Lucas Palmans

26 Sep
Music

Matilda Mann: “I Didn’t Realize I Wanted to Be a Singer Until I Was One”

Matilda Mann is without any doubt one of the biggest upcoming voices of the United Kingdom. The young singer-songwriter is set to release her third EP ‘Sonder’, but never really wanted to be a singer. She just rolled into the job, and now she can say promising artists like Arlo Parks and Holly Humberstone are her biggest fans. The future looks bright for Matilda, who still has her shy feet on the ground.

Congratulations on your new EP! How was it to breakthrough in a concertless year?

It was pretty odd! I don’t know if I had my breakthrough yet, but I definitely wrote a lot of music. I kind of enjoyed it slightly because I love to sit and write a lot of songs. Now gigs are coming back to normal, it all falls in place.

But you never thought you would become an artist?

No, it’s extra strange. I got used to playing live because I did two tours at the same time. I was the opening act for Arlo Parks and then the other day I played solo. Now I haven’t played in two years, and I’m really scared.

I thought I would end up writing songs for other people. I always thought I would be a lyricist. I wrote songs, and I just didn’t have anyone else to sing them, so I sang them myself. People liked it, so I went along with it. I’m really enjoying it, but there’s a lot more to do.

Did you use the last year to find who you are as an artist?

A little! The EP is called Sonder, which is really looking into other people’s lives and seeing how big they are. In comparison to you, everyone has a whole background and future. I had a lot of time to look into people and look at what kind of music I want to make. I just want to make a big range of different songs.

Somehow it seems a bit sad that the EP comes out in summer because the songs on it sound more like fall and winter.

Maybe a bit, but songs like “Bloom” are more upbeat. It’s a fun combination. There are also some slow ones. Songs for every mood!

What’s your favorite mood to make songs?

Probably songs like “My Point of You”. They go with every mood. Whether you’re sad or happy. You can always listen to them.

What do you use as an influence when everyone is inside?

I love to take inspiration from movies. I prefer the storylines or words that pop out.

What’s your favorite movie then?

Hard question! Wes Anderson is my favorite director, so I like everything he has done. Parasite was really good; I didn’t expect that. I also really love Coraline—that’s the childhood movie that I really loved. And Juno! It’s about a girl who gets pregnant at sixteen. It’s a very wholesome movie, and it has a really good soundtrack.

So soundtracks are one of your inspirations, but also the music of Avril Lavigne. That’s not the artist you would expect listening to your music.

I listened to her loads when I was getting into my own genre. I guess I’m taken by a lot of influences from a lot of different things. I think I’ll always be changing in times of what I like and what music I want to make. I have to get a bit more sure of myself to write Avril Lavigne kind of songs. I’m testing now how I would like to sing and perform. The more I’ll work with producers, the more progression I will make. I think I will go into each pocket of different kinds of music.

When did you realize you wanted to become a singer?

I didn’t realize I wanted to be a singer until I was one. I always knew I wanted to do music because that was the only thing I’ve ever been able to do. Back in school, it never really seemed like a task. I was never forced, it was something I just would naturally go and do. I’m lucky enough to do it as a living now.

What did inspire you to become a singer?

One of my biggest inspirations is Laura Marling. She seems to write such personal lyrics, but there’s a vague subject behind them. They always sound like she wrote them specifically for you. I always have her in the back of my head when I make a single.

Is that also your purpose?

Yes! I really like the idea that I write a song for someone, and they feel so connected that they think I made it for them. That is one of my favorite feelings. I think I like to think of particular feelings or thoughts that you could have but not talked about before. When you hear that, you could really connect to the music.

I like songwriting. It’s an everyday exercise of just getting in touch with how I’m thinking and feeling. Just sit down with my guitar or a piano and see what falls out of my mouth. I write little one-liners, and I come back to them when I get in a session. My mind is always songwriting.

How would you describe your music to people who don’t know you?

I keep thinking about how to describe my music. My friend described my aesthetic as cottage core grunge. It’s an indie Billie Eilish and a more upbeat Staves with the 2000s chucked into it. I need to get to the bottom of my description.

What’s your dream to do in the next few years?

I would love to write a soundtrack for a movie! I would also like to write for other artists for their projects, but the soundtrack would be a really big goal.

What kind of movie does it have to be?

I would love to do a Disney movie. Maybe an animation movie, but I don’t know if I would get picked for that! It would be a big goal. (laughs)

Matilda Mann’s new EP ‘Sonder’ will be out on September 24th.

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