MALLRAT's In the Sky
For someone who has only been in the music industry for a few years, 19-year old artist, Grace Shaw, who performs as Mallrat, seems to already have made a strong impression with her last EP “Uninvited”. In this interview, GRACE TALKS ABOUT taking her artistry further with her second EP In The Sky.
Mallrat is such a cool name, is there a story behind that?
I got it from a song by The Orwells called "Mallrats (La La La)". I liked the song a lot because it reminded me of angsty 90s teen movies. I love them for the outfits. I really like Léon, The Professional and Clueless.
Tell me a little bit about the artist behind Mallrat?
Well, my name is Grace Shaw. I'm 19 and from Brisbane, which is quiet a suburban place. I love animals, music and fashion. I'm also a Libra.
What was it like growing up in Brisbane?
It was a nice place to grow up. But, it got a bit boring for me. It's a small city and pretty easy to know everybody.
Where are you living now?
I'm living in Melbourne now, but I'm about to move to Los Angeles.
You started your music journey pretty recently, right?
I probably started writing music three years ago and started playing shows two years ago.
Before music, did you consider yourself an artist?
No. I was just in school. I had a tumblr and that was about it.
What has been the best part about coming into the music industry?
Everything has been good. I've had such a smooth ride and have been surrounded by such good people. I can't even think of a negative. I've met my best friends through music and am doing what I love everyday. I get to travel. It's like my full time job and I don't have to go to University. It's all positives.
I think it's amazing you've gotten your foot in the door so quickly and at such a young age.
I'm very fortunate that it happened. I think that young people assume it's a disadvantage. But honestly, it's almost a novelty to some people and they'll listen to your music because of it. But also, if you do something wrong people won't get mad at you "because she's only nineteen".
So, let's talk about the EP In The Sky that you just released.
With the first EP, Uninvited, I wrote everything besides the beats. The beats were sent to me on soundcloud and then I went to the studio and recorded all the lyrics and vocals over it. With this EP In The Sky, I co-produced and wrote everything. With the first EP, it was my first time making a song. So, I didn't really know what I was doing. But, I had a much better understanding of the process this time around.
Is there a song that you connect to the most off of the EP?
I love them all, but I'm really proud of the last track Make Time. I think that might be my favorite.
What was your inspiration behind that song?
I don't think I have inspirations behind songs, I think it's all just an amalgmation of music and situations, where I find something about it interesting. With Make Time, it felt calming.
I like the title of the song UFO, do you feel like an alien to your surroundings sometimes?
Yeah. Even when I was still in school in Brisbane, I feel like being bored and feeling like such an alien in that situation has been the catalyst behind the music for this. If you're always engaged and interested in having fun and going out-it's great, but it's not necessarily creative. I think you need boredom to be creative. So many great things start from boredom.
How do you think social media has affected this generation?
When I was a child, I didn't have social media. Kids nowadays have it and don't know what it was like before. With my peers and I, I think it's good because we realize it's a tool and generally don't get too swept up in it or let it define our work. It's a helpful branding thing and good to connect with friends. Whereas, with younger people, I think a lot of their identities are in their social media.
How do you define or view success for yourself?
I feel successful now because I'm traveling and doing what I love full time and that's what I wanted. But, I think I can always be doing more. I hope to keep doing it on a bigger scale. I want to reach as many people as possible.
What music are you currently listening to?
So much. Kanye's new album. I really love Empress of. Yung Thug, some songs off the new Post Malone album, this Australian artist Joy and John Maher. I've also been re-listening to The Duchess album by Fergie and my EP since it's out now.
What can we expect next from you?
I think another EP. I also really want to write and produce for other artists.
If you could work with any artist, who would it be?
How do you feel about the controversy revolving around Kanye right now?
Kanye puts a lot of thought behind what he does. He doesn't use maybes or I think, he says exactly what he thinks as if it's a fact. In the context of his interviews, everything he says makes perfect sense but out of context of his interviews, he sounds crazy. It makes me frustrated that people brush it off and say that he's crazy or ignorant without actually watching the full interviews. I think that's lazy. It's not fair to read a headline or a snippet from an interview and base an opinion off that and use that view to dictate whether or not it's okay to listen to an artist.
If you could be a book, what kind of book would you be?
I'd like to be a Dr. Seuss book.
What charity do you hold close to your heart?
Anything that has to do with educating girls in impoverished situations, literacy foundations and animal shelters.