Mabel ‘Know Me Better’
The daughter of Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey has just emerged into the public sphere. MABEL’s debut single ‘Know Me Better’ is an invitation to do just that. This isn’t about her parents, it’s about her.
But it is kind of about her parents, as their influential trip-hop, jazz and soul shows through ever so clearly on Mabel‘s track. Raised in Malaga, London and Stockholm, she was exposed to the rigmarole of tour and studio life. Mabel is only 19 and has quite big boots to fill, but she’s made a good start with this thoughtful and memorable debut.
The loose production is a fitting style for the vulnerable persona that Mabel creates in the track. She’s vulnerable, but no push over. There’s a tenacity and strength in her vocals that channel the classic turn of the millennium R&B of Mary J Blige. It’s a little softer round the edges though as she sings sweetly that ‘I could go all day wearing nothing but your kiss’. N’aww. It’s forward thinking too, with modernised hip hop beats, tentative R&B and soulful vocals.
Mabel says that “‘Know Me Better’ is about losing layers of pretension and control, and letting your guard down. It felt like the right track to come with first for so many different reasons, but I think the title kind of says it all: I would like people to get to know me and I’m hoping that will happen through my music”.
Words by Katie Rowley