Singer and Songwriter Mulay about her Debut EP ANTRACYTE

vor 3 years

Mulay’s schedule is pretty packed these days.

At the beginning of this year, singer and songwriter Mulay released her debut EP ANTRACYTE, five songs with spheric sounds, deep emotions and a strong, powerful voice. The past weeks, Mulay was touring around various cities. Based in Berlin she was also performing in Hamburg, Vienna, and more is planned. After studying Jazz and Pop music, she now explores further directions within her music.

We met the rising artist to speak about her emotional songs, her career in music, and used the opportunity to take some photos of Mulay with the new Polaroid Now+.

First of, I noticed your Instagram-bio saying “half human half dragon”. What’s that about?
That is because I am half Japanese, half German and the dragon stands very succinctly for Asian culture. I don’t want to go too far, but I was adopted, grew up here with a German family, but throughout my life I was always perceived as different from the outside world. At some point I learned to embrace this difference and make it my own. And I try to express this other side and my heritage in the saying. But also because of my style, I often wear kimonos and dragon motifs.

Is that also the origin of your artist name?
Yes, the origin is really Mulan. My birthname is Fanny and I wanted to implement the Y from my name. Mulay just sounds very nice too. I chose the name when I was 16 and now it’s not just my artist name, but a general nickname of mine, many of my friends call me that.

Beginning of this year your debut EP was released. What story does ANTRACYTE tell?
It tells a very personal story. I already wrote many of the songs a long time ago. A relatively dark time in my life after a heavy break up from my first boyfriend. It came out that I was disloyal and then I experienced a lot of hatred and slutshaming. I had to deal with myself anew and was also very self-destructive for a while. Basically the EP is about my personal story, in the sense of what kind of person am I, am I good or bad, what makes a bad person and what kind of person do I want to be? But that’s not just my personal story, it’s just a woman’s story. In our society women are exposed to completely different external pressures to take on a certain role. Especially when it comes to sexuality, which is still very oppressed. That’s why the EP is also about empowering your own sexuality as a woman, being self-determined, accepting yourself and how mistakes help you grow.

What is first for you, creating the lyrics, or are you already working with a melody while writing?
That is different. I often write down my thoughts directly as I have them and sometimes a whole song comes out of it, with which I may already have a rhythm in my head. I also write a lot on the piano while playing chords, which is a simultaneous process. The current EP is co-produced, so I worked out all the productions myself and then improved everything with Rick Will, a friend and producer.

Your songs “Shame” or “Medusa” have very intense sounds – are these also the emotions that you deal with, or do you have any other inspirations?
My music is generally very personal, I draw a lot from my own feelings and inner conflicts. That is very therapeutic. “Medusa” is a song I wrote during this darkest time and writing the lyrics actually helped me understand myself better. It comes out of my subconsciousness.

How does it feel now to perform live on stage again?
Very good! Performing is just my passion. The moment when I’m on stage, singing in front of an audience with my band, is the moment when I know this is what I want to do. I’ve been missing that a lot lately. Of course it was still nice to write, to make music, to be in the studio, but the core was simply missing.

Does it take courage to perform your very personal lyrics in front of an audience?
Yes, that is actually a weird contradiction, my last release also deals with that a bit. It is actually something very unnatural to simply share your deepest feelings and thoughts in front of strangers, but at the same time it feels so natural. For me, when I’m on stage, I feel so comfortable like nowhere else. It’s a moment that I really seek. To have arrived completely and not think about anything else. Everything just happens.

You just mentioned your lates release INCOMPLETE together with LLUCID, which is more R&B than you EP. Is that a direction you will explore more now?
Yes! My next single “Fake Love” is also a feature with LLUCID, or I will be a feature act this time. A few of my next songs will also be features that will go in this R&B direction. For me these are a bit of my vocal roots. When I started singing, I was very inspired by great soul voices. For my solo work now I use more spherical sounds, working a lot with textures and layers. But I’m very open to this new direction, I also have a lot of fun with just groovy R&B.


Interview: Hannah Sulzbach
Production: Carolin Desiree Becker, Hannah Sulzbach
All photos taken with the new POLAROID NOW +

Look 1: Top Hosbjerg via Zalando, Earrings Mejuri
Look 2+3: Blazer Études via Zalando, Sunglasses Gentle Monster, Earrings Mejuri
Look 4: Top Lecavalier, Earrings Mejuri


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