COMPLEX: How did this partnership with PUMA come about, and how much influence did you have on making it come to life?
Mae Muller: I’ve always liked PUMA. I used to wear all the time when I was younger, so there was always that connection there. They actually reached out to me first, and they basically just explained the idea for the campaign. Straightaway I was like, “I love it!” The campaign on the whole just sounded like a real natural fit for me.
How did growing up in London help shape your identity and musical style?
It’s everything to me. I’ve grown up in pretty much a one mile radius of London my whole life, so my style and my self-expression is very much influenced by what I’ve seen in that space. Amy Winehouse grew up just up the road from me in Camden, for instance, and having that sort of energy in the air around here definitely shaped my outlook on life and music. With my music, I like to sing how I talk—it’s very conversational, and I use some of my slang in my lyrics. There’s really no place like North, and I feel proper at home here.
How long have you been working with your all-girl crew?
All of the girls in the campaign with me I’ve known for 15 years. It’s so amazing that I’ve had these girls by my side for this long—it’s lucky to even have friends for that long! To share this journey with them has been a real blessing for me. My makeup artist, Zara, I’ve known since I was 5; she’s gone from working in a stock room at Mac, to doing make-up there, to doing my make up and traveling the world with me. It’s been a crazy journey. That’s how much of a tight-knit, family unit it is. I don’t actually know how people do it without having people by your side like that. They also keep you grounded, which is a good thing too! It’s very much been a started from the bottom, now we’re here kind of thing.
How important is the crew to your creative process?
Obviously, I love having them around me to bounce creative ideas off. Sometimes, I even write from their perspective, as I get bored from writing about my own shit. Sometimes I like to think about what they’re going through with my music as I like to get out of my own bubble and headspace. I actually think the best thing about having them around me is the way in which I can just switch off from the industry sometimes—breaking free from everything and just relaxing with them is great.
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