born UK artist who opened for Snotty Nose Rez Kids, a truly phenomenal Haisla trap/hip hop duo.
Represented by Vancouver-based label, 604 Records, Mauvey currently spends his time between Vancouver and the UK, though he also spent a short period of his high school years in Agassiz, BC. Additionally, he has collaborated with other BC artists like Fionn.
Similar to a shooting star, Mauvey’s performance was vibrant and all too brief. Creating a hazy purple mirage, he vibrated around the stage everywhere at once, his zest infectious. I was new to Mauvey’s music but the single he closed with, his latest release “THE KING,” made me eager to listen to more ahead of his next album release sometime this fall.
Though mainly defined as alternative pop, Mauvey introduces a myriad of styles into his music. There are synth beats, Afro influences, and rap and punk elements, just to name a few. With influences from Childish Gambino to Prince to Oumou Sangaré, Mauvey seamlessly integrates all of these into his music, creating a unique sound.
With “THE KING,” Mauvey explains he wanted to subvert the idea of celebrating men all throughout history. He states, “I wanted to write a song tearing that apart. “THE KING” is a redistribution of power and respect to everyone, especially the immensely powerful women we have in our world.” Before launching into the song, Mauvey pointed to the audience, disregarding gender and telling each individual, “you’re a king” and “you’re important.”
These messages are consistent with his aim to spread a message of love through his music. His last album, The Florist, makes this clear with songs about all aspects of love, including its beauty and its complications. While some of the lyrics are serious, there are others that are quirky and cute. “Bought you flowers but the pollen say achoo,” from the song “9” is one of my favourite examples of playfulness in his music, also reflected in its music video.
Mauvey is gaining steam and making his way into more than one list of new Canadian artists to follow. Though he has wrapped up his Vancouver tour dates, he’ll be back in BC soon, playing festivals in Cowichan and Squamish this summer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in Vancouver in the near future and highly recommend catching his genre-bending tunes and fiery performance.