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Interview: Mallrat

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Brisbane rapper Mallrat (not to be confused with the Kevin Smith movie) has been making some pretty big waves lately. Self described as the “Hannah Montana of the rap game”, the 17-year-old emcee’s career came out of nowhere and is poised to effortlessly dominate the Australian hip-hop scene, with her debut single Suicide Blonde notching over 190,000 streams on Spotify alone. We had a chat with her spanning conversation topics such as angels, Allday, and the peculiar fashion choices of 90’s movies.

Are there any artists in particular that inspired you to start rapping?

Yeah, I’d say Allday. I’d always liked music up until I first heard him, but I never felt I could make music myself. But after listening to Allday I felt I could really appreciate his honesty and the way he talks about growing up. It felt like something I could do. After first listening to him I went to concerts and stuff and yeah, that’s how I got into it!

Your music videos have a real nostalgic aesthetic to them. Is that whole hazy 90’s aesthetic something you find particularly appealing?

Thank you! Yeah definitely, I really like it. I’m a little bit too impatient to watch movies, but sometimes I just sit at my computer and google pictures of 90’s movies and all the outfits they wore in them just because I love them. I don’t know whether it’s something about the camerawork, but I love 90’s fashion, the colours were really beautiful. And I like that you can associate them to being a kid or teenager.

Speaking of Allday, your music’s been compared to artists such as him, M.I.A. and Yung Lean. What do you make of those comparisons?

I love it! They’re some of my favourite artists. I love Yung Lean, M.I.A. and Allday, so to me that’s a massive compliment.

Your single Inside Voices has more of a dance vibe to your previous releases. Would you say you prefer to write hip-hop songs over dance music, or do you like to compromise?

It’s kind of hard to say. I feel like when you’re trying to write a good song, you can’t have any expectations of it. I know here’s me a 17-year-old kid trying to be Kanye and give you all this advice (laughs), but when you’re trying to write a song it’s kind of like trying to raise a kid. If you try and shape it into something it isn’t, it’s definitely not gonna be the best it can be.

It’s good to just nurture it and let it grow into its own thing. It might sound kind of abstract, but you really can’t have expectations for a song when you write it if you want it to be really good. But in terms of the outcome, I don’t know either but I do like dancing to dance music. Sometimes I like singing in my room and wallowing in misery too, so it depends what mood you’re in.

Your song Tokyo Drift off your new EP was written with American producer Rey Reel. How did that collaboration come about?

He was working with Allday and in a beat catalogue he had a song that Tom (Allday) thought would be good for me, so he sent it through. I cut a demo but it didn’t end up being Tokyo Drift, I’m saving that one for a later date. But after that Rey and I were just talking heaps and we’re working on a lot of stuff together at the moment. I just got off the phone with him this morning actually, he’s such a legend. So I think that was just angels making that happen. Angels and Allday.

Speaking of collaborations, you also appeared on E^ST’s single Get Money earlier this month. What was that experience like?

Lots of fun! It started off with just her label emailing my management, that sort of thing. Then I got the track and recorded it a couple days later, so it happened really quickly. But now she and I are really good friends so I’m really happy about that. She’s such an amazing person. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen her live before but she’s one of my favourite people to watch live, she’s really really talented.

Speaking of live performances, have you got any plans for upcoming tours or live performances in the near future?

I wish I could tell you but to be honest, I haven’t got anything confirmed. But I definitely, definitely will be doing lots of shows over the next few months. I’m just waiting to lock in some dates before confirming anything, but hopefully really really soon! It’s a lot of fun, I really enjoy travelling even if it’s just within Australia. So I have a lot of fun with it when I do play shows.

Mallrat’s debut EP ‘Uninvited’ is set for release on Friday, 1st of July.